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WestCoastGal

This is bad. Ft. Worth is having rotating outages.

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WestCoastGal

Just read a post from a fellow member on another forum who lives in the Ft. Worth area. Said his outdoor temp was at 6F and their utility was saying rotating outages were starting and asking for conservation. He just posted he lost power and his house heat had been set to 62F which to me is already pretty cold. Apart from devastated landscaping, concerns over frozen pipes (let your water drip in your sinks), now we have real concerns about people loosing power/heat and getting so cold inside they get sick on top of covid rates high. Heart goes out to all of you in this freeze.

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PricklyPearSATC
1 hour ago, WestCoastGal said:

Just read a post from a fellow member on another forum who lives in the Ft. Worth area. Said his outdoor temp was at 6F and their utility was saying rotating outages were starting and asking for conservation. He just posted he lost power and his house heat had been set to 62F which to me is already pretty cold. Apart from devastated landscaping, concerns over frozen pipes (let your water drip in your sinks), now we have real concerns about people loosing power/heat and getting so cold inside they get sick on top of covid rates high. Heart goes out to all of you in this freeze.

My friends' lasted 10 minutes.  Hope and pray they can keep them short. 

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jwitt

Be thankful for natural gas! 

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JohnAndSancho

My power company sent me the same text (I'm between Houston and DFW)  

 

Fortunately I manage a hotel so I put rooms aside for myself and volunteer staff. 

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Darold Petty

For persons not on a municipal water system (most, in the countryside) electricity is necessary for the well water supply, no juice, no flush !  :( 

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romeyjdogg

I'm in FW and luckily we've had power all night. Temp is 4° here right now and we have an outdoor hose bib that is frozen solid. The line runs through the unheated, uninsulated garage (garage temp 32°), so I'm guessing the line is frozen all the way up to our main branch. We tried for 4 hours last night to get it unfrozen, but no luck. Worst case it thaws out on Friday and leaks all over. Good times!

 

My Sabals and JxB are wrapped to the gills with lights on them, but there's no way they make it through this.

PXL_20210214_002037667.jpg

Edited by romeyjdogg
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Keys6505

Just south of Houston and had no power from about 3-3:45 and again from 4:45 until just a few minutes ago at 9:20.  My house got down to 58 and even worse my upstairs furnace broke 3 days ago so I'm trying to heat the whole house on 1 zone.  Pool equipment is completely unprotected (yet I spent 2 days wrapping palms.  Priorities..) Forecast had us at 27ish this morning and instead it ended up being 18 with a wind chill of 2.

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Keys6505

Aaaand I spoke too soon because it just went out again..

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chinandega81
1 hour ago, Keys6505 said:

Aaaand I spoke too soon because it just went out again..

Is this localized or all throughout your area? Do most homes in your area have a fireplace for warmth? Are there shelters or warming centers open? This is insane.

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necturus

Centerpoint, the major power company in Houston, said 1/4 of their customers are without power. This is not from rotating outages but line damage. They have said to be prepared for sustained outages.

Fireplaces are a mixed bag - I know some newer homes have them, but a lot of older homes in Houston do not. Fortunately, there are a lot of shelters and warming centers open.

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NOT A TA
1 hour ago, JohnAndSancho said:

Fortunately I manage a hotel so I put rooms aside for myself and volunteer staff. 

Are you preparing for the hotel to be full for a week or several?

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RJ
2 hours ago, romeyjdogg said:

I'm in FW and luckily we've had power all night. Temp is 4° here right now and we have an outdoor hose bib that is frozen solid. The line runs through the unheated, uninsulated garage (garage temp 32°), so I'm guessing the line is frozen all the way up to our main branch. We tried for 4 hours last night to get it unfrozen, but no luck. Worst case it thaws out on Friday and leaks all over. Good times!


My Sabals and JxB are wrapped to the gills with lights on them, but there's no way they make it through this

Sabals took multiple single digit days in 2018 up in North Carolina with zero protection. If they’re established most will make it . 

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JohnAndSancho
1 hour ago, NOT A TA said:

Are you preparing for the hotel to be full for a week or several?

Yup. Just placed a huge Sysco order. Hope they're able to run tomorrow - if not I'm screwed. 

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AnTonY
3 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

Just south of Houston and had no power from about 3-3:45 and again from 4:45 until just a few minutes ago at 9:20.  My house got down to 58 and even worse my upstairs furnace broke 3 days ago so I'm trying to heat the whole house on 1 zone.  Pool equipment is completely unprotected (yet I spent 2 days wrapping palms.  Priorities..) Forecast had us at 27ish this morning and instead it ended up being 18 with a wind chill of 2.

