Ice Storm Forecast – Be Prepared

A major ice storm event (and snow) is forecast as I type this. It will affect a large swath of the country from the deep south into the northeast.

I will talk about the unique and major problems with an ice storm event. And what you can do to prepare.

Having experienced my share of ice storms over the years (of varying extents), expect two major likelihoods…

  • Impossible travel
  • Power outages

It’s simple, and obvious. When weather conditions are just right, freezing rain will rapidly build up on ALL SURFACES. It’s nearly impossible to drive a vehicle on thin “black ice”, let alone more than that! 1/8 inch. 1/4 inch. 3/8 inch. 1/2 inch! more?!!

Fuggedaboutit… You Won’t Be Driving During an Ice Storm

You will not be traveling. So be sure to get home or be home before the ice storm begins!

You WILL be risking your life if you drive on any roads during an ice storm. There will be a zillion accidents, spinouts, and people off the road. Good luck waiting for help…

Have you ever driven on ice? It’s nothing like snow! Turn the wheel and your vehicle keeps going the direction it was going… Hit the brakes and your vehicle keeps going the same speed it was going! It is a scary feeling to say the least.

SNAP… goes the Branches and Power Lines

Water is heavy. Ice is heavy. Picture a tree with all of it’s branches and limbs increasingly thick with ice. Eventually, SNAP… down comes the limbs.

And do you know where they tend to fall? That’s right – on top of power lines.

Now picture this… power lines building up ice. Bit by bit. The weight of the building ice sagging the lines. Eventually, SNAP… down comes the power lines.

Now you’re at home with no power. And it’s winter. It’s cold outside. The likelihood of quick repair is slim to none. An ice storm event is wide spread. Crews cannot even begin to work until the roads are safer to travel. You’re going to be in the dark for a longer time that you might imagine…

No Power, No Heat, No Nuttin…

Your primary concerns at home. Heat. Maybe saving the food in your chest freezer. Those who are on well water…your pump will be out. Got enough food to last a week? More?

Again, your big concern will be heat. Plan ahead for this. A quick remedy is a portable heater. I own, and recommend the “Heater Buddy” as a simple and safe heater. I wrote about it in the following article.

[ Read: Buddy Heater Runtime ]

If you have a furnace (as opposed to electric heat), pre-emptively hardwire its power source through a transfer switch. This will enable generator power to operate the furnace. I’ve done this, except it’s via my solar system battery bank and inverter.

Those with electric heat (typical in the south because it’s not needed all that often). A typical sized generator will not be adequate to fully operate most electric heat systems. They draw A LOT of electricity/power. So a portable heater is probably a better option for you.

Okay, next… Maybe you’ve got a lot of cha-ching $$ invested in food setting in your chest freezer. Don’t open it. You’ll be good for 24-48 hours. Cover it with blankets. If you have a generator, you could run an extension cord to it. Operate it for an hour, a few times a day.

[ Read: Chest Freezer or Fridge During Power Outage ]

A few other helpful things during an ice storm

Information! I advocate having a portable battery operated radio. One that gets AM/FM which is where you will find your local news and information. Some broadcast stations will still be up and running because the big guys have big generators to keep on transmitting.

[ Read: Best AM Radio for Long Range Listening ]

[ Read: Best Cheap AM/FM Portable Radio ]

Other obvious items include flashlights, headlamps, cooking stove safe for indoors, warm blankets, and… patience.

[ Read: Cooking Stove Safe For Indoors ]

The most important thing to do before an ice storm is to get home first. Pre-emptively have a solution for supplemental heat, because the power will likely go out, and it’s winter time. Safety first. Then the creature comforts.

Apart from that, enjoy the beauty of the ice storm. It is a remarkable scene. Especially when the sun comes out after it’s over. Take some pictures. Hopefully it won’t be a regular thing!

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82 Comments

  1. Been there a few times , now I just light a couple of kerosene lamps and throw another stick in the stove , plan for anything that can happen because everything will sooner or later

  2. Don’t go anywhere but be capable of going if you have to. Keep the car charged up and ice and snow cleared, and the driveway.

