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Wed Feb 17, 2021, 10:33 AM

This is bad. UPDATE 02-17-21

I am pleased to report that, right now, things aren’t so bad. Thanks to DU for all the prayers, thoughts, good vibes, and all the positive karma this site generates. It has meant a lot to me.

Power was restored yesterday at 11:30 AM. We got 12 1/2 hours of power before it cut off at Midnight. It was nice to be able to make some coffee and cook some food in the microwave. Sandwiches were getting old. At midnight, we returned to the minivan for heat. Power returned again at 3:00 AM this morning and continues to run now—8:30 AM. Internet service, for some reason, is superb.

We only got 3-4 inches of additional snow yesterday. We may get a little more this afternoon, but we’re not “stuck.” I can still get the van out onto the main road if need be. We still have a half a tank of gas. Water, of course, is unavailable—pipes frozen solid. It’s currently 23 degrees. We’re expecting a high of 25 today. Temperatures may reach 34 degrees tomorrow for a brief period, but we’re not expecting a real thaw until Saturday.

We’re not so panicked at this point. We will be fine if the electricity remains on.

More tomorrow.

-Laelth

59 replies, 9595 views

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply This is bad. UPDATE 02-17-21 (Original post)
Laelth Feb 2021 OP
Cracklin Charlie Feb 2021 #1
Ohiogal Feb 2021 #2
Mike 03 Feb 2021 #3
Firestorm49 Feb 2021 #4
denbot Feb 2021 #5
SheltieLover Feb 2021 #6
sarge43 Feb 2021 #7
Tommymac Feb 2021 #8
NJCher Feb 2021 #19
wnylib Feb 2021 #27
JustABozoOnThisBus Feb 2021 #42
Lonestarblue Feb 2021 #9
niyad Feb 2021 #10
Historic NY Feb 2021 #11
Laelth Feb 2021 #16
wnylib Feb 2021 #29
Laelth Feb 2021 #31
wnylib Feb 2021 #32
Laelth Feb 2021 #33
wnylib Feb 2021 #34
Snoopy 7 Feb 2021 #56
Laelth Feb 2021 #57
bdamomma Feb 2021 #12
grantcart Feb 2021 #13
gademocrat7 Feb 2021 #14
TNNurse Feb 2021 #15
Laelth Feb 2021 #17
Alacritous Crier Feb 2021 #18
barbtries Feb 2021 #20
CaptainTruth Feb 2021 #21
littlemissmartypants Feb 2021 #22
dlk Feb 2021 #23
VA_Jill Feb 2021 #24
BobTheSubgenius Feb 2021 #25
BobTheSubgenius Feb 2021 #26
questionseverything Feb 2021 #55
BobTheSubgenius Feb 2021 #58
questionseverything Feb 2021 #59
iluvtennis Feb 2021 #28
Nevilledog Feb 2021 #30
Fla Dem Feb 2021 #35
Aussie105 Feb 2021 #36
KY_EnviroGuy Feb 2021 #37
JudyM Feb 2021 #38
SergeStorms Feb 2021 #39
onlyadream Feb 2021 #40
Jay25 Feb 2021 #41
Maraya1969 Feb 2021 #43
bucolic_frolic Feb 2021 #44
Laelth Feb 2021 #45
bucolic_frolic Feb 2021 #46
Laelth Feb 2021 #51
soldierant Feb 2021 #47
mzmolly Feb 2021 #48
trof Feb 2021 #49
stage left Feb 2021 #50
yardwork Feb 2021 #52
ailsagirl Feb 2021 #53
Joinfortmill Feb 2021 #54

Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 10:37 AM

1. Terrific news!

So glad to hear you have power, even if intermittent.

You’re doing a great job! Stay safe!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 10:38 AM

2. Good news, Laelth!

Hopefully things continue to improve! We’re all pulling for you! Thanks for checking in!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 10:40 AM

3. So glad the situation has improved.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:09 AM

4. I wish you the best. Hang in there.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:10 AM

5. Good to hear.

Keeping good thoughts for everyone in your circumstances.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:11 AM

6. Yaaaay!

I'm so glad things are better for you, Laelth! Hang in there!

Continuing to send good vibes to you & yours, and the whole situation! 💕💕💕

Ty for updating us!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:12 AM

7. May the force be with you, Laelth.

Stay safe and please keep us updated.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:15 AM

8. Make sure you leave a faucet or two open.

Frozen pipes are bad but you can also alleviate some pain by putting an old fashioned 100 watt light very near the pipe where it comes into the house. As long as you have power this will help thaw them.