Some forecasts, the low temperature cuts off at midnight, rather than 6AM.

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Teegurr

Getting them in College Station. This is the third power outage I've gotten today. They're lasting about 20-30 minutes every time.

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climate change virginia

my family in houston had a power outage it got down to 16F down there. THATS CRAZY

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Teegurr
3 hours ago, Teegurr said:

Getting them in College Station. This is the third power outage I've gotten today. They're lasting about 20-30 minutes every time.

Out of power right now. 5th one.

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NorCalKing

Hopefully you guys have time to recover some of the heat in your homes during the times with power today. What a horrible day for our Tx friends.

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Swolte
17 minutes ago, Teegurr said:

Out of power right now. 5th one.

I am very lucky. We had no outages at all (at the southern tip of College Station) 

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Keys6505

I've had MAYBE 3 hours of electricity since 4:45 this morning.  And when the power comes on the gas pressure drops like a rock and the furnace and pool heater were sputtering out.

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JohnAndSancho

People have been calling all day long literally begging to sleep in the hallways and lobby of my hotel. I feel terrible but I just can't. Most of the city is without power, nearby cities are without power, and according to one of my 3 weather apps it's 7° - my other 2 apps say it's 11°

Edited by JohnAndSancho
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buffy
4 hours ago, JohnAndSancho said:

People have been calling all day long literally begging to sleep in the hallways and lobby of my hotel. I feel terrible but I just can't. Most of the city is without power, nearby cities are without power, and according to one of my 3 weather apps it's 7° - my other 2 apps say it's 11°

Why can't you. 

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JohnAndSancho
4 hours ago, buffy said:

Why can't you. 

Covid. Fire Marshall. Hotel owner. 

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Xenon

Just got the electricity back after almost 36 hours in the dark without cell service. Gas fireplace kept the living room around 60F but other parts of the house plummeted to 40F. Many less fortunate people without gas heating had indoor temperatures in the 30s and resorted to sleeping in cars. 

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romeyjdogg

Boil water advisories all over Fort Worth now too.

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Silas_Sancona

Just saw a tweet that parts of Houston might not have power for a few more days.. and yet i see tweets showing various downtown areas still lit up..  Sad, and crazy..

 

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Xenon
7 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Just saw a tweet that parts of Houston might not have power for a few more days.. and yet i see tweets showing various downtown areas still lit up..  Sad, and crazy...

Absolutely unacceptable. 1.5 million people in the Houston Area and 500k in the Austin Area, probably more, were without power this morning while temperatures were in the lower teens to single digits. Many people, me included, had already lost power around 2-3 AM early Monday morning. Hate to say it but the death toll due to cold is probably seriously undercounted right now. ERCOT, the energy regulator, is literally killing people by how poorly they handled this. So much for "the energy city". 

I've had power for the last 5 hours but I'm afraid it will go out again with more cold weather in the upcoming 2 days. Many people are still without power for as long as 40 hours now. Some are without potable water as well. 

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JLM

I am hearing that some people are having to burn their furniture in the fireplace for warmth. This is absolutely crazy.

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Silas_Sancona
17 minutes ago, Xenon said:

Absolutely unacceptable. 1.5 million people in the Houston Area and 500k in the Austin Area, probably more, were without power this morning while temperatures were in the lower teens to single digits. Many people, me included, had already lost power around 2-3 AM early Monday morning. Hate to say it but the death toll due to cold is probably seriously undercounted right now. ERCOT, the energy regulator, is literally killing people by how poorly they handled this. So much for "the energy city". 

I've had power for the last 5 hours but I'm afraid it will go out again with more cold weather in the upcoming 2 days. Many people are still without power for as long as 40 hours now. Some are without potable water as well. 

Whole situation is beyond mind boggling.. Completely get the fact that something like this -isn't- something that anyone would think could occur there, -at this level- but, i'd think ERCOT ( or any other major utility ) would have prepared for -any- possible scenario which could negatively effect their equipment when they built their infrastructure.. Hard to hear that entire plants ( substations? ) were getting shut down..  Won't go down a related rabbit hole but, i hope this spurs some big shifts there in a year or two..  I mean, if something like this -doesn't- move the needle..  Anyway..