  3. If you gotta drive on ice, better have you some chains on and drive slow. Good timing Ken on this article

  4. Ice Storms, Whiteout Snow Storms, yeppers, been there done that.
    Will NOT be doing that again.

    Most of the time the forecast are mighty good, If-n they say it’s going to poop on your parade than it’s probably going to do just that.

    STAY THE HELL HOME!!! Why in the heck would you drive 50-75 miles on snow and ice to go Skiing down some 5000 foot hill at mach 2 and try to stop before you hit a Tree????

    Ok OK, so you’re out and about, and did not believe the Forecast, and your needing to get home to the Family. If you’ve lived in an area for more that 3 days, you should know several ways home… Right? here is a suggestion, Stay OFF the Freeways/Highways, doing 65-70 MPH with 20,000 other people will get you in deep poop very quickly.AND do NOT tell me people slow down in Snow and Ice…..

    Once home, you got to listen to Ole Ken on this, you had BEST have some supplies put up, IN THE HOUSE, for times like this…… As Nike used to say…”Just Friggen Do It”.Cause more than likely Nobody is going to show up to do it for you.

    Yes there are people out there to help, The Red Cross, Churches, Neighbors, and maybe even that Grumpy Old Fart that lives down the road…

    1. BUT!!! Just remember it took FEMA 5 days to get drinkable water to the Super Dome when Katrina hit and people were to go to safety in the Dome… Yeah Right.

      Are you willing to risk you and your family on “Help” from someone else thats also worried about their own Families?

    2. NRP, I went skiing as a beginner and mistakenly took the lift to the super advanced slope. No alternate way down, and unlike the snowy slopes in beginners, this steep hill was all ice with whoop dee-doos all over. Being a motocross racer at the time, I had to go down the slope, hit many berms, went up in the air, landed on my skis, and could not stop by the time I was at the bottom.

      Too icy to slant/angle to stop, but instead my slant turned into an out of control helicopter blade and I circled in circles for 50 feet or so, still on my feet, then I came to a final stop right in front of a lift line of people. Scared out of my wits I was going to die, and take them all down with me, I got an applause from the people in line who cheered me when I came to a dizzy stop. They thought I was a pro showing off some ski ballet….lol, I was stunned and shaken and NEVER skied downhill again! I always wondered, did I really look that professional?

      1. Stardust:
        OMG that’s a funny story, good way it turned out of course..
        
        I can just see you walking away with that “Yeppers I meant to do that” sort of walk….

        I still to this day can not understand Skiing, I mean come on….
        Go to the tallest dang Mountain you can find in freezing cold weather, Strap on a couple of waxes slick-azz sticks on your feet with two sticks with sharp points on them in your hands and head DOWN hill……
        Really????

        1. LOTFLOL ….you knew exactly how I tried to compose myself after an out of control near disaster. .. Gotta wipe my tears here, ,,,

      2. 0ldhomestearder:
        I’ll take that Horse anytime over Skiing. Worse comes to worse ya can eat that Old Horse.And yes I have eaten Horse, not really that bad.

  5. This is probably a dumb question, but I live in the south and have no experience with ice storms.

    If the power is out and you’re worried about stuff in your freezer, is there something wrong with putting your freezer items outside in the cold? In a protected location, of course.

    1. Not a good idea. Better is to put containers of water outside to freeze and bring them into your freezer.

      1. Not necessarily a good idea. Plain water freezes/thaws at 32 degF. Some things freeze/thaw at less than 32. So you can keep them cold but not necessarily frozen with plain ice. You must use salt water to get the freezing point lower to keep all your food frozen.

        1. Bill, so how would that be any different than keeping them outside? Ice in the freezer vs ice outside?

          1. Outside temps can be well below freezing. Likely are if you can freeze water reasonably quickly. If outside temps are not well below freezing or get at or above freezing during the day, then putting food outside isn’t so hot an idea (sorry pun intended). My comment was focused on freezing water outside and then putting that into your freezer not so much about being outside. Your freezer is inside your home and presumably heated, an plain water ice will not keep all of your frozen foods frozen. Ice cream for example will mostly melt. However, freeze salt water or water with RV antifreeze (non-toxic) so those freeze at say 20 degF and put those blocks into your freezer, now you can keep things frozen.

