Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How do You Spell Blizzard?

The blizzard has started in earnest. It has been lightly snowing since last night but about an house ago the snow got serious. I can't believe that I still see neighbors going up and down the street. I'm believing that soon everyone will be safely inside their homes and off the road.



Here in the American midwest we are certainly accustomed to large amounts of snow but there are events that combine to make horribly dangerous conditions. One is wind and one is ice. Luckily it seems we will be spared the ice but the wind is already picking up to dangerous levels. What happens is the wind blows the snow across the open fields and dumps it on the roads in incredible amounts. A road can drift shut within 5 minutes of a snowplow passing through. It happened to me a couple of weeks ago in conditions not nearly as severe as today's.

The other problem is that ice and heavy snow can bring down the power lines. I can tell you from experience how cold the house can get just an hour after the power is lost. Very, very cold. That's exactly why we installed a natural gas powered generator a year ago. We can't have a 90 year woman in an unheated house that's dipped to less than 30 degrees. Water pipes freeze, things get ruined and it's not a pretty sight.

The generator is a large unit that sits on the side of house, next to the air conditioner. It's hooked up to the natural gas power line and has it's own large eletrical panel in the basement. When the power cuts off, the generator is signaled, the gas starts flowing, the engine starts and all the electric switches to that panel. It's large enough to run just about everything in the house although, not wanting to tax the system we turn all unessentials off allowing easy operation of the furnace and refrigerator. They aren't cheap but neither is the damage that can be done by loss of power.

Having said that, the Other Mother is the ONLY one in the house that hasn't caught this terrible upper respiratory mess that's going around. It knocks the life outta you. Luckily, our son is on the other side and he can be in charge of trying to keep up with the snowplowing.

We've got plenty of food, some wood for the fireplace and some brandy to keep us warm. For those of you in other parts of the country that are in the path of this storm - BE SAFE!!! An extra gallon of milk is not worth risking your life.

For those of you who won't been affected by this storm (YOU know who you are!!), stayed tuned. I'll be giving you a blow-by-blow account and maybe some video too.

Check back frequently because I've got some interesting storm stories, including my experience through Chicago's worst ever snowstorm in recorded history.....1967 style.



10 comments:

Susan said...

Suzanne, I've been thinking of you today. I think the brandy will do the most good. Hopefully the lights will stay on and you won't need the generator. How fortunate you have one though. Be safe. Susan

Mari said...

We are getting the freezing rain...oh this nasty ice. Pretty scary. I am home bound and praying our power doesn't go out...not sure what I'd do.

Mary Rex said...

I have been checking the hourly forecast, because if we get ice we nearly always lose power. I have been looking at generators on-line today. It looks like we will be OK though, it is warming up! Good luck braving the storm...I am glad to hear that you have lots of reading material and brandy, not to mention a Farmer to snuggle with;)

Terri said...

We've been at it all day! I am guessing we are at 16 inches so far with a nice layer of ice underneath. School was out today and will be out again tomorrow. I am going to go find my brandy!

bv said...

i woke up this morning thinking of you and my cuz who lives north of you. today we see the sun for the first time in weeks. we have been under a thick layer of fog and that brings bone chilling cold....but nothing like what you have. just talking about it gives me a shiver ~~ off i go to find my brandy. stay in!
bv

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Thanks for keeping us up with this storm in your area (not sure approximately where you are? Which state at least?)
Guess we now know how many bloggers have a secret stash of hootch...

Cherrie said...

Suzanne, so glad you planned ahead with the gas powered generator. I love to bake when we get a storm in Minnesota. Stay warm and enjoy NOT being able to go anywhere.

Ang. said...

So far we have gotten nearly 25 inches. Not sure exactly when we will be able to get out. Its wickedly crazy out there!

Leslie T. said...

Yes, I know who I am, west coast slacker here. :)
You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I do hope that your household recovers from the respiratory illness soon, and that this storm isn't making your lives miserable. I'm so glad that you've got the generator. I can't imagine surviving those frigid temperatures without power.
Batten down the hatches and break the seal on the brandy. I hope that you come through it hale and hearty, with a shot glass in your hand and a smile on your face.

Vee said...

We are tucked in tight. This part of the storm reached us a couple of hours ago. It's bitter cold. It'll get windy, but we're not right out in the open as you are. You stay cozy now!