In the mean time, Hoping this madness ends quickly there.. Sucks to loose them, but plants can be replaced, ..People/ animals can't be replaced.. Let alone the expense of replacing anything damaged by the cold due to the lack of electricity / Nat. Gas / Water.. Esp. while the lights in high rise buildings, those businesses currently shut down are still on. 

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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jwitt

I'll repeat myself. Ten years ago when the plains and NM had the cold in February of 2011, the natural gas also "froze" and limited supply.  The majority of NM was in danger of losing the Nat gas supply pressure.  Most homes in NM have gas and electricity for utilities. 

They shut off gas to entire cities/towns in NM to keep the supply pressure up.  Surprisingly, both national labs were not affected, just other towns .

 

With that being said, the current events in Texas are not unprecedented. In fact the same supply system went thru the same failure almost ten years to the day(ten years and 2 weeks). 

 

SAD!

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JohnAndSancho

The City of Huntsville just shut down the water plant. Rolling blackouts were damaging the pumps. I'm getting angry phone calls left and right from guests. We're gonna have to use the pool water to flush the toilets. 

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NBTX11
10 hours ago, JohnAndSancho said:

Covid. Fire Marshall. Hotel owner. 

Rules can go out the window when it’s life and death. You do what you have to do to live. 

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NOT A TA
1 hour ago, JohnAndSancho said:

I'm getting angry phone calls left and right from guests.

You could very politely tell them there's a waiting list to get in willing to pay twice what they're paying if they'd like to leave.

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Silas_Sancona
3 hours ago, jwitt said:

I'll repeat myself. Ten years ago when the plains and NM had the cold in February of 2011, the natural gas also "froze" and limited supply.  The majority of NM was in danger of losing the Nat gas supply pressure.  Most homes in NM have gas and electricity for utilities. 

They shut off gas to entire cities/towns in NM to keep the supply pressure up.  Surprisingly, both national labs were not affected, just other towns .

 

With that being said, the current events in Texas are not unprecedented. In fact the same supply system went thru the same failure almost ten years to the day(ten years and 2 weeks). 

 

SAD!

While part of the issue is definitely related to aspects of the overall infrastructure that literally failed, something -else-  might be to blame for what is happening in Texas as well. -If -  true, Wow!     ..And guess who'll likely end up footing the bill... 

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JohnAndSancho
1 hour ago, NBTX11 said:

Rules can go out the window when it’s life and death. You do what you have to do to live. 

Still have to worry about COVID. Trust me, it's a huge moral dilemma and my anxiety is through the roof. I feel like garbage but still have to follow COVID policy. 

 

1 hour ago, NOT A TA said:

You could very politely tell them there's a waiting list to get in willing to pay twice what they're paying if they'd like to leave.

Marriott policy and the state Atty General  prevent me from price gouging. I can say it but I can't actually do it. 

Edited by JohnAndSancho
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WestCoastGal

So I read that electrical utilities were being hit on the spot market for price increases as demand increased as temps dropped. What would normally cost them $25/MWh were coming in at $9K/MWh. That is just so absurd. The article I think went on to say or imply that instead of paying the price, rotating blackouts were instituted and as equipment started freezing it, blackouts started cascading. This is so unreal. The spot market issue reminds me of Enron. 
 

A few water related articles from the Houston Chronicle on frozen pipes and what plumbers are faced with: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-weather/article/plumbers-texas-pipes-burst-cold-weather-ice-freeze-15954523.php  As I was reading the article it mentioned water lines in the attic and made me think that our house here in California has that as well. We made it through the year it went down to 25F with no pipe issues. Attics are always colder than the interior house temp and never really gave that much of a thought. But a burst pipe up there would be a horrible situation although a burst pipe anywhere is bad news.

Normally it would be recommended to have your faucets dripping so the water continues to move in the pipes and not freeze. However given how many homes are impacted, people were asked to not do this as the water pressure would drop in this weather due to pumping issues and contaminates would enter it requiring boiling. See above that is happen in some places. Well this one article’s photo shows water that was flowing from a kitchen faucet literally frozen as it ran: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-weather/article/Houston-home-without-power-becomes-so-cold-water-15954455.php

 

@JohnAndSancho has the hotel had power or was it just your house that lost it? Sounds like you have a tough job there. Feel bad for the angry calls from guests as you think people would be understanding why the water wasn’t running. Sounds like you have an indoor pool there to at least get water for flushing toilets from. Gosh what a mess. As for those you have had to turn away hasn’t your city had emergency warming centers  set up people can go to?