    2. We have had to this a few times ourselves. We put the food in coolers and leave them outside by the back door.

    3. Michelle,
      It is not a dumb question. Much would depend on the size of freezer. Things you need to use from refrig- freezer or freezer should be good to cook as long as ice is in them if house /area where freezer located is cool and freezer opened for short intervals rarely longer time of 4-5 days is possible. get some milk, vinegar or bleach jugs with clean drinkable water in them now and get them frozen…the fuller the freezer is the better food will keep. i have a layer of coke bottles, in bottom of, one end of mine. a metal trash can would work for a cold container outside if you need to move some things out of it…possibly to make room for ice jugs.. clean all juice or milk jugs with bleach water.. let them sit 30 min. then rinse out and fill ..should do this ASAP. in extreme cold everyone will need more than usual amount of water/heated drinks/hot soups. i would plan for 2 gallons water minimum per person for drinking/cooking. Also will need at least 1.5 gallons water per flush. prob. 2 gallons to wash dishes per day./ Dishes can be done in a pan and water used second time to flush commodes. do cooking and cleaning before you loose electricity.

  6. Lost power for 10 hours or so yesterday. Huge tree fell about a mile up the road and broke and pulled wires off the poles. One neighbor got out his Jeep and pulled the neighborhood kids in sleds over his hay fields.Some of us congregated on the road to watch and chat. Turns out we all shared a similar idea. Proof that dropping a big tree across the road just as it rises from the bottom will stop all traffic. We think about these things here where we’re all preparedness minded to one degree or another, and are all wary of strangers. Power company had to get the monster chain saw guys out to remove the tree before they could get their bucket rigs down here for repairs.
    . . . .
    Meal was cheese sandwich, potato salad from the fridge, and baked beans from a can. Yep, living the good life. When got cold in the house fired up the wood stove, moved my chair over next to it, and made hot cocoa.
    . . . .
    To walk around
    I use a 4’ U post like a cane. Sturdy, grips nicely through ice and snow, and perfect for fending off that one aggressive rooster. At my age, three legs are better than two, especially on the ice.

  7. What’s going on in Texas?! Anyone? They have an independent electric utility grid system right? Apparently it is market based and they have frozen turbines. I’m hearing reports of adjustments to $9 per kw/hr. Is this possible or true? This will bankrupt people who don’t understand it. And it will probably kill people who do, and live in an all-electric house. Terrible if true.

    1. Yes, true, Extreme failures have shut down some wells and processing plant from mechanical failure. Windmills are frozen up.. They are calling for extreme electrical frugal use thru thursday.- at a time of extreme need. . friends houses in north Tx and in south west Tx- are both expecting temps of record low with windchills of 15 below zero, BP earthwatch has a video out …
      Here in w.Tn rural area to be 17 w/ windchills tonight between zero and 8. depending on wind.. and up to 6-9 inches of ice/snow depending on source of info and hour. spitting snow for 36 hours already.. have put out dry sawdust on areas where we need clear.. Water for rabbits replaced q 3 hours thru the day… extra heat lamps for them with tarping. around enclosure…loads of fun. and it has not really gotten bad here yet.. Friend’s take… and i agree.Re: Polar Vortex. I have done the free trial, I do not want the subscription! I asked for a plan to cancel the free trial. LOL

      1. South Ft Worth here. 1.5 miles east of I-35. We’ve had power at all times. Had to use hair dryer on kitchen sink pipes this morning. We have a small electric heater running now, fireplace w/ wood for back up. Haven’t been to work since last Wednesday. Thursday morning, 133 car accident about 15 miles north of us, would have been on my way into work. Grew up in Midwest, when the forecast says ice or snow here, I call in. Not worth the risk. Warmer in Juneau, Alaska today than here. Sub-zero wind chill expected tomorrow. Another 1/4 inch ice and 2 – 3 inches of snow expected on Wednesday. Looks like another day off. 60° by Saturday and this will be over.

    2. My family is in east Texas, and have lost power once for about 12 hours due to downed power lines. Normal for there during ice storms. Doubt there is anything to the stories of rate increases and frozen turbines. My family is well prepared. They are from the Philippines so they are very resilient, and happy.

