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Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:23 AM

This is bad. 02-19-21 UPDATE.

Good morning, DU. Once again, things in Laelth’s world in the Free State of Van Zandt (East Texas) are not too bad.

The temperature is currently 12 degrees with a high of 33 expected today. You may recall that our last day above freezing was Sunday, Feb. 14. Current weather forecasts continue to predict that our deep freeze will break tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 20) as temperatures are expected to reach 43 degrees. We continue to have no water due to the widespread freezing and subsequent bursting of underground pipes. Otherwise, the Daughter and I are still OK.

At the moment, we have a hard-packed, icy 4 inches of snow on the ground. That should all be gone by tomorrow afternoon. We have had reliable electricity for over 54 hrs. Looks like the grid in our area is stable now. We’re warm. We have food and, we have internet access. Life is good, but a shower would be really nice.

The minivan is safe on the major road near the RV park. Several local businesses have reopened, so we ventured out for gasoline and other supplies yesterday. Gasoline was being rationed at the station nearest us (no more than $20.00 worth per vehicle). Bread, nearly all dairy products, bottled water, and a few other items were unavailable at the Dollar General, but that was to be expected. No post-blackout deliveries have arrived yet.

Water remains the big issue—here and for most of the state. Still no clue when water may be restored. Still no clue how much damage has been done. We will keep you apprised of what little we know.

Thanks again to our DU friends and allies for all the moral, spiritual, and material support. You mean a lot to us. Cheers!



-Laelth


Previous “This is bad.” threads are linked below, solely for their historical value.

This is bad. https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181470783

This is bad. 02-16-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181470956

This is bad. 02-17-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181471625

This is bad. 02-18-21 UPDATE.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181472034

40 replies, 4326 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply This is bad. 02-19-21 UPDATE. (Original post)
Laelth Feb 2021 OP
TigressDem Feb 2021 #1
Laelth Feb 2021 #3
TigressDem Feb 2021 #7
LiberalArkie Feb 2021 #9
FailureToCommunicate Feb 2021 #25
Laelth Feb 2021 #26
Midnightwalk Feb 2021 #2
Laelth Feb 2021 #5
arlyellowdog Feb 2021 #4
Laelth Feb 2021 #6
kag Feb 2021 #8
Laelth Feb 2021 #10
jaxexpat Feb 2021 #11
Eyeball_Kid Feb 2021 #13
griffi94 Feb 2021 #14
jaxexpat Feb 2021 #32
griffi94 Feb 2021 #39
jaxexpat Feb 2021 #40
Laelth Feb 2021 #16
Kimber432 Feb 2021 #12
Laelth Feb 2021 #15
aggiesal Feb 2021 #17
Laelth Feb 2021 #21
question everything Feb 2021 #18
Laelth Feb 2021 #22
Soxderrube Feb 2021 #19
Laelth Feb 2021 #24
Wicked Blue Feb 2021 #20
Laelth Feb 2021 #23
niyad Feb 2021 #27
Laelth Feb 2021 #28
niyad Feb 2021 #29
catbyte Feb 2021 #30
Laelth Feb 2021 #31
Fla Dem Feb 2021 #33
Laelth Feb 2021 #34
Mr.Bill Feb 2021 #35
Laelth Feb 2021 #36
Atticus Feb 2021 #37
Pobeka Feb 2021 #38

Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:29 AM

1. Hi from Minnesota... Thinking about your water issue.

For NON drinking you can probably put some snow in your tub or a large container and let it melt inside. Heat it up to use as mop water or bathing, water plants if you have any. Just so you can save your best water for drinking.

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Response to TigressDem (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:36 AM

3. Here's the thing.

I can’t drain any water through my pipes. I could dump it outside after I used it, I suppose, but I can’t put it down my internal drain pipes because they are dry, and I want to keep them that way until the freeze abates.

Thanks, all the same, for the suggestions.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:47 AM

7. Ah... bummer. nt

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Response to Laelth (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:46 AM

9. Having a dry p-trap is dangerous... It is what keeps the toxic fumes from the sewer system

from entering your house. you can pour some rubbing alcohol slowly down the drain. The p-trap under the bathtub will be full of the alcohol. Alcohol is very hard to freeze.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:46 PM

25. It may be different with an RV, but usually u-traps need to stay sealed by liquid. At an RV

park, it might be easy to find plumbers winterizer fluid, no?

