Wednesday Morning - Texas Winter Storm Update

1 Like

Thankfully only a couple of days of this awful weather not a couple of months….

1 Like

Not even Feb. 1 yet. I’ve pushed garden season back at least 2 weeks because we might get late frost or freeze.

I hate this stuff!

Everyone in Central, North and West Texas doing okay out there?
@justawhoaman

Not really. We have 16 more hours of it and have only been lucky to still have power. Branches snapping everywhere. 3/8” ice accumulation and growing. I fear something is going on as it is far too quiet here and they spare me the details. Keeping the fire burning, just in case.

2 Likes

@justawhoaman
Please keep in touch with us, okay?
I’d keep that fire going too! Bitter cold here and flooding rains earlier this past weekend.
We’re all thinking about our buds out there.

@justawhoaman
Are you melting up there yet?
Almost over (for now).

Out of power since 6:17pm Wednesday with no crew assigned yet to repair the lines. One line to our irrigation well is down but the rest is not damaged- just not powering anything, either. I have Australian finches so I stayed up all night tending the fire and have a generator going for an electric oil heater that I am moving around near the ones not close to the fire. Already cut 1” foam for the last terrible storm (10F cold) so much of the glass is covered again to preserve heat in this ridiculously poor “summer house” built by people from Houston. So much to repair here that I focused on getting the ranch up and running and never bothered with this house. (Actually, completely restored a house that I was going to use for guests but my ranch manager and his wife live there.). Typically Texas, all electric. When I can get them installed, the next project is propane generators for the two houses.

Ranch life. Always something.

When I called to report the outage, there was only 8% meters affected. They are up to 15% as of now and with melting ice (there was about 5/8” on the lines and trees) it will probably increase. We heard cracking branches all night and as the ice melts, the cracks will separate with the ice that was holding everything together. Dangerous to walk anywhere near trees right now!

4 Likes

Justa, be careful and take care of yourself and your own.

1 Like

Keep up the pioneering spirit.

I guess you do what you can, for now and let the rest wait until you have better conditions.

My friend from Wyoming scoffed at the 40ish degree weather here and decided to take a walk outside in a short-sleeve shirt (Downtown Houston). He came back with blue lips, no kidding. Said, “It really is cold out there! I walk around in freezing temps at home in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, but this is different”.

We’re thinking about you.

1 Like

Justa I just had a propane on demand generator (Generac ) installed last September and it actually failed last November. I live in SW PA and we can get all 4 seasons in one day. So this one day the temp was 50 degrees and dropped to 20 with in a couple hours. Never experienced how fast the temperature dropped before. Needles to say our generator stopped and had to call the techs and they came out and had to heat up the regulator with a propane torch😳 This regulator failed due to the temperature drop in such short time and they were making service calls all day due to this issue. Other then this “fluke” the generator has been working properly.

Side note- we kept our little portable generator as a back up to the Generac🙄

I wish you well and all the Texans experiencing this cold weather.

1 Like

Update. Still out of power. Stupid co-op electric company got so tech smart that you can’t communicate with anyone and you can’t tell if your outage report goes anywhere but a cloud somewhere in China. We have found our problem, a down line to our irrigation well meter, but no place to get anyone to hear what they need to do, what gate is open for them to access the pole, or how to get to the meter (another gate). Since there are smart meters, they know we are out of power so to even ask is an insult. (Fuming)

If I hadn’t lived through an ice storm that isolated me and a friend on the side of a mountain in 1993, I wouldn’t be so frustrated. After that storm, I put in a diesel generator, 25K, because we were 10 days without power. It was cold enough to put the food outside, in the mud room for the refrigerator items and on the covered deck for the freezer items. Water was a problem but we melted snow and, thankfully, I only had a few horses back then. The electric company kept us informed about their progress and there were shelter opportunities (not that I could get there- lots of trees down across every iced road for days).

I received a call this morning saying power was restored and hit 1 for yes and 2 for no. That is the TOTAL extent of communication with the company. It is a CO-OP, meaning you had to buy in as a member to get power, and I have 5 meters. 2.5 days in the cold doesn’t sit well with a 5x member. Apparently, I am not alone. The next time the company has a meeting, trust me, they will have so many people there to complain that we are already talking about how we are going to organize the “complaint department” in public. Otherwise, we will get nowhere with them.

So there. I had my rant for now. Thank you @Sal2lee for the recommendation. I have been running a small Honda 3000 to put a heater on my most fragile birds and staying awake nights to keep a hot fire in my fireplace. I did add a fireback this fall to increase the heat output of the fire (no wood stove or insert fit it properly) but I was able to keep my living room at about 57F most of the time. The house next door (have been waiting for a wood stove to fit its fireplace that needs rebuilding) was 43F this morning. We moved our larger generator to the well that supplies the main barns/outbuildings as it has been pigtailed to let us run the system to supply our poultry and horses with water and, as the sun came out, the solar well in the middle of the ranch is now pumping water again. (Nothing for 3 days). I still have a little water left here from my bathtub that I only half filled (stupid me) for my dogs. So that is our main problem: water. For those of you with a house that has not had one of these emergencies, that is my food for thought.

Cheers.
J

2 Likes

Friday in Austin we finally got power restored in certain parts of town. Where I live, we are still without power since Tuesday evening. The grocery store/cafe next door has let us recharge our phones, laptops etc and access internet. We’re hoping to have service by tomorrow … severe ice storms, tree branches knocking down power lines have been a big part of the problem here. I sure miss my Gizars … Thanks for well wishes and prayers :wink:

3 Likes

@justawhoaman @Margaret-W
Good to hear from both of you. I’ve been in such situation and it’s terrible!
Praying for power to be restored!

Update: late today we finally got power, and bless you for your concern and prayers. Looks like there is much to catch up on at Giza. I’m especially looking forward to the KellyEm interivew.

4 Likes

Still no power here but we believe they are working in our area. Next door neighbor who went out yesterday morning is back up, several hours ago. Not sure how they are attacking the problem- by the electric branch or by the neighborhood.

I’m so sorry for what you Texans are going through. Hang in there🙏

1 Like

Hope you have power by now Justa, rural areas suffer the most … but even in Austin it was weird, some parts only lost power for a couple of hours in the beginning, but our area was out for almost 4 days.

1 Like

Nope. No power Sunday afternoon. They are saying maybe by Monday night. Beyond frustrating. Neighbors have power but those of us with properties over 100 acres are left in the dark.

Edit- I should add that we are serenaded now by the sound of our generators no longer making a feeble attempt to keep our barely insulated TX homes (compared to my house in the Adirondacks) warm but now running all our freezers and fridges full of venison and stored food. Our permits allow us to hunt until the end of the month but our walk-in, where we hang our deer before final processing, is without electric! Like I said, time for whole house generators and one larger diesel one to run the center.

5 Likes