Another trick is to sink a piece of iron rebar into the ground so it makes contact with the buried pipes in your yard, then attaching a car battery to it via jumper cables. The current will transfer to the copper or iron pipes and help thaw them underground.

Of coarse if the underground pipes are plastic then this is not going to work that well.

Good luck.

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Response to Tommymac (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 12:06 PM

19. I think Laelth

said he was able to drain the pipes before this cold front happened.

That's a cool trick about the reber. I'm going to pass that along to a few people.

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Response to Tommymac (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:25 PM

27. Another trick for thawing pipes,

when there is electricity, is to go to the piping under the sink and hold a hair dryer to the pipe, set on high heat and full force. Leave the faucet open so you can hear the water come out of it when it thaws. Then leave it on to let a trickle come through to keep it from freezing up again.

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Response to Tommymac (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 05:12 PM

42. Be careful with rebar. You might have to pound it hard, to get through frozen earth. ...

... Maybe enough force that you don't know when you punch through the copper. Geyser time.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:15 AM

9. Sending good wishes for your power to remain on.

I think we’re all just looking forward to Saturday when the ice melts and we can get out again. I live on a hill and the street is nothing but ice, so even if the cold didn’t keep me home, the danger of driving anywhere would. I sure would like a good, hot meal of Chinese takeout!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:18 AM

10. So glad to know that you have power, at least for now. Continuing vibes for safety and comfort.

Please keep us posted.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:27 AM

11. Open the taps & cabinet doors.....

if your getting heat it will help thaw, better if you have some lights that can be place near the pipes

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:42 AM

16. I emptied (dried out) all the internal pipes before the freeze.

It’s our external pipes that are frozen solid, and there’s nothing that can be done about that until the ground thaws on Saturday, at the earliest.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:31 PM

29. Good that you did bleed the internal pipes

to keep them from bursting when frozen. Hope the frozen external pipes will be ok.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:45 PM

31. Probably several burst pipes all around the park.

Repair is going to cost the management a lot of money, and I suspect that Monday is an optimistic estimate of when water service can be fully restored.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:56 PM

32. Looks like a lawsuit in the making,

against the agency that ordered the shut off and/or the utility companies.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 02:37 PM

33. Impossible.

That’s why Texas made power-allocation the exclusive function of a state agency. If my local co-op made decisions that caused this damage, they could be sued. Here, ERCOT (a state agency) made these decisions centrally, for the entire state, thereby shielding all the state’s private power companies from liability. ERCOT has immunity from liability for its decisions because it is a state agency acting in the best interests of the state. Each and every decision they make is shielded by Sovereign Immunity (so long as the decision-maker was acting within his or her proper authority as an agent of the state when said damaging, possibly reckless, decision was made).

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 02:54 PM

34. Mental revenge then.

Imagine a modern day Robin Hood type, taking from the rich, not to give to the poor, which can't be done with gas and electricity service, but to equalize them in a natural disaster.

If this were a movie, the script would call for an adventurous rogue to disrupt service to the homes and businesses of the culprits in creative ways.

No, I am not advocating it, but can at least smile at the thought of it.

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Response to Snoopy 7 (Reply #56)

Thu Feb 18, 2021, 11:36 AM

57. Yep.

Sadly, Daughter and I are in the ERCOT zone.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:32 AM

12. Good news

for you, please be safe and try to stay warm.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:36 AM

13. Good to hear

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:36 AM

14. Great news

Hoping the power stays on. Take care.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:40 AM

15. Hope it helps a little to know

how many people on here were worried and concerned for you and your daughter.

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Response to TNNurse (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:43 AM

17. It does.

It means a lot. Thank you.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:52 AM

18. Wonderful!

So glad things are beginning to look up!

Stay safe.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 12:20 PM

20. thank you for letting us know.

it's a catastrophe for sure, glad you're staying well.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 12:23 PM

21. Glad to hear it, I've been thinking of you.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 12:25 PM

22. Great news, Laelth! Stay encouraged! ❤ nt

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 12:32 PM

23. Glad you've had electricity & heat, even if sporadically

Fingers crossed it stays on.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:08 PM

24. Glad you are okay thus far

I have friends in SA, DFW, and Houston areas and have heard from them. I am most worried about one who lives in the Panhandle area near Pampa though. She is on a ranch about an hour out of Amarillo. I messaged her yesterday but haven't heard a word.