Anyway, glad the weather looks better tomorrow. Unfortunately, as the weather warms, many of those frozen (therefore expanded and cracked) pipes will thaw and start spraying water everywhere. Ugh.

Good luck.

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Response to FailureToCommunicate (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:48 PM

26. Thanks. When water actually returns, it's going to be ugly. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:31 AM

2. I'm glad it's less bad

Could you change the title to something like “this is less bad”. That would save me a daily “oh shit what happened”

Hope you get water back soon.

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Response to Midnightwalk (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:45 AM

5. I thought about doing that.

I kept the same thread title for continuity’s sake—just to make it easier to find for those who were concerned. That said, I think I will change it up a bit tomorrow if, as expected, conditions improve.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:37 AM

4. Are you near Tyler? my brother lives there.

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Response to arlyellowdog (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 10:46 AM

6. About 50 miles west of Tyler, yes. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:42 AM

8. I keep meaning to tell you...

I grew up in Longview. Don't have any family there anymore, but I graduated from Longview High School in '82.

Most of the family lives in Austin now, and a brother in Arlington.

Glad things are better for you now. Take care.

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Response to kag (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:47 AM

10. Nifty. You're a native.

Personally, I am a native Georgian (Macon, specifically). I have family in DFW that moved there in the 1980s. Although I have lived in Texas for several years, it still doesn’t quite feel like home.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:51 AM

11. I thought you were in "east Texas", you're practically in Dallas......

I'm kidding you but I wintered in Kountze decades ago. Ex wife had relatives in Atlanta, Tx. Now THAT'S my impression of east Texas.

I'm betting 40 degrees will be like a sauna after what you've been dealing with. Good luck kiddo.




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Response to jaxexpat (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:14 PM

13. Temperature differentials are memorable.

I recall, when growing up in Chicago, when the winters were periodically frigid, how much warmer it seemed when the temperatures moved from 10 below zero to 5 above. It seemed like spring had arrived. But back then, we never had a power failure, never had our pipes freeze. It was Chicago, where maintaining an infrastructure was paramount in a city that worked. There were a lot of problems with Chicago back then, but infrastructure wasn't one of them.

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Response to jaxexpat (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:16 PM

14. That's Southeast Texas

Behind the Pine Curtain.
I grew up in Polk County. That's not far from Kountze.

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Response to griffi94 (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:39 PM

32. Yeah, in the seventies I was doing cross country surveying for geo-seis in the "Big Thicket".

I knew your swamps and creeks well.

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Response to jaxexpat (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 20, 2021, 11:11 AM

39. If you were surveying in, or around Big Thicket

Then you also got to know the mosquitos, chiggers, and cottonmouths well.

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Response to griffi94 (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 20, 2021, 12:42 PM

40. And the occasional armadillo, deer, raccoon, 'possum, scorpion, yellow jackets, alligators, beavers

alligator gars, things crawling on the bottom of black water and swimming on the top of black water. every possible sort of needles, briars, stickers and other poking fauna that could grow on vegetation. 100 degree heat at 150% humidity, shoe rot, 5 lbs a day weight loss to sweat. But mostly it was the water moccasins in the spring when they were mating. They made no attempt to hide or escape and they were so thick, I counted 5 pairs within 10' of my survey line in 100 feet of travel. I was often alone and 10 miles from the nearest road. You NEVER made a step without checking for snakes, never. I did that for a year and I'd had enough. The gars, though, were the absolute most amazing .

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Response to jaxexpat (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:21 PM

16. Honestly, I would have been better off in Atlanta, TX.

They have an independent power grid that is not connected to ERCOT. If they lost power, it was probably only briefly.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:05 PM

12. Sending good thoughts for you, your home and

your water pipes and drainage pipes! This too shall pass. Hopefully the love for republicans in your state will too.