    3. NEW – In Germany, millions of solar panels are blanketed in snow and 30,000 wind turbines are sitting idle because there’s no wind.

    1. – Ken, was just looking at the picture for this article. It could have been taken about three miles from my house a couple of years ago. Temps were in the teens, Straight-line winds around 100 mph. . Just used fireplace for warming, and had power back in around three hours. Poles took about two months to be replaced.
      Just as an aside, thought folks might like to know.

      – Papa S.

  8. Watch for the invisible ice. We have wood steps off of the deck. The two lower ones I put salt on the other day, but this morning when I went out there was a layer on the upper steps from plain ole moisture I guess. Could not see it but my feet felt it! More salt, could hear the ice popping on the steps. Wishing everyone a safe few days and no electric failure for those who have it.
    hug hug

  9. Well folks, we are about to be trapped on the mountain I fear…has happened before up here. We have only got about 3-4 inches of snow so far, but winds gusting up around 25-30 mph causes it to fill up the road where it drops down below the ground level on either side. Where my drive connects to the county road has already collected over running boards deep on my 4 wheel drive pickup…and this storm is just getting cranked up.

    I have seen it over 4 foot deep in past events…I’m guessing it’s gonna beat that this time. I don’t have the equipment to dig through it and normally takes the county road crews several days to get around to us after an event ends…….

    That’s just another reason to make sure you can hunker down in relative comfort during these events…………..

  10. No one is talking crap about California today. Told wife I was going to wash the dog (with heated water). She told me no. It’s too cold; would be cruel. It’s 71F and bright sunshine.

    1. Tmac:
      Ahhhhh hell buddy, we can ALWAYS talk “crap” about California.
      Butt I’ll admit, y’all are finally going to do something about your Communist Governor???
      Or will he lie,cheat, and steal his way out of this, with P’s help of course.
      BTW just took a walk with Blue, 8 inches of new snow and 28 degrees, wacko dog lays down rolls around and eats the snow… LOLOL gata love a Lab.

  11. I was living in Alaska during an ice storm and we traveled 50 miles to go get my wedding dress and Old man’s suit. Well the bridge had black ice and someone turned in front of me down a side road and I had to brake. Nothing I did after that mattered. I slid down the road, which happened to be a bridge, on the other side and hit another car at 40mph. I had a concusion and old man had a collasped lung and broken ribs when the gear shift on the car went into his ribs. We recovered and were married a week later but the honeymoon was ….

  12. I was 9 when we had a major ice storm in the month of March. We’ve had a few since, but nothing compaired to this one.
    We had no power for two weeks. Luckily dad had a new fireplace built in the house, the summer before.
    We had no generators, then.
    Grandma stayed with us since she had no heat alternative.
    Refrigerator foods were outside in several ice chests.
    Dad’s camping lantern for a light source, while we all sat around the card table, playing cards, next to the fireplace.
    Lots of mom’s stored canned goods where used for meal times.
    We’d go back to the pond and break ice for the hand crank icecream maker.

  13. Dh & were in MT during the last vortex(1980’s), and it was not pretty. We dealt with the wind chill in the minus range, frozen the doors shut on the car. The jeep with 4 wheel was the transportation to work & home. Dressing where I look like giant size marshmallow or the Michelin tire icon, and took time to dress up and then delayer when arriving at the office.
    Not fun!
    When it hit zero and no more minus weather on the way, we all sang ‘tropical heat wave’ in the office.
    Those who are in the mist of this weather, or it’s preparing to hit your area. We send you our best as we know what you are going through or soon will be.
    av/acdh

    1. Been going through this in my area also. Six to 8 inches snow. Lowest temp that I saw was 4 degrees not including wind chill. Living room window froze shut. Supposed to warm up to the low 40’s mid week.

  14. Definitely frost on the ol pumpkin…
    Plan your work,work your plan. Expect to lose power. Set up everything now while the power is still on is my advice. Possibly seal off one room to stay in and keep warm.. Even set up a tent in the room too.. less stress to deal with.
    Good luck to all that are in the path and cuddle up if ya can. Its Valentines day after all…

    1. Years ago Mom set up one room in the basement as a hotbox, with a wood and coal burning stove. If the fan on the furnace is working it will pump the hot air from that room into the rest of the house. If not, it heats up most of the basement and the room above it (living room) quite nicely. The rest of the house stays cool but livable.

