Friday, February 12, 2021

Winter Storm Coming My Way - But I think I'm Ready


I'm about to hunker down for some serious reading  because it's really getting cold out there - and very windy - for this part of Texas. I just came inside from checking to see that all the outside water lines and faucet heads are still wrapped and well-insulated, in fact, and now I'm warming up next to a small space-heater. From what I understand, this part of the state has gone into single digits temperature-wise only three times since records of that sort of thing have been kept. Well, right now they are predicting that Spring, TX, is going to go down to 7 degrees on Monday. For Austin, they predict a temperature of 1, and for College Station, where my granddaughter is a Texas A&M student, they predict 3 degrees. On top of that, the weather service is telling us that we all have about a 70% chance of snow on three separate days next week. 

Sound like fun, right? The only problem with all of this is that pipes in this part of the state often freeze and burst here at temperatures considerably higher than those because the houses here are not insulated like they are in the northern states. When a similar winter storm came through here in December of 1989, so many pipes burst and flooded homes that it was weeks before enough new pipe could be found to make the tens of thousands of repairs needed. And that was if you were lucky enough to have a plumber even answer the phone for a couple of weeks. So, this could be a huge mess before it's all over - and that's before all the amateur-winter-condition drivers hit the roads as if all is normal. Already, there's been a 20-car pileup in Austin and one of over 100 vehicles in Fort Worth.  Yep, fun times are just ahead. 

But I'm ready. I picked up, via curbside service, a week's worth of groceries this morning before heading out to the library for a pick-up there of a week's worth of new books. So as long as the pipes don't burst, we are good.

The library surprised me this morning with Burrows, the second book in Reavis Wortham's Red River Mystery series. It's the "Large Print Edition," but these days that is more a help than I ever dreamed it would get to be, so that's a good thing. Also in the bag was a copy of one called The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez, an Argentinian writer I've never read. I can't remember who or what tipped me off to that one, but it sounds really good so I'm looking forward to reading it even if it will be a while before it hits the top of the stack. 

Now back to the four books I'm already reading. Stay warm.

16 comments:

  1. Yikes- I hope you don't have to deal with busted pipes. I've had plumbing leaks and they are not fun at all. We're getting ice/rain and snow again this week too, but our lows aren't below twenty (one of my pipes tends to freeze if it goes below 18 degrees). I'm more concerned this year about weak tree branches coming down from the weight of ice. There's a few too close to the house . . . While I feel restless with the bad weather not being able to work outside, it does give a good reason to just curl up with books all day!

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    1. The only thing that worries me much is the good possibility that we will be dealing with water leaks all over the house in a few days. I clearly remember the similar storm that hit in the eighties and how the leaks kept showing up one-by-one as various sides of the house finally thawed out. It was a mess, and plumbers were King. Good luck with your own cold weather; I hope you make it through unscathed.

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  2. You take care, Sam. Fingers crossed for your pipes and so forth. Glad you got your groceries in, best batten down the hatches and stay put. It's not like you aren't used to that at the moment! And as long as you have books you won't be bored. It's just those wretched pipes...

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    1. It all starts late on Sunday night, Cath. Monday will be the peak of the freeze, whatever it turns out to be. Latest forecast shows a low of 10 degrees F is expected, so we're up 3 degrees...looking for any source of optimism at this point. :-)

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  3. We don't have this kind of weather very often. My husband has taken the necessary steps concerning faucets, etc. The last time we had this kind of weather was in 1983, when the Red River froze. I think we are prepared, and we have a generator, but this is going to be a mess for us folks in the South who are not accustomed to these temperatures. Bundle up, Buttercup! If it hits the predicted lows, we are going to have problems.

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    1. You're considerably north of me, Jen, so I hope you make it through without any problems. Maybe homes are better insulated up there? I hope so. They are doing a better job on insulation down here now, but we had this house built in 1999, and this will be our first real test of extremely low temperatures. It will be interesting one way or the other to see what happens. Good luck.

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  4. Fingers crossed you weather this storm without any pipe mishaps. Stay warm and happy reading! :)

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    1. We'll know in about 72 hours, I suspect, although this kind of leak has been known to show up days after the freeze because of the stress a hard freeze can put on the water lines. Thanks...I'm turning pages and trying desperately to stay one step ahead of my grandson on his calculus class so that I can help him out when he gets stuck. Sometimes, though, I wonder who is teaching whom.

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  5. Sounds like you are all set, no matter the weather!

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    1. We've got no real reason to go out on the roads for the next several days, Nan, so if it weren't for the prospect of bursting pipes, this all would be a piece of cake for us. We'll likely lose a few plants, but were considering changing some changes anyway...now we may have a perfect excuse.

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  6. The weather across the country has been terrible. Here we are looking at 4-5 days of snow this coming week. I'm good too full freezer, frig, shelves stocked and library pick up today as well. Hope your pipes survive the chills.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. Good luck to you, too. I cringe when I hear on the news that so many people are losing power/heat right now. That must be awful. We have a working fireplace that has been converted to gas logs, but that means...fake logs...fake heat.

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  7. I'm so glad I moved away from the frozen pipe fiascos-- and I certainly hope you and yours don't have to deal with any. You're well-provisioned. Hunker down where you're safe and warm-- and read, read, read!

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    1. You would think, Cathy, that builders here would spend the extra money to insulate houses...and place the plumbing differently...that would keep this kind of thing from happening once a decade or so. Seems like it would be a great selling point for anyone who's ever experienced it and its aftermath.

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  8. Yikes! Sounds like you're well prepared, but still! Take care and stay warm.

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    1. We've managed pretty well to this point, JoAnn, by just staying in. Because this is a holiday anyway, schools are closed, etc. so the roads haven't been the complete catastrophe they could have been.

      We do have one pipe frozen right now on the northeast corner of the house that I'm going to keep my fingers crossed on. It only got down to 16 last night, and we're looking at 9 or 10 tonight, so it will probably not thaw out until late tomorrow afternoon at the earliest.

      We've been lucky as to still having power and heat. So many of our friends don't have either right now...and some 100 miles north of me are looking at frozen swimming pools.

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