In One Piece and Only Slightly Frozen

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For those who live here, none of this is news, but we’re in the middle of a deep freeze (with an added bonus of snow/ice storm and high winds knocking out power)

I’ll write up a more detailed report of stuff in general later (I’m working from home today) but wanted to let folks who have been seeing the news coverage know that I’m one of the lucky ones.

A group of us did the “Let it Snow” bike ride on Sunday. It was snowing (we sang “Let it Snow” at the tops of our lungs for most of the ride) and we cut the ride a bit short so as not to be caught out (especially not across the bridge) when it started to stick. That was a good call as it was sticking when I finally got home from the HUB.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the “Snopocalypse PreFunk Ride” – Here we are on the one non-snowy portion of the ride on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

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The rest of the photos are available by clicking here

Sunday was a snowy night… Here’s what we woke up to

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I woke up Monday morning (normally I have Mondays off, but I wanted to work Monday and take Wednesday off instead for Thanksgiving prep work) and even though I “could” have put the truck and four wheel drive and gotten down the hill, that little voice inside my head (that I always regret not listening to) said, “Oh HELL no.”

I logged into work from home and said that due to the wet snow in the ice and the steepness of the hills I have to come down to get to the train station or freeway, I would wait until conditions improved to try to come in.

Improve they did NOT.

This bus accident happened on the hill I would have had to drive down

bus flipped over

and then the “Interstate incidents” started. One by one interstates and highways became blocked by disabled semis and spun out cars. This went on all morning, and only got worse in the evening.

Buses crashed (over 200 metro buses were disabled last night), even the trains were affected. Interstates closed down completely as people abandoned their disabled/out of gas vehicles for fear of freezing to death in the single digit (with wind chill) temperatures. Some people spent TEN hours stuck in stuck in their cards on I-5, some even had to spend the night in their cars. They were out this morning checking cars for people who might not have gotten out last night.

Of course, all the abandoned cars make it difficult for snow plows and sand/salt trucks to get around and do their jobs.

The unfortunate combination of an Arctic Blast with sustained temperatures in the teens (negative temps with wind chill) wet snow and ice was bad enough, but then another wind storm blew in. Puget Sound Energy reported 66,000 without power, Tacoma power had 9,200 and there were numerous outages reported by Peninsula and Seattle Light companies as well.

Last night was a very dangerous night to be without power and an alternate heat source.

I am one of the lucky ones. I have a freestanding gas fireplace (SO glad I put it in this summer before I needed it) gas hot water and a gas stove to cook on.

I have insulated the pipes, keep heat on in the basement, and am making sure the faucets are dripping a bit in case they do freeze so they won’t burst.

All my trees stayed upright although I’m worried about some of the smaller ones just breaking off and my bay laurel is making very disturbing creaking noises because it’s frozen. If that one comes down (not too likely) it could take my roof off the back of the house and kill the grape arbor and green house.

I kept hearing something shatter and hit the window last night. I finally realized that it was icicles breaking off the eves of the roof.

It’s not going to get above freezing for several days, and it’s supposed to be 13 degrees tonight in Tacoma. I may have to bring the chickens (who were NOT amused one bit by their first snow fall) into the basement to avoid frostbite on their combs and wattles and I’m spending a lot of time going back and forth to replace their frozen water with fresh water.

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The hummingbirds are keeping me busy rotating frozen feeders with thawed ones. Apparently I’m the only one in the neighborhood doing so because there is a major feeding frenzy going on out there right now. Those poor little guys and girls need all the energy they can get to over winter here, especially in a year like this.

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For anyone not from here that wonders why a relatively small amount of snow (compared to other places) causes such gridlock…

It’s the ice baby… the snow here is super wet and sits on top of a layer of ice.

Here’s a video taken last night in Seattle (I give a solid score of “10” to the white car doin gthe loop de loops, and I’m so glad the bus didn’t flip over like ours in Tacoma did.

If the video doesn’t imbed in your browser or reader, you can view it by making with the clicky clicky here

Yeah, it’s going to be interesting for a few more days.

Hopefully it will thaw so that I can make my trip to Norpoint and Seattle Thanksgiving morning.

I don’t plan on being a statistic (one man died on I-5 in Tacoma last night), on the news or in a YouTube video for my foolish choice to travel.

~L

Mood: Cold



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