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20 February 2021

I survived the Texas Freezocalypse [More:]Coming through the other side, I am unscathed.

But early in the week it wasn't so assured.

Sunday night and Monday morning, my outdoor faucets froze despite having weather covers on them. I thawed them out each time with a hairdryer. After that I just turned them on to a trickle and let them run.

We lost internet for a good chunk of Monday, got it back later that afternoon.

We worried Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, that our pipes would freeze or we would lose power or the pipes would burst or whatever. We were worried the water would be cut off or that it would be compromised and we would need to boil it. We let the faucets indoors trickle too. We ran our dishwasher and clothes washer at night hoping the lines wouldn't freeze. Luckily for us, none of that happened.

With continuous power we were okay. We had food and the water never stopped flowing.

My son and his wife weren't so lucky. They didn't have power for much of Monday through Thursday. It would come on for a while, then shut off again. Thursday, the water line for the ice maker in the fridge, which was run through their attic, burst. My son heard it and shut off the water immediately so there wasn't too much water damage. They were fortunate to get a plumber out Friday and didn't suffer any further leaks in the meantime. Still, they feel fortunate. Their house remained livable.

A friend of mine who lives about a mile away, lost power and it was off for about 4 days. He and his wife stayed in the house even though the temperature got down to almost freezing. They're big campers and had sleeping bags and clothing to keep them warm. They also have a bunch of cats so they didn't want to leave them alone. Their power eventually came on and they're okay too. I have a dozen or more other friends with similar stories.

My friend Joel Burns, yes that Joel Burns, suffered major damage to his meticulously restored, hundred year old house when the pipes over his kitchen broke. Unfortunately, this repeated hundreds and thousands of times in the region.

If you have a few extra bucks these days, kick them in to one of the many relief funds for the state. Many people are going to need a lot of help to put their lives back together. For a few days there, Texas was a third world country.

Today has been beautiful. It got up to nearly 60 degrees and the snow is mostly melted. I survived and for that I am grateful.
So happy you and yours got through this reasonably OK. Your friends, I can relate, I have thought about what I would do about our cats in a dire emergency.

With temps up near 60 here is hoping it is the last time you will have to deal with this this year.
posted by arse_hat 21 February | 01:36
I'm glad you made it through, but so sad for everyone who's struggling. No-one can be criticised for not having their homes prepared, because this is so outside the norm - why would you have insulated your home, plumbing, etc. to the standards of a cold northern climate when you live in a southern state? Climate change will continue to wreak havoc on our world, sadly. I hope your son is insured for the damage.

We are having lovely spring weather, and I wish I could take advantage of it but I sprained my ankle on Thursday evening so I'm confined to the sofa for the next couple of weeks. I managed to re-fill the bird feeders this morning but my foot is hurting like hell now, so I'll rest up for the remainder of the day.
posted by Senyar 21 February | 08:12
I hope your ankle stops giving you so much pain soon, Senyar.
posted by Doohickie 21 February | 11:22
Thanks. I'll miss my walks in the forest for the next few weeks though.
posted by Senyar 21 February | 15:01
I'm happy to hear that you and yours have been fortunate to get through this. It's like so many weather disasters; it arbitrarily impacts folks; and one's available resources are limited to what's on hand plus your coping abilities.

Thanks for the update. Sending hope and hugs.
posted by mightshould 22 February | 08:21
I worried through the big weather event, though I'm in Maine and we were fine. A friend lost power; she and her 90 year old Mom got by for 36 hours with lots of hot beverages from the gas range, hot water bottles, and the gas fireplace. I'm glad you all made it through.

January was warmer than usual, February has been cold. The wood stove I rely on for supplemental heat damaged itself by over-firing and am not using it unless there's an emergency. The heating system is wonky, so I spend my time upstairs, where it's not very wonky, and I'm tired of these walls. The view includes a pair of squirrels and plenty of trees.

But today it's 40F! There was a big glowing orb in the sky for a while. Ice is melting. It will get cold again, but this is a pleasant respite, so I am going for a walk with a friend, who, I hope will meet me at the car repair place and give me a ride home.

My pandemic splurge was a new down jacket. I found the shell that was missing (buried in the car, too much stuff), I bought a new hat that fits okayish, and am better equipped for the cold. The jacket is a medium gray-blue, the shell (rain jacket) that goes over it for more warmth is bright red; this is imperfect, but I will be stoic.

posted by theora55 23 February | 13:37
And there it is: I *did* break a pipe. In the sprinkler system. I think the leak is stopped with the system shut off at the main valve. I hope.
posted by Doohickie 25 February | 21:44
I was googling interpretations of 'Running up that hill' || SARS-CoV-2 upside.