    1. Three days for us without electric in Logan Co.; we had moved here in 2007, August.
      The next month, I ordered propane as I’d been afraid–got over that real fast.

  15. Texas’ grid failure could quickly morph into a public health crisis as millions freeze with temperatures near zero. 

    >>Report

    1. You are on target again, Ken. Three of our 4 sisters are without power today around the Austin area. This 6 inches of snow was ok when we lived in Ohio, but we Texans are not equipped for these issues, especially w/ an all electric home. Many of us have fireplaces but never use them for heating, just decorative. We haven’t lost power but live in a new, well insulated home & also have gas to heat & cook.

      Rolling blackouts were planned by the powers that be for 45 min without power but those plans have not worked out so our sisters have not had power since 5:30 this morning. Three major power plants across the state are shut down now, too. Headed off to make chicken& dumplings for supper. May walk to elderly neighbors w/ a bowl for his supper, too.

      Yes, Texas is in a world of hurt today.

      1. Glad to hear you can help, but I worry about those elderly people, they can’t take the cold. I would think that Texas which can be Tornadic in weather would have generators in many homes and elderly facilities. I bet you can’t find one in the whole state for sale now.

    2. NRP & Blue,

      No worries….that’s what we have the National Guard for….oops, sorry…..they’re all tied up in D.C. protecting our rulers from the riff-raff…..glad them dems have our priorities straight………

  16. Here in southern Middle TN we are getting freezing rain and sleet bouncing off the pavement. 2-4 inches snow expected around 4pm today. I am baking bread as we speak. Hubby has the generator gassed up and ready to go.

    And it’s brrrrrrrrrr cold and going down tonight.

    Chickens are huddled next to the house. Funny how they won’t go in the heated coup except to lay or roost at night.

  17. We are in SE Wa.and are in the low 20’s with about 14″ of snow on the ground , no wind. We are prepared for power outages should they occur.It would not be a crisis but it would certainly be an inconvenience. Time to fire up the snowblower and clear the drive way out.
    Stay warm all if you are in a storm situation.

  18. On gen power and errything is ok for now. Helps to have a fairly sufficient farm. Critters are all warm and dry in their designated spots. I put some extra corn out for the deer. This too shall pass. I hope each of your are safe and warm.

  19. I think a good thing to know how to do would be to be able to drain all your pipes quick if heat and power go out.
    busted pipes are a real problem, had to fix quite a few of those in Co when i was working there,

  20. So for those of you with animals, rest assured they will do better than you. My meat rabbits, chickens and sheep get no special attention during the cold weather. We have been in -10 to -20 range for about a week+. Other than thawing water every couple hours, they get no additional heat source and do just fine.

  21. Just had an emergency call from a buyer for one of our major retailers. She was at home with her husband in North Texas, without power – and one of our generators kept quitting on her.

    Long story short, they were trying to run it on propane, in near zero degree weather. I got as far as the phrase: “vapor pressure”, and she punted the phone to her husband. He had no clue either. So we left it at ‘Don’t’. Go get some gasoline.

    I wonder how many other people across the country are getting a physics lesson, the hard way tonight.

    1. Tmac
      On the side of the generator is a large warning notice that those machines do NOT run well in certain temperatures. If your machines are so marked, how in the world are they missing that notification?
      I was concerned when we were in lower temps for this area that it would not fire up. It did, guess having it in a well ventilated carport keep it above the warning label notices. I also run ours on gasoline instead of propane. fyi

  22. I am worried about my people back in Kansas, but I did invite them to visit. I really hoped they would take me up on it. It’s either be paranoid about covid and freeze, or do something about it? I get the feeling they just like to complain. If you hate the cold so much just move, that’s what I did…. Otherwise, at least be a little prepared. Winter comes same time every year….

  23. Tuesday morning update from central Texas:

    We have houseguests for the duration of outages since, for some blessed reason, we still have power. News on tv this morning said over 4 million in TX are now without power. Our church has opened fellowship hall until 6 pm as a warming center, w/ COVID precautions in place. Our neighborhood HEB grocery store will be open only from noon to 5 pm & is running on generator power. Thx for your prayers.