While the days are warming up I see the nights for this week are still below freezing in many cities. Not sure how people are going to cope with this for that long. One story I read was about a family member needing oxygen and their battery needed charging. Family very upset there was no one to help and they called 911 and emergency services can to their aid, taking them to a hospital where they could charge. This same kind of health situation was a weakness here in California’s alert system during the shutdowns that left medically vulnerable people without notice or assistance. 


I’m sorry people’s palms and gardens are going to be decimated. Will be interesting to see what might survive and how this will affect what people will replant. Landscaping is such an investment though both in time, love and money. When we hit 25F I realized we had done what we could to prepare and beyond that it wasn’t up to us any more. Kind of a release. 

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JohnAndSancho
43 minutes ago, WestCoastGal said:

 

@JohnAndSancho has the hotel had power or was it just your house that lost it? Sounds like you have a tough job there. Feel bad for the angry calls from guests as you think people would be understanding why the water wasn’t running. Sounds like you have an indoor pool there to at least get water for flushing toilets from. Gosh what a mess. As for those you have had to turn away hasn’t your city had emergency warming centers  set up people can go to?

While the days are warming up I see the nights for this week are still below freezing in many cities. Not sure how people are going to cope with this for that long. One story I read was about a family member needing oxygen and their battery needed charging. Family very upset there was no one to help and they called 911 and emergency services can to their aid, taking them to a hospital where they could charge. This same kind of health situation was a weakness here in California’s alert system during the shutdowns that left medically vulnerable people without notice or assistance. 

Our hotel - ***so far*** hasn't lost power, I'm guessing because we're 2 blocks away and on the same grid block as the local hospital. 

 

Our swimming pool is outdoors, but didn't freeze over. Tomorrow, I'm going to spend my entire day filling trash cans and ice buckets so our guests can flush their toilets. I had every staff member staying on property fill their trash cans and ice buckets from our ice machines and coffee maker so we can flush our toilets. 

 

I've lived through a lot of hurricanes including Ivan, Katrina and Harvey. This sucks. But at least we're not sweaty. I'm an emotional wreck right now, but I'm grateful for my staff that decided to stay and I'm ultra grateful for the guests that realize we're doing all we can. This is gonna sound weird, but when people realize I'm in the same clothes 2 days in a row and working 18 hours a day, it helps me a little. 

 

This sucks. I want a shower, a pedicure, and a nap. 

 

All of my staff staying here noticed how dry and raw my hands are. I have 8 employees staying here with me and 8 people have given me lotion for my hands tonight. 

Edited by JohnAndSancho
Edited for my ashy hands
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ahosey01
7 hours ago, JohnAndSancho said:

Our hotel - ***so far*** hasn't lost power, I'm guessing because we're 2 blocks away and on the same grid block as the local hospital. 

 

Our swimming pool is outdoors, but didn't freeze over. Tomorrow, I'm going to spend my entire day filling trash cans and ice buckets so our guests can flush their toilets. I had every staff member staying on property fill their trash cans and ice buckets from our ice machines and coffee maker so we can flush our toilets. 

 

I've lived through a lot of hurricanes including Ivan, Katrina and Harvey. This sucks. But at least we're not sweaty. I'm an emotional wreck right now, but I'm grateful for my staff that decided to stay and I'm ultra grateful for the guests that realize we're doing all we can. This is gonna sound weird, but when people realize I'm in the same clothes 2 days in a row and working 18 hours a day, it helps me a little. 

 

This sucks. I want a shower, a pedicure, and a nap. 

 

All of my staff staying here noticed how dry and raw my hands are. I have 8 employees staying here with me and 8 people have given me lotion for my hands tonight. 

This will be kind of long and has nothing to do with people's actual lives, so it's sort of a weak analogy - but in some way I feel your pain.

I am in the technology field - I design and build the systems that run distribution networks.  This could be transportation systems, warehouse systems, material handling systems, etc.  At a former employer of mine, we had a giant, automated machine called an ASR/S, which stands for "Automated Storage and Retrieval System."  It was a huge block of steel racking that contained lifts and shuttles and moved totes full of product around.  There were 120,000 totes in it - or something like that.