Praying for you and all in this awful time.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:19 PM

25. I'm so happy and relieved to hear this!

When I read your first post about this, it seemed bleak. Very glad it has, at least partially, worked out.

We'll all keep a good thought for this to never happen again, but this DIY looks useful. At least as useful as closing the barn door after the horse is gone.



One thing I think the poster should have mentioned is that, if you're having too much trouble getting the roll into the can, you can always unwind a bit, tear it off and try again. It shouldn't take much.

IMO, if you're already using a quart can of paint, you could easily wash it out, as long as the paint hadn't dried, and it's water-based. I'd opt to buy a new, empty one.

I hope you find this helpful.

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Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:23 PM

26. PS:

If you are worried about the toxicity of iso alcohol, there are brands that are mostly ethanol, which is safe.

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Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 18, 2021, 08:32 AM

55. That is very handy info

I carry a large tin can and a candle, I think that flame is more controlled but the tp candle would probably provide more heat

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #55)

Thu Feb 18, 2021, 01:35 PM

58. If you're interested, there is some good information available on efficacy.

They didn't test these alcohol fuels against candles, and candles vary widely, but I'm sure you could replicate their test conditions and compare your results with the ones posted.

It involves boiling a given amount of water in the shortest time. I'm sure the ambient temperature matters a lot, and I don't recall if they posted that, or talked about it on the video.

A very quick and cursory search turned up a statement saying that, for flames of equal size, alcohol burns hotter.

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Response to BobTheSubgenius (Reply #58)

Thu Feb 18, 2021, 05:59 PM

59. The best part is most houses would have tp and alcohol (for wound cleaning)

And a small pan with deep sides would work in a pinch

Sometimes it isn’t about what’s best, it’s about what you have available

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:30 PM

28. So glad you got power back. Stay strong as the light is at the end of the tunnel. nt

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 01:44 PM

30. Power, internet, and Rush died. Things are looking up!


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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 03:01 PM

35. Very glad and relieved for you. Hopefully you'll have water in a short time.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 03:02 PM

36. The collective power of positive thought from DUers

works again!

Warmer weather heading your way, I'm sure.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 03:10 PM

37. Thanks for the update, Laelth. May the water gods be on your side soon.

KY.............

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 03:35 PM

38. Sounds like you're through the worst of it

a relief to hear it doesn’t feel existential... it’ll be a great survival story when it’s finally behind you.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 03:51 PM

39. Great to hear.

There's finally a little electric light at the end of the tunnel. I hope everyone in Texas (even republicans) gets up and running very soon. Amazing how we take little things, like turning on a light-switch, for granted.

Glad you're doing better, Laelth.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 04:41 PM

40. Just be careful of carbon monoxide in the van

I read that a family was killed staying warm in their car. So damn sad.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 05:06 PM

41. Happy things are getting better. Staying positive.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 05:16 PM

43. I'm very happy for you!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 06:16 PM

44. Crack those faucets open just a bit

especially the outside one. A little drip, drip might prevent bursting of pipes.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #44)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 06:24 PM

45. There's no running water at all.

The outside lines are frozen, entirely.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #45)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 06:28 PM

46. If I'm not mistaken, ice continues to swell as it gets colder, more solid.

Opening the faucets a 1/4 turn is an attempt to make the weak point the open valve for the ice to swell into, rather than the ice finding the weakest point of the pipe.

It's a hoper idea, but what's the downside?

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #46)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 08:38 PM

51. Gotcha. Makes sense. Thanks. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 06:34 PM

47. Looks like you no longer need this

but it might not be a bad idea to save the info in case there is a future need. The first part, that is. The second part is a righteous rant. Come to think oof it, that might warm the neart.)



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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 06:58 PM

48. Hillary Clinton posted some resources

on twitter.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/16/texas-power-outage-help-warming-shelter/

You may be familiar but I thought I'd share in case it's of help.

I'm thankful that you and your daughter are doing better. And, I'm so glad you have had some warmth and better food.



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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 07:00 PM

49. Maybe you should go ahead and line up a plumber?

Sounds like some burst pipes when it thaws out.
Stay safe.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 08:26 PM

50. So glad

you got some hours of power and could make coffee. That's what you miss most when the power is out.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 09:56 PM

52. Great to hear! You are a survivor!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Feb 18, 2021, 12:49 AM

53. That's great to hear

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu Feb 18, 2021, 07:26 AM

54. God bless.

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