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Response to Kimber432 (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:18 PM

15. LOL. Your hopes are very high, indeed.

I thank you for the kind wishes, all the same.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:22 PM

17. My brother lives in San Antonio ...

He's going through the same thing.
Probably the only thing that didn't break was the sewer system.
I'd use the frozen snow in your yard to at least flush toilets.

Bucket, melted snow, flush.

Take care and stay safe in the Free State of Van Zandt.

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:29 PM

21. My internal lines are all dry, including sewage.

I drained them all before the deep freeze to prevent them from bursting, and I intend to keep them dry until the freeze passes tomorrow.

We’re using the bag-in the bowl system for solid waste. Plastic bag in (we always keep these, so we have plenty of them), do business, withdraw bag, double the bag, close tightly, then dispose. It’s not pretty, but it works.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:23 PM

18. At least you have means of communication. Hoping for the best

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Response to question everything (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:33 PM

22. Yes.

Much of my panic during the first 48 hours of this event was related to our lack of internet service. It’s one thing to be sleeping in a minivan with the engine running. It’s worse when you also feel isolated and can’t even get any news to figure out what’s going on. I was pretty spooked, I admit.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:25 PM

19. I am glad I live in Wi.

Here I have learned to cope with the cold, for drinking water boil the snow and filter thru a coffee filter, for the drains do not use alcohol its flammable use RV antifreeze or Windshield washer fluid. Living of grid now working on my cabin and I have no convinces like electricity, lanterns for light books for entertainment. It has warmed up to 10 above went home to get clothes and some groceries, wife and I are both 68.

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Response to Soxderrube (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:40 PM

24. Y'all have water mains buried 6' deep.

That’s how you keep the water running through a deep freeze. Ours are generally 2’ deep. As a result, after 6 days of below-freezing temperatures, many of our water mains are busted ... and that’s nothing compared to what happened to the water lines in our poorly-insulated houses.

This is a real mess in TX.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:29 PM

20. Wishing you armies of competent plumbers

to fix the pipes and get the water flowing

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Response to Wicked Blue (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:35 PM

23. That's what it's going to take.

Superb wish! Thank you.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:55 PM

27. Good morning. So glad to hear that you continue to have power, although it sucks about the no

water. Glad that you can get at least some supplies. I know that a shower would be wonderful, but, until then, the baby wipes, etc, can help, or the dry bath sprays that hospitals use. Don't know if regular stores carry that, though.

Please know that continued vibes for safety, for strength, for endurance, keep being sent. Please keep us posted.

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Response to niyad (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:00 PM

28. Thanks so much.

We don’t usually keep baby wipes, or anything like that. Didn’t think to look for them at the Dollar General, but I will keep that in mind. Even an alcohol-based, wipe-bath sounds good right now.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:10 PM

29. And there are dry shampoos out again, as well. Or baby powder rubbed into the hair and blotted,

then brushed out. Helps just a little bit, at least.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:27 PM

30. I'm so glad that things are looking up, my friend!

I've been worried. I remember the last big ice storm here in Michigan in 2013. Hundreds of thousands were without power for 3 days and it was a mess. We were fortunate enough to have never lost power in my neck of the woods, but I did have friends, their pug, and 10 fish/dwarf aquatic frogs that lived in the affected area come stay at my place until their power came back on. My cats were not thrilled.


I'll continue keeping the good thoughts coming. Take care!

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Response to catbyte (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:32 PM

31. Thanks. We truly appreciate it. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 05:05 PM

33. What an absolutely traumatizing week you've all had. Glad things are gradually improving for you.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #33)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 08:23 PM

34. It has been rough, yes.

Thank you for the kind thoughts.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 09:27 PM

35. Glad to hear things are better.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #35)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 09:50 PM

36. My pleasure, internet permitting. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:33 PM

37. Some of the vood vibes being tossed your way are coming from southern Illinois. "Endeavor

to persevere!"_

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:47 PM

38. In case you don't know, clean feet make an amazing difference.

When we backpack, nothing helps to make us feel fresh 'n clean like washing feet. Doesn't have to be potable water. Toss the washwater outside, doesn't take a lot to get a washcloth wet.

And, well, armpits if they have that *special* smell.

Glad to hear things are improving. May the thaw be ... uneventful!

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