  24. To Ken, Thanks for the timely article and warning about the dangers of ice storms.

    I type this at 2300 hrs from the north section of the Willamette Valley of Oregon where the governor has just declared a state of emergency for this section of the state – all damage from the ice storm that hit the mid Willamette Valley on Friday afternoon. ( 2/12/21 ).

    Our power was restored to us this afternoon at 1430 hrs. ( 2/16/21 ). The last time I checked the news, there were still over 200,000 homes in this area without power. The utility workers are being imported here from other states and they are currently earning their paychecks.

    During this almost 4 days of no power, I kept a journal and wrote by headlamp of things going on around us that worked or did not work so well. This being a website for those trying to prepare for bad things happening, I hope some of what I observed can be shared with people new to this site.

    My prayers to those in Texas and the American Southern States because I know that you folks are not used to it and even if you try to get supplies to deal with ice and snow, odds are the stores do not carry it or will run out quickly. God keep you folks safe.

  25. This being a site about preparedness, I will say that Noah built his Ark BEFORE the rain began. With that in mind, we have a little buddy heater and we had at least 16 bottles of propane ( 1 lb bottles) we also have a multitude of flashlights and at least 1 headlamp per person. Day 1 was spent replacing batteries in my wife’s flashlights prior to me going to work pm shift. I also took this time before work to boil up a dozen eggs that were sitting in the fridge once the power went out. ( I still work at a hospital that has emergency generators and can operate independent of the grid.).

    Why did I choose to ignore Ken’s warning to not drive during the ice storm? I am an essential worker and I had experience driving ambulance, patrol cars and small fire engines in my younger years. Staying home is not an option for me. I have studded tires on my well-maintained 2WD truck and I have the equipment to de-ice my windows. I have nutrient dense snack foods and drinks in my truck. Most important, despite my asian heritage, I drive like a little old lady on roads of questionable traction. I have driven on ice before as I used to go skiing quite a bit. ( mostly cross-country)

  26. The aftermath of 4 days without power:

    #1 My wife will finally allow me to purchase a chainsaw of my very own. I have a new hobby of tree trimming and bucking up downed branches and we lost 2 birch trees.

    #2 She will never give me grief for the pyramid of canned food I have stored in the garage. ( bigger than my stack of TP…We got both ends covered).

    #3 The “Little Buddy Heater” is now my wife’s Best Buddy. As long as you got bottles of propane for it, it almost takes the sting out of sitting on a cold toilet seat in the morning before work. If this blackout continued more than 4 days, she just might run off with the heater and leave me with the cats, dog and BBQ grill in a cold house.

    #4. We did not see or hear about any crime so much as people were just trying to:

    A. survive or
    B. obtain more supplies.

    The stores that were open were limiting purchases of propane, gas cans, fire wood. There was no bread, ( we ate crackers ) the dairy case and meat case were closed at the grocery store. We still had hot water and we have a gas range in our home. We ate a lot of canned food and boiled eggs.

    1. Welcome back Calirefugee and Papa Smurf! Your input on what went well and what went poorly is very welcome! TX and Oregon seems to have taken quite a winter punch. Some of our NH Linemen are already in the South repairing lines.

      Crime issues I’ve noticed seem to drop a bit when it a “We are all in this together” attitude. Might be from the “Community Watch” as folks are taking care of each other. However once it seems that I don’t have and YOU do Jimmy Slickfingers comes out. Showed up in Katrina pretty hard. So keep aware and don’t give them easy pickings like Lauren’s story about a walk by 36 roll Toilet Paper snatch. Having a “Missing” 20 pound propane tank when you try to fire up the grill is a pain.

      I am praying that good community relations will prevail for both of you and supplies shortages don’t end up a criminal activity. I’ve seen neighbors here in NH lose firewood to new Flatlander neighbors who didn’t see it as a “problem” they NEEDED the firewood and you had a lot so…. It was NOT a Nor’easter storm or anything, just a typical NH winder day.

      Sad part if they ASKED the neighborhood would have Found them some firewood. NOW….

