“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, February 16, 2015

Freezing Rain

As predicted, the storm started out here with light snow.  The ground was very cold, so it stuck, but it was not unmanageable. A few hours ago, it changed over to sleet, and that shortly changed over to freezing rain.

Freezing rain is the worst.  It weighs down the trees, and they either fall on the power lines, or their branches sag, touch the lines, and short them out. If this keeps up for any length of time, we'll have no power anywhere in the county. That's bad news for me, because we are the very last to have power restored in an outage. Our priority is low because none of the county potentates live out here, and very very few people live here at all. I can run the generator, and it's tested and ready to go, but I don't enjoy doing so. It has to be refueled, and it makes a terrific noise.

Temperatures for Wednesday and Thursday are forecast to have lows at or below zero. Tomorrow the temps won't rise enough to melt anything on the roads, so things will be tough. I have the Jeep down on the hard surface road. The truck is not designed for slippery road conditions so it is just parked on the pad under the trees for the duration of this "weather event."

Tomorrow around dusk I will put the outside cats and the dogs in the glass house, with the heater running. I'll move the silkies into their cage, and put that in one of the bathrooms. We should all make it through the night, whether the power goes out or not.

This is not at all fun.  I feel sorry for the county fire department and Sheriff's department. The mentally challenged are working overtime. I listened to a conversation I couldn't believe  this morning. Some dim wit went around the road barriers, and around the "road closed" signs, and took his Bronco up on one of the worst ridges in the county. Then he couldn't get down because of ice. He called 911 to be "rescued."  The dispatcher told a Deputy to take a four wheel drive and go up and get him. That's a hell of a road at the best of times, and very dangerous in snow, let alone ice. I'd let the moron rot up there before I risked my life to go get him.

A few year ago a bunch of people drove up to the top of one of our highest mountains in the full knowledge a storm was coming. Then they got trapped and had to be lifted out by helo. I felt for that pilot. Flying a helicopter in snow flurries, in the mountains? To hell with that.  I'd do it to rescue people who were there because they had to be, and who had some claim on me because we all relied on one another. But a bunch of idiots on a joyride? Not happening.

So far, this is just an inconvenience for me. I wait with some interest to see what develops, especially over the next few days.


33 comments:

  1. I'm with you on not rescuing idiots, but my wife thinks I'm cruel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. George's, I have scant sympathy for those who get themselves into predicaments through acts of abject stupidity and then expect someone else to extricate them. I owe people like that exactly nothing.

      Delete
  2. harry, like you I live in the country, and at 66 I don't like to be stressed any more than necessary. so I recommend that you install some propane ventless Blue Flame heaters and some direct vent heaters in your home and out-buildings and stock up on oil lamps and Dietz oil lanterns from Lehman's . and put a hand pump on your well and a propane kitchen range. when the power goes out here I don't care, just don't have my computer.---ken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken, I have ventless propane heaters in the main house and the apartment. I have electric heat in the shop, backed up by kerosene shop heaters. I have electric heat in the glass house and the climate controlled portion of the barn. I also have two woodstoves and a Tennessee field stone fireplace. Lately I have relied more heavily on the propane heaters than in the past because it's less work even if it does cost more.

      I have a good selection of kerosene lamps and lanterns, with 25 gallons of fuel. They are back-up for the generator

      My hot water heater, clothes dryer, kitchen range and apartment kitchen all run on propane. The controls are all analog and do not require electricity to function.

      My well is 179 feet deep, and so unfortunately too deep for a hand pump. I do have a wide, deep mountain stream flowing out of the national forest about 300 feet from my porch, and I have a spring that bubbles up on my land near the house. If I ran out of diesel for my generator ( I keep about 1000 gallons in two above ground tanks) I'd have to rely on those two water sources.

      I think we both have the same concerns about the basics. Like you I'm not young anymore and managing it all can be a trial.

