I don’t know about y’all, but I am over living historical events for awhile. I am not sure what the official name of what we we are going through here in the great state of Texas is, but I have seen #snowmageden on social media so I will go with that.
Some of you are maybe wondering how bad can it be and some of you who get snow every year may not understand why it’s a problem. Here is the best explanation I have seen and it is taken from a FB post by Cassandra Kara Abercrombie Schultz
Dear Midwesterners and Northerners,
Imagine your “regular “winter weather.
Now take away:
- Snow Plows
- Snow shovels
- Snow appropriate clothing
- Salt trucks
- Snow tires/chains
- Antifreeze rated below 15
- All experience driving on snow and ice.
Now give yourself a total experience level of 200 days across a lifetime of sub-freezing temperatures.
We have homes to keep you cool. Big windows, reflective roofs, and drives. Our heaters are breaking down from overworking.
She goes on to ask these people to stop one upping us and just understand it is not normal for us and we are not prepared.
Back to what is happening here in my part of second biggest state of the United States. We are all scared. Some of us don’t know the extent of the damage to our homes because we have pipes frozen and we can’t get them to unfreeze in the short time we have power. I have friends and family that have had no power for days. They have no food left and some of their water pipes have burst.
We have cities with no running water or boil water orders because the water treatment plant equipment has failed due to the blackouts or due to the freezing temperatures take your pick.
To my knowledge the entire state has never been covered in snow and ice all at once. Galveston’s beaches had snow on them and I have never seen pictures of that in my life. it was also snowing in parts of Mexico yes Mexico.
I am one of the fortunate with rolling power. This means I get rolled onto the power grid for a set number of minutes. Don’t ask me what the schedule is because only the power company knows and it changes. The shortest amount of time was 30 minutes and the longest period time was 90 minutes. How long do I get a blackout? That depends sometimes it is equal to the amount of time I was on the grid, sometimes less, occasionally more.
What this means is when my power comes back on I set a timer. I typically get at least 30 minutes so I start my 15 minute checklist.
- Turn on breaker for the fridge and the outlets in the kitchen. Leave off the 6 breakers I don’t need because I don’t have time or it’s too risky to use them (washing machine and dryer).
- Check all electronic equipment’s battery life including lights, phones, and tablets what needs to charge? get it charging and hope we don’t have a surge in the time we have power.
- Check all the working plumbing make sure it hasn’t frozen.
- Decide if I need to cook or shower. Can those wait? How much time do I have left.?
This is also a problem because if I can’t remain on the grid long enough for my heater to catch up or my fridge I could have more damage.
There is no time to sew and my machine and iron would put too much load on the grid causing me to get kicked before my time allotment is up.
My understanding of what is happening. We have a stable grid that must be maintained at all costs. This grid props up our infrastructure and gives critical emergency services. This part of the grid cannot fail. If this part of the grid fails it can have cascading effects that could lead to a total blackout for weeks.
Those of us rolling are placed on the stable grid as there is power available. By rolling us on and off we are putting less strain on the stable grid. If we lose power for too long the grid will still be okay. We will not cause the entire state to lose power.
Unfortunately, we have 4 million and counting who have no power. Their equipment has completely failed. They are not mission critical so their equipment is fixed when there is time.
Why is this happening?
The state was not prepared. The last time we had this happen was 1989. Some of the green energy is not cut out for this weather and froze. (I have nothing against green energy some of it just can’t operate in extreme conditions as of yet.) Some of the other types of energy sources froze because the equipment is not ready for below freezing temperatures. Give us 100 degrees and the equipment will run fine.
Our stores and gas stations within the stable grid have been able to remain open, but we are running low on gas and food. Trucks can’t get to critical areas because of the roads. Did you see the 135 car pile up we had the day before the storms hit. Stores and restaurants on the rolling grid can’t keep up, but if they are open it is cash only. UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and USPS cannot deliver either.
I took my husband to work yesterday. The roads were getting better, but still dangerous. As I type this we are getting hit again with freezing rain and snow. They say up to 5 inches till lunch. I am currently in the blackout phase of the roll. My house is keeping a steady temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above. I have food and water.
They are hoping to restore more power as we warm-up. Hopefully by Saturday everyone will be back home in the safety of their homes. To add to the further stress the rest of the Southern and Midwest states have been hit by a storm, too.