  27. – We finally have power and internet back as of today. Talked to youngest daughter today, she had no cell phone or landline until today. Also, no power issues.
    DW has decided she prefers Kero-Sun kerosene heater to fireplace for auxiliary heating. Light the thing (outside) and we have the whole house at 62 until about 12 hours later. Little butane stove made breakfast and coffee/hot chocolate.
    Biggest problem? Twelve-year-old boy didn’t comprehend why water was dribbling, and shut it off. Wouldn’t have mattered anyway, as power outage would have shut it off anywho. Essentially whole town has frozen waterlines.
    We’re fine here, although if you were to sit back and just listen, you would think it was summer. Difference would be those running motors aren’t lawnmowers, they’re generators.

    1. We have about ½” of ice and around 2” of snow on top of that. No one has gasoline for sale (either sold out or no power), so I will have to do some restocking later. Tried a lantern in the wellhouse, but after burning two little bottles of propane, we are still without. Community center is set up for warming station for those in trouble.
      We are expected to continue near-record cold, windy, and our Electrical Reliability Commission of Texas; California-style rolling blackouts.
      They are supposed to be 15 minutes to one hour. Some places have had none, others are reporting over 40 hours without power. Governor Abbot’s comment was the commission didn’t deserve to have the word reliability in their name. expect to see some shakeups there in a couple of weeks.

      – Papa S.

  28. Woke up to another 4″ of snow…added to the over 12″ already on the ground….still falling and expected to continue all day and over night…..

    I consider us blessed. We had some sleet prior to turning to snow, but no real icing. Have experienced what we consider bitter cold, -6 degrees yesterday morning, high temp was 9 above and that held steady overnight. Wind has laid, just a gentle breeze this morning.

    Spent part of my day yesterday in my side x side driving back and forth from our house to the county road in an attempt to pack the snow down enough to have continued ground clearance on our vehicles. Don’t have a snow plow or front end loader, so I can only improvise. Looks as if we may have 2+ feet on the ground by tomorrow morning, so my efforts may be fruitless.

    Been filling the chicken’s waterers in the house and hand carrying twice a day to their house. Combined the new pullets (now approaching 4 months old) with the older flock, so have 21 hens and 3 roosters in the 10 x10 house with a 10 x 10 covered run.

    Grid here hasn’t been a problem…we are blessed….y’all be safe and hang on…….it ain’t over

    1. P.S.-…..called post office yesterday afternoon to find out whether the mail was going to run up on the mountain…have a bill due first of the month I needed to get mailed….told me that the mail truck was unable to make delivery to the post office because of the roads, so no out-going mail to deliver, rural routes were not going to even be attempted.

      Forecast doesn’t call for any temps above freezing until Saturday…..then a process of partial thawing and refreezing over night for several days……gonna be awhile getting back to normal……

      Maybe Biden will announce he’s changed his mind on the pipeline and all this will go away……..

      Ain’t complaining……life is good on the mountain…..sometimes interesting…but still good

      1. Dennis: Are you related to my wife? Bills? Mail? Checks? Reach in pocket, tap bill, tap pay, present face, ‘ding!’ -Paid.

        1. Tmac,

          All my recurring bills (utilities) are automatic bank drafting, exception is a credit card that I use for all purchases (3% cash reward) and pay off the balance each month. I may have to pay it electronically this month as we may not be able to get of the mountain, or have a mail run, for over a week.

      2. Make a pipe with a little sled inside just large enough for a normal sized envelope. Run the pipe down the mountain to the nearest person who IS getting mail. Make arrangements for them to put it in their mailbox. Problem solved in perpetuity.

  29. Wish I had better news for those who are in the states which are freezing. Another storm is approaching off the west coast due in that section tomorrow(Thursday). Then moving down your way from what I heard on a news posting this morning.
    Sorry it is not over yet.

  30. Map on FoxNews shows 73% of the country is under snow. And the dark cold years of this GSM are still 7 years away.

      1. Ok, Kulafarmer……..you’ll be getting a package soon….chiggers and ticks….they’ll be frozen…don’t worry though…they’ll do just fine when they thaw out…you’ll love ’em

        1. Ha !

          Dennis and Mrs U wherever you are,,

          Can you imagine how much worse, and long running this cold weather will be when gates lets his climate modification program loose!

