Power is back on

So quite a bit has happened since I rage quit all my sites last week. Basically I tried to set up some self hosted stuff and I just can't get dns and ssl certs to play nice so those are now all gone. I had planned to move the blog back to the main site but nobody goes there anyway. Easier to just do stuff here.


For those who don't know I am in central Texas

So, last week I was checking the feed on my kids' weather station/meteorologist twitter account and noticed that a lot of folks were getting really worried about the incoming polar vortex storms heading our way that weekend. I decided to grab some extra food and such on Wednesday, as well as some pipe insulation and covers because they claimed we would hit zero to negative temps. We've already had a snow day this year but it wasn't nearly that cold. Also, the weather models being generated at this time were all reading way different than what the news and weather channel were showing. Like, a ten degree difference. That Thursday was a scheduled 40F and rain day. It was 30 and glazed everything in ice.

After that I realized the projected models were going to be closer to what happened than the national forecast and stuff on my phone. By Friday the roads had cleared enough for me and one of the kids to go grab some extra firewood, water, and snacks because I had a feeling we might lose power for a chunk of the day given the temps I saw projected plus the ice already on the ground.

Saturday began even colder, and freezing rain covered the streets again by the evening when the main show started. We could hear the wind and snow and sleet hitting the windows all night. When we woke up Sunday morning I noticed it was cooler in the room and my bedside clock radio was off. Power was gone. I mean, when you have a mini blizzard in Texas you expect the power to go off for a little while, right?


By evening we realized the power wasn't coming back on and all the reports from the power company were that they were doing rolling blackouts. Well we weren't on that system so we just dead ass never got power back until 11am today (Friday). For the first three days things were alright, we had the firewood and still had running water. We cooked using sterno's on the oven since we don't have gas. All the food went outside in coolers. At night we each used a space blanket between the sheets which actually were almost too hot to be under after a while even when the room is 40F.

By Tuesday things were getting iffy. We were out of the firewood I bought and all the easy to heat up foods. (I had only planned for a day or so of power loss.) Then we noticed the water start to slow down and by that evening it was off entirely. We kept the taps open in all the sinks and tubs to keep the air flow going through them. Luckily we had some spare lumber from a project I started and failed last year that we sawed up and burned. That and a few extra fence posts we kept in the garage became the heat source for Tuesday and Wednesday. Sunday night I made a stew which lasted two days, and Tuesday was heated canned chili. Other meals were the rest of the bread/lunchmeat/cheese we had as well as any fruit or snacks. Being cold makes you hungry and being 6-19 degrees for four straight days in a place that gets that cold every 30 years is a mess.

This morning we got up ready to start sawing up some thick 4x4's we found in the wood stash (most of my other stuff had paint on it and was an absolute last resort) when while getting dressed around 11am the lights came on, and stayed on. The house temp went up to 60 and we were able to take off coats and cook food on the stove properly. We then went outside to turn off the water at the street, being able to check the websites for the water company we saw they finally got power back the night before and were planning to turn the pumps on today. If it wasn't going to freeze again tonight I would have let it run but at this point I'm exhausted and gross and would rather have proper working water when its had a chance to get up to pressure and my pipes thaw out. We also shut off the breaker on the hot water heater since folks said that if that's on while empty it can burn up the elements.

Had we known the power would have been out for four days straight I would have bought more firewood and instant meals. We normally have ramen and canned soup in the house but for some reason we were out this time (Trying to eat more fresh stuff that requires more prep and cooking). Also, after this is over we need to go buy a little propane camp stove. Even if we HAD any charcoal (I normally buy it in the spring when I start smoking meats and such) I couldn't get to the grill in the back yard due to an inch and a half of the worlds slipperiest ice coating the entire slab. Even the dog had trouble on it.

So at this point we've had power back for 12 hours now. Hoping it stays on overnight but you never know. Lots of folks had it way worse than us. We're only low on drinkable water at this point but some people ran out of food after two days and several left the neighborhood (ones who didn't have a fireplace or camping equipment) to go to other towns which had power. The roads are hardly passable, while turning off the water we watched a few try to go down our frozen street, wheels spinning faster than the car was going. I know folks are against Facebook and social media but honestly if it weren't for those local fb groups and neighborhood groups several people would have been way way worse off. Local shops offered heat and water if they had it, if you could get to them, and several of the gas stations and grocery stores finally opened up today with limits on things. We will wait till maybe Sunday or Monday to venture out for supplies, let those who had it way worse than us get some stuff first.