      Delete
  3. We don't have the mountain roads to contend with, but whenever roads around here in the flatlands become icy, it doesn't seem to occur to anyone to just slow down. They just slide off the roads into the ditches - one right after another. Whoever it was who said you can't fix stupid was right on the money. Me...I'd be tempted to let the fools in your neck of the woods find their own way down. Hope everything there stays good for you and the Mrs. We seem to have dodged the bullet here once again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Vicki, it's a little after eight. Sleeting hard and everything has a thick coating of ice. I am amazed that the grid power is still on. I don't expect it to last the night. All set up for the power to fail though.

    The scanners have been going full tilt. Trees down in the roads, seniors rolling their land battleships over in the ditches, all the county wrecker companies out picking up wrecks. I'm just forted up. All three Atlanta television stations sent news crews to our county and I got to see our little town on television. That was fun!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stay safe. Freezing rain sucks. I'd rather have two feet of snow. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's not fun. I've been listening to the scanner and the power is already out on the far side of the county.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That was interesting about the Atlanta TV stations-I saw a bit from the ABC station there about that town near you-while I'm not a "stalker" I had y'all located, in my head, a couple counties west of there, but then, none of my business-I love your blog as always. Here in SWMO, a couple miles from MO's largest tourist attraction and national sporting goods store, we got four inches of snow overnight and last night's drive home from the hospital where I work was more-or-less uneventful, and I'm thankful I'm off this evening. Much to my surprise, my Facebook "friends" at KAIT television had video of the snow that hit Corning, Arkansas, near my folks who grow rice in the swamps of SEMO, and it looked really pretty and I got to craving Mexican chow from our favorite family eatin' spot around the corner. Y'all stay warm! KB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, KB. It's Tuesday morning now. Everything is covered with ice. I am not going anywhere, even if I wanted to. Snow looks nice, and I don't mind it if snow is all there is, but when it gets mixed in with sleet, then freezing rain comes down over it, it's a terrible mess. The worst part is that we aren't getting above freezing this week, and more snow is predicted for Friday and Saturday. Good thing I have enough to occupy me here because I won't be leaving for awhile. The power has stayed on so I am quite comfortable.

      Delete
  8. Hunker down and keep warm Harry. Sounds like you have everything covered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll be ok, and quite comfortable as long as the power stays on. If it goes off, we can still run all the essentials off the generator, but I hate turning it on as the noise is horrific. It's a diesel and it's just like having a diesel truck turning over outside your house.

      Delete
  9. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Up the coast from here some Kayakers got blown around in the salt water when a big cold front blew through. It was fun to watch on tv.

    I guess they did not check the weather before they set out on their 'three hour tour' (remember Gilligans Island)

    I do a lot of stuff myself that can be construed as dangerous but I have to say that I study all the parameters so I take calculated risks and not take fool hardy endeavors.

    'Just as out of curiosity. Does your local law enforcement agencies recruit from high school special ed classes???

    I'm sorry bad joke.

    I make fun of stupid people regardless of race, creed, color, income level, social status or disability.

    I have often found that the more educated people get, many times they lose all common sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of our deputies are the high school football stars from two or three years ago. It's not their fault that people do dumb things and they have to go get them. It's their job, and I guess if they said no they would get fired. I just wouldn't go out and risk my neck myself to alleviate someone else's act of stupidity. Prior planning prevents poor performance. Those kayakers are a prime example of the kind of foolishness I'm talking about.

      Delete
    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      High school football stars quantify as 'Special Ed'

      All the geeks and nerds from high school I know were successful and the 'biggest pothead' I knew back in the 80's just did 20 years in the Coast Guard as a 'PA' (Physicians Assistant)

      go figure.......

      Delete
  10. What is it about bad weather that causes some brains to think 'this is the PERFECT time to do something stupid and dangerous !'. And also get others to risk their lives to rescue them so they can do something else stupid down the line . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a common phenomenon here in winter. In the teenage group, I can excuse it to some extent, but when grown men do things like going up into exceedingly dangerous places and then want someone to come get them down, that's beyond the pale. The scanner transmission said "the driver is afraid to try to come down and wants someone to come get him."