          Holy crap is all i can say.

          there will be unintended consequences for sure, cool the atmosphere by 2 degrees or more and there will be snow year round in many places.

  31. Reply to NHMichael: Yep, the community pulls together in times like this butt many people who “help out for free” by hauling away broken branches and downed trees are also: casing your place or scouting for supplies for later. I have seen the same thing in California where people help out in order to gain trust then return to steal the contents of the jewelry box on your wife’s dresser.

    I pray for the people in Texas because something like this is to be expected in Oregon and Washington. Residents are better prepared because the stores carry products like Sorel Pac boots and yak tracks as an example. Texas and California, it can be difficult to obtain these items UNLESS you go to a store run by rednecks that travel to the mountains in order to hunt. ( Napa Auto parts in CA carried snow chains and cables where another auto parts store that dealt with the young hot rod crowd did not know what chains were used for/ thought I was looking for the Adult Shop because i came in asking for chains).

    I was one of those Californians that went hunting and a fair amount of winter mountaineering in the Sierras in my younger years. I have seen bad things happen in my day job at the time.

    1. Same folks that robbed others during CA fires and Katrina’s flooding are still around.

      Helping others is generally a sigh of a good person but Sociopath’s are GOOD at faking it.

      That’s why knowing your neighbors is so important. Sociopath’s DON’T do Relationships well.

      Going to get interesting with the next storm so close behind.

      Prayers for all in it’s path and for wisdom.

  32. Constructive comments of what we had on hand when the power ran out for almost 4-24 hr days: #1 lots of cold weather gear to include long underwear, fleece jackets and pants, down jackets and gore-tex jackets and pants. #2 Clean, dry and warm bedding: We have some sleeping bags butt my wife has enough down throws that we did not need to break out the sleeping bags. #3 Pet supplies to include old blankets and fleece throws. when the temps in the house dropped, I placed hot water bottles in the blankets for the creatures to snuggle in while I was at work. #4 small items that are easy to forget but make a huge difference: Fleece watch caps and gloves, socks were switched over from cotton to wool. Skin lotion was applied liberally on skin after shower. I kept a tube of chapstick on me when awake. I also keep artificial tears and allergy meds around as well due to all the wood smoke in valleys and low areas.

    None of this stuff is technical mountaineering gear. Most of this can be found in a department store in PNW where it could be difficult to find in Texas or California.

  33. Note to Dennis and Bill Jenkin’s Horse: Entertainment during a power outage: Our new cat is a catnip junkie and at one point during the outage, my wife tucked some catnip in my back pocket of my cargo pants. Picture a little cat attacking my backside as I drift off to sleep.

    My revenge: I sprinkled some catnip on top of the bed spread as my wife slept. Payback can be pretty funny.

    Dennis, I will not accept a package from you…EVER. tick and chiggers is just wrong!

    Bill Jenkin’s Horse: I forgot what you named your new barn cats-turned house cats: Chaos and Disarray?

    1. Calirefugee,
      Chaos and Turmoil are those troublemakers names.
      Just got back in from taking the dogs outside.Found the cats sleeping in the dogs comfy chair. The dog gives me the look like are you taking care of them or do I need to handle it? Geez,I don’t even sit in my own chair anymore!
      At least I didn’t fall down and break my neck(or anything else) when I let the dogs out…

  34. Well, shankies, Scoobie.
    With all this winter weather, in unsuspecting states, you can guarantee that:

    Wood stoves and accessories will be harder to get.

    PVC prices will go up as fast as OSB.

    All electrical providers will need their cut, thru you, the consumer.

    All building materials….again will rise.

    Home owners insurance will increase, as they always do, no matter what state, the structural damages.

    Secondary heating sources.

    Camp fire wood.

    Nat. gas, propane, oil, all fuels.

    Food, livestock feed, scripts, med care, dental….

    …life in general, will increase.

    Don’t let a good crisis go to waste.

    Squeeeeze the turnip.

    1. They’ll use this as an opportunity to determine preparedness, and eliminate the items that allow more people to be prepared. Wood stoves will be made illegal, cash will be eliminated, wood cutting will be curtained or eliminated, etc.

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