After we deployed this system and went live with our building (it had been a greenfield build), we discovered that the mechanism the vendor had provided for withdrawing inventory from the ASR/S was not 1/10th as effective as advertised, so it was super impractical for us to target any one item for removal.  This became a problem when we realized that one day soon it was going to fill up - this would have shut the whole building down and cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted energy and labor costs.  We devised a workaround to pull inventory out until we could deploy a long term solution.  To support this, I created a very detailed, step-by-step guide on how to perform the workaround, which wasn't complicated.

Lo and behold - some cocky idiot in the inventory control department who thought he knew everything attempted to perform the withdrawal process without reading the guide.  Sure enough, he canceled over $300,000 in customer orders in under 5 minutes.  Every person who ordered from us that day received an order cancelation e-mail.  "Ghost" inventory - with no designated spot and no longer reflected in our system - was everywhere.  Work was shut down, people could no longer effectively perform their jobs because of the log jam that he created.  All the cancellations had to be re-boxed and processed all the way back from the beginning, if a customer even managed to re-order.  We calculated that between labor, supplies and the orders themselves, this guy cost us over $500,000 in under 5 minutes.

I worked two 18-hour days in a row, from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM, only going home to sleep a few hours in between and then come back, just trying to reconcile everything and get the building back to a functional state.  Every minute spent trying to figure out how to fix it was another minute of wasted labor and log jammed workflows.  But eventually I devised a series of solutions that - when followed across the building - got everything fully restored to a functional state and over 90% of the orders re-placed by the following day.  Needless to say, I took the following day off.  After waking up at noon or something absurd trying to catch up on my sleep - the deep and indescribable sense of satisfaction that I had felt by figuring out such a massive and expensive issue, and hustling my ASS OFF trying to fix it, was something that - to this day - I remember vividly and can still feel when I think about it.  Much as it sucks, I can imagine days like these will ultimately give you that same sense, probably at a much deeper level than me because you're actually dealing with people's lives, and one day you'll look back and feel the same kind of thing I feel about that episode in my life.  It'll probably really hit you on your first day off after this whole ordeal.

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palmnut-fry
10 hours ago, WestCoastGal said:

 


I’m sorry people’s palms and gardens are going to be decimated. Will be interesting to see what might survive and how this will affect what people will replant. Landscaping is such an investment though both in time, love and money. When we hit 25F I realized we had done what we could to prepare and beyond that it wasn’t up to us any more. Kind of a release. 

 

WestCoast, I said same when I realized the other day that I wrapped & covered all I could w/o a trip to Lowes (but who thinks a 30 or 100 + year low temp event before hand?) Many weather sites claimed this year's La Nina would keep us mild & dry. It was to an extent, up to recent. The one saving grace is that it's been very nippy @ nite, atleast here in

N. TX so the plants were still in slumber. I hear some Ash trees had big buds, esp in the Hill Country, but they'll be fine.  Coastal live oaks and many crepe myrtles will be torched. Not dead but split trunked. Italian cypress will prob get ruined and they never regrow burnt foliage once it has been damaged. What else? So many neat arboretums, Mercer in Houston, Moody in Galveston had wonderful old unusual palms! Awful to take inventory coming soon but maybe they wrapped? I also think this incredible event will be interesting to see what survives. Some of my old palms are 35+ and have never seen such a stretch of frigid except when first got them in late 80's!

I look out and feel so bad for the wild life and even my poor variegated Pitts out front that are 20 ft "trees". Will they be toast? They were a special variety dubbed "HINES HARDY"I received in trade for a plant talk I gave years ago at a new nursery an old colleague had been hired at. She gave me half a dozen 5 gal for me to use here at my "new" old house I bought. They were a grafted sport of ones that had survived the great 89-90 freezes that were similar to this week's so fingers crossed!

I think the sadder concern is for those down along the Gulf, clear to Mexico, who will surely see massive older palms be ruined if not outright killed. I know in Corpus there are many fine specimens of everything from royal palm to foxtail. What must the screwpines, philadendrons & giant exotics have been reduced to now? Cacti- succulents? MUSH

This is a modern tragedy without even mentioning the poor peeps without water or gas or power! I am so utterly sorry. Momma Nature is not fair, and makes no sense!

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amh

My area was completely cut off early Monday morning and power was finally restored today, but probably only temporarily. The  worst part is that this was not due to damage and CPS, the provider does not offer gas to my region, so no power, no heat. Today was the first day above freezing and where any ice melted. luckily I have a small generator and siphon that hopefully kept the pipes and faucets from freezing.

Okay my rant is temporarily over.

Edited by amh
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