      Delete
  11. Ice is our biggest problem too and we area also the last to be fixed with so few people on our line. We can't hand pump either so we fill up construction crew type water jugs, have gallon jugs and bottled water in addition to filling up the claw foot tub which hold a lot of water. I was home yesterday, in fact it was rare that our office was on delayed opening but being an hour away I chose to take a vacation day. I could have worked from home but I needed a relaxing day. Keep warm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't blame you for wanting to stay home in such weather. We keep jugs of water too, in case the generator fails for whatever reason and we can't run the pump. I could go get water out of the stream or the creek, but it is better to just have it to hand when it's bitterly cold outside. Who wants to be messing around outdoors in zero degree weather? Not me. I guess you and I will both have to fort up and wait for some warmer weather.

      Delete
  12. Generators really do make a racket, but they are nice to have when you need them. We got snow here - I guess about 8 inches or so. It's a very fine snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We got snow, sleet, and ice. It's a mess. Just walking from the main house to the barn this morning was difficult. We didn't get nearly as much snow as you did, though. 8 inches is a lot.

      Generators give you confidence and make you worry less about the power from the grid going out. I just wish I had a nice propane one that didn't make any noise, like my brother has.

      Delete
  13. We hoped for snow but got hit hard by the freezing rain. I made the kids come inside today because ice began falling from the tree tops. Supposed to be near zero here as well this week. Stay warm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck to both our families. My power has miraculously stayed on but the ice has wrecked all the possum trail roads, trees and branches down everywhere. The older guys I sometimes talk to on the CB are off the air. Either their power is out, or the ice brought down their antennae array. I am glad you folks are doing well, I knew you were going to get hit hard.

      Delete
  14. Harry,
    Be safe and stay warm!
    I just don't get those who drive around barriers or don't listen to warnings when posted.
    People just don't have or use common sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy, ,lots of damage from the ice here. Many parts of the country still without power. A bitter niight tonight and the next two nights will be sub zero. People with only electric heat are in deep kimchi.

      There isn't any rational reason for some of the things people do except that they are not smart enough not to do them.

      Delete
  15. We had rain, sleet, freezing rain last week, so many parking lots are still covered in ice. No snow here in MN but bitter wind chills are on tap. Added more coverings to the living room windows and I may add some plastic sheeting in other areas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob, every little thing you can do in weather like this is positive. Good initiative and planning on your part.

      Delete
  16. So I reckon youre going to skip the take-your-life-in-your-hands walk to the mailbox for the next few days? If not, I humbly suggest a totally awesome set of ice creepers on your feet and maybe take someone with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not feeling too hot. I got a hideous cough from going out in the morning when it was just above zero, carrying boiling water for the animal tanks. I doubt the mail is getting out here anyway. I am trying to stay inside as much as I can, this has been a really bad week. We have survived nicely, and there is supposed to be a warm front tomorrow which will get rid of all this miserable ice, but I'm not being very active until that happens.

      Delete
  17. And there's more of the same coming THIS weekend. Stay safe up there.....Jan in NWGA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, you are right. I snowed hard again last night, and though it has been warmer today nothing seems to be melting. Then next week they are calling for snow again. I just hope no freezing rain.

      Delete
  18. I hope you are staying safe. I hate freezing rain as well! We've had for the most part a mild winter. It's odd though. It keeps getting warm enough for no coat, then damn cold! Back and forth all winter long. We had about 7 inches of snow, which wasn't bad compared to other places. Usually we get much more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alissa, we got some snow, not as much as you, but a lot of freezing rain overall. My little niche of the mountains was spared the worst of it, and we never lost power, so we didn't have to go into generator mode, thank god. It hasn't been too bad except having to go out to take care of the animals, most of whom were brought inside various buildings during the worst of this, even the dogs who hate being inside.

      Delete