Blog, Family, Mountains, nature, snow, Weather

Hoping for Restoration

Day 68

Day three with no power. We can do without the lights. We have flashlights. We have cold weather clothing and blankets galore so staying warm is relatively simple. But we are on a well and septic. No power means no pump so no water and no flushing toilets. This is the main reason we have a generator. The generator only powers some of the outlets so even running it we do not have hot water, a stove or a microwave. We can use the toaster oven and the tea kettle while we have the generator running and we can run the furnace enough to take the chill off the house and run the water and flush the toilets.

I have intermittent cell service on my phone, but hubby has none. Our WiFi is up so we can access it while the generator is running which means a few hours a day. I am rushing to get this update done while the generator is running.

Today we have ice and black ice. Everything that started to melt yesterday is now frozen because our temperatures dipped below freezing last night. After the ice melts, we are going to our daughter’s house (a little over an hour from here) so we can shower and get into some clean clothes. That will feel wonderful!

IMG_8015Yesterday afternoon when we drove back home we were astounded at all the tree damage. Being cut off, we had no idea how the storm affected the area around us. Huge limbs are broken off the trees and many trees are uprooted — a witness to the previously saturated ground and the heavy snow.

There were power trucks out everywhere with tree people following in bucket trucks. The trees must be cut before power can be restored. We actually drove under one tree stretched across the road and lying on the power/cable lines. 😳 There are still 3,000 people in our county alone without power. Duke power is saying power will be restored by 5:00 pm Friday. Individual outages may be restored before that time so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

IMG_7971
20 – 30′ Dogwoods Bent over Touching the Driveway

From the little bit of news we read, the storm hit this area pretty hard. Our snow accumulation was not much, but the snow was SO heavy, the trees fell under the weight. Our dogwood trees suffered greatly with huge branches broken out of the tops of the trees. Our cedar trees lost limbs as well.

The large stands of bamboo that frame the roadways were all lying down and much of the bamboo was split and splintered. It was a sight to see.

We have still had no fuel delivery. Neither have most of the people living here. Yesterday when I spoke to the company, he said they had attempted 10 deliveries and only one was successful. This area is hilly and those huge trucks cannot make it up these hills with ice and snow. It just isn’t safe. We are looking at possibly Wednesday before they will attempt to deliver fuel.

We are so fortunate because we know the storm has taken lives. That is humbling when you think you have it rough so we are thankful and blessed. We have also been able to touch base with family to let everyone know we are okay. It’s the little things that are the most important.

 

Blog, Mountains, nature, snow, Weather

Still No Communication

Day 67

It is Monday and entering day two with no power. We are rationing our fuel so we slept all night with no generator and therefore no heat.

Staying warm in bed is so much easier than when awake. I have flannel sheets, a blanket and a down comforter. I also slept with a sleeping bonnet which helps immensely. I stayed toasty warm all night.

The outside temperature is hovering around 38 degrees F. It has been warm enough to melt the snow off the trees, but the driveway is an icy snowy mess. We have a weather radio but the broadcast last night must have been more geared toward Asheville than the foothills because we did not have the weather they predicted.

We have had no contact with anyone since Saturday evening so we have no idea how our family up around Asheville fared as well as our families in Virginia and Tennessee. We also do not know how our people who are ill are doing. That’s the hard part.

The sun is trying to peek through the clouds. If the temperature warms up, we may try to get out and see if we can pick up WiFi or cell signal somewhere. I called last Thursday to get our fuel tank refilled, but no one came so it is getting precarious.

NOTE: Everything still out at our house. We finally got dug out and drove until we had cell signal. Uploading from the parking lot at the grocery store.

Blog, Mountains, nature, snow, Weather

No Communication

Day 66

Well, the storm blew through last night. It started snowing before I went to bed, but most of the snow came overnight. Heavy wet snow – the kind The Weather Channel refers to as heart attack snow.

The wind woke me up this morning. Hubby was already up. Our power flickered on and off last night but finally went off around 6:00 am. We are fortunate to have a generator and a propane furnace so the house was nice and warm. The temperature hasn’t gotten any higher than 32 degrees F — freezing.

In addition to losing power, our cell tower is down as well as our Spectrum connection which provides our internet. So, no connection to the outside world.

The snow is very wet and heavy. Tree branches were so weighted down they were touching the ground. I am afraid we lost some branches from our dogwood trees that frame the driveway.

We took some pictures before hubby went outside and left footprints in the snow. He put all the bird feeders out and we have had swarms of birds ever since. This kind of snow makes it difficult for them to find food.

Seen at the bird feeder today:

  • Mourning Dove
  • Blue Jay
  • Cardinal
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Wood Thrush
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Red headed Woodpecker
  • Gold Finch
  • House Finch
  • Dark Eyed Junko
  • Carolina Wren
  • Nuthatch
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Chickadee

[I blogged about how my grandmother used to go outside after heavy snows with an old straw broom. She swept the snow out from under the forsythia bush and put out oatmeal and bread crumbs for the birds.]

Hubby then knocked snow off all the drooping limbs that he could safely reach. We do not have a landscaped yard. Most of the trees and bushes are natural landscape but we still hate to lose any of them.

We will turn the generator off soon and save fuel. I made a thermos of coffee and put water in our individual thermoses. It will be a good time to take a nap.

The only downside to having no connectivity is that we have family and friends who are ill and at this moment, no one can reach us.

(I am writing this blog entry knowing I will not be able to post until we have power. I want to continue to blog every day — regardless.)

Blog, Mountains, nature, snow, Weather

Winter Storm Warning

Day 64

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday was just beautiful and tonight we are preparing for a substantial winter storm. We are prepared for the possibility of snow, ice, and power outages according to the weather predictions — but I am putting the positive energy out there and am expecting to maintain power and WiFi.

No Stranger to Cold Weather

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Photo from Winter 2016 to 2017

I have lived in Alaska and Maine, so I am familiar with winter weather. We normally do not get a lot of snow where we live, but they are predicting the possibility of 12-18 inches now so we will see. The predictions have changed daily, so we are waiting it out.

We have plenty of provisions. I am soaking some dried white beans so I can make either just some ‘soup beans’ or maybe a Pasta e Fagioli (a new recipe for me) so we shall see. Hubby is grilling some chicken breasts right now, so tonight we will have a nice grilled chicken salad and perhaps I will make some chicken salad with the leftovers.

In Alaska, it was not unusual to have temperatures below zero. Ice fogs were a common occurrence. Most houses had head bolt heaters (very few people had garages when I lived there) so they could plug their cars in at night increasing the chance the car would start the following morning.

In Maine, it was cold and snowy — lots of snow. I was not a fan of shoveling snow multiple times a day and scraping ice off my windshield. Thankfully being retired we do not have any requirements to go out in the elements.

The Weekend

So, the snow accumulation predictions continue to fluctuate. Our daughter just texted us to tell us Jim Cantore is coming to Asheville for the storm. Rut Roh Scooby! If you are a frequent viewer of The Weather Channel you know this means they expect the weather to be bad. Asheville is about 40 miles from here and the elevation changes quite a bit so who knows how much snow we will actually get.

The state of North Carolina has declared a state of emergency for the entire state so they must be expecting the storm to have some major impacts. No matter where you are in the path of the storm, stay safe.

“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.”
E.E. Cummings