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Matt93SE

Errybody in TX ok?

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We're alive here.   lost power from Monday 7pm until wed morning.  cell and internet service died about 12hrs after the power went out- I assume that's when their UPSs died.. 

We got about 8hrs of power on wed morning and cell service came back a couple hours later.    power was off through dinner and primetime, then came back on around 11pm last night.  it's been on since then. *crosses fingers*

Still no water in the 'hood though since we have a neighborhood well, and some of the exposed 4" pipes froze and split while it was 14F and no power to move water around.  

Fortunately, all of my plumbing is in the slab and I had generator power to keep the house warm while the power was out (country life = generator always ready).  No frozen pipes here, but a large percentage of my neighbors had uninsulated copper lines in their attics, and now have holes in their ceilings below the burst pipes.  I'm sure a few of yous guys are likely in similar shape. 

Weatherfolks predict another round of nasty tonight, so I'm gonna keep the generator at the ready and continue hoarding my last few bottles of water.

hope everyone else is doing ok.  stay safe y'all.

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Hey!  How about us in Arkansas??? 🙂

We have managed to keep power/water so far.  Accumulated snow/ice is ~14 inches.  Luckily- Lori is a great cook and has kept us fed very well.  We smoked a lot of meat when this started.  Last night- Smoked chicken and dumplings was on the dinner plate, and watched a movie with the fire burning.  However; I think she is about at her limit for putting up with me for multiple days- LOL.  The cats are going crazy not being able to chase birds that are flocking to the bird feeder (stocked up) in the back yard.  I swear I think our birds have gotten fatter during all this- hahahahahaha

Hopefully the generator will not have to be fired up!  Some idjuit in the mirror has not recently tested it. LOL

When it started the smoke began.

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1 hour ago, Max said:

Hey!  How about us in Arkansas??? 🙂

You guys are used to this!  anyone south of I10 sees snow maybe once every 5 years, and it's usually gone the next day.  rarely ever below 25F, and it was into single digits for several days.   this place can withstand 100+ heat and hurricanes and drought, but a good hard freeze?  nah they're done.

these houses were all designed for tropical environment, with exposed pipes in the attic and whatnot.  it's a miserable mess down here and plumbers are in high demand.

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We're OK and kept power/water the whole time.  I have a houseful of refugees.  As it gradually warms up, I'd say 75% of my neighbors are having water issues.  HUGE insurance hit.  I think energy policy in TX will need to make an adjustment in the way it factors reliability.  That was the single failure point.  Events like these have happened in past decades with far less damage as power sources were more reliable.

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The rolling blackouts that began on Monday ended yesterday at about 5:30 PM.  We had electricity enough of the time to keep the house above 60 (with propane fireplace) and water pressure for toilet flushing (well pump).  Don't think we'll have any pipe problems - the well didn't freeze.  Got about another 3" of snow so far today.

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58 minutes ago, hornetball said:

We're OK and kept power/water the whole time.  I have a houseful of refugees.  As it gradually warms up, I'd say 75% of my neighbors are having water issues.  HUGE insurance hit.  I think energy policy in TX will need to make an adjustment in the way it factors reliability.  That was the single failure point.  Events like these have happened in past decades with far less damage as power sources were more reliable.

Ya, that's a nice way of saying it.  as an engineer, I can see where this low likelihood event was put into the "once in a lifetime, I'm not going to bother with it" category.  solar typically isnt used farther north due to the loss of efficiency...  wind turbines here are designed for tropical weather and retrofitting them with anti/ de-icing abilities that could also withstand TX summers would be prohibitively expensive.  rebuilding uninsulated natural gas pipelines?  same...

We can all sit here and armchair quarterback how 'I woulda done it', but I like to remember that teams of professionals smarter than me did the calcs and decided it wasn't worth it.   HOWEVER, where do you draw all of the various lines between freak/rare/usual occurrence, overbuilding for redundancy, and keeping granny and her herd of cats warm in a blizzard on Tiki island. 

I would go so far as to say a large percentage of the houses in TX would still have damaged pipes even if the heat had stayed on...    Couple years ago, we had a cold snap that got to low 20s, and my neighbor's house assploded two pipes in the attic..    her husband was out of town and I was redoing my bathroom so had copper fittings at the ready, so I took care of it for them.    This week, same house blew the same pipes a foot or so away from the previous trouble spots.   the new resident's husband was yet again out of town (lineman for Center Point...  he was understandably busy this week!!), so I got to climb thru their attic again.  unfortunately I didn't have enough spare parts to take care of it, so we just shut the water off at the street and will wait for a plumber to inspect and fix everything they find before turning it all back on.

 

I keep trying to remind the Karens on our neighborhood page that MILLIONS of people in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and everywhere in between are dealing with the same right now, and we shouldn't expect a plumber to show up an hour after they call.  Finally one lady got the point when she asked "why so long" and the person responded with "You're #173 and each house takes several hours.. Shoulda called Monday if you wanted higher on the list."  ouch.

 

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^My strategy is stay really good friends with the neighbors with back up natural gas and gas generators along with mine, guns/ammo (and know how to use them) stock piled, and plenty of food/water at all times stored. Self sufficient with friends I think they call it- LOL.  And a stocked bar of course.

🍻:triniti:

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We went without power for 36 hours, back on for 6, back off for about 6, then no issues since then. I only have a small generator, but we kept the small spare bedroom warm with a space heater. Down to 46 inside the house. I did run a cord to the bathroom for my heated toilet seat. Priorities, you know.

We have had water for all but a few hours, so I've been dripping faucets and no burst pipes. But a lot of neighbors have broken pipes. Was I just lucky, or did I do something right? We'll probably never know.

I will say that a lot of people with tankless water heaters seem to have had issues. Glad I have old school technology heating my water.

And I drained the water from my circle track car. I tried a drop light to keep the BMW racecar engine warm in the trailer, but that obviously failed. I haven't looked in the trailer yet, but we dropped a valve in the last race, so it's not a catastrophe if something happened to it.

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Lucky here, no power outage - I assume we either share the grid with something important OR perhaps because the grid we're on is low density (rural area)   Internet has been down for days now, which makes it harder to work.  Hotspot still working ok, though not the best signal where I'm at.

Well system froze up so we're still without water.

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35 minutes ago, Tobey said:

We went without power for 36 hours, back on for 6, back off for about 6, then no issues since then. I only have a small generator, but we kept the small spare bedroom warm with a space heater. Down to 46 inside the house. I did run a cord to the bathroom for my heated toilet seat. Priorities, you know.

We have had water for all but a few hours, so I've been dripping faucets and no burst pipes. But a lot of neighbors have broken pipes. Was I just lucky, or did I do something right? We'll probably never know.

I will say that a lot of people with tankless water heaters seem to have had issues. Glad I have old school technology heating my water.

And I drained the water from my circle track car. I tried a drop light to keep the BMW racecar engine warm in the trailer, but that obviously failed. I haven't looked in the trailer yet, but we dropped a valve in the last race, so it's not a catastrophe if something happened to it.

my plumbing is all in the slab, so it would have to get REALLLY cold for it to be a problem in my house. only exposed lines on an external wall are the hose bibs and one toilet stub-up which is only a few inches out of the slab. 

our slab is also pretty shallow (above ground-grade), so there's not much exposed concrete to suck up cold.

other people next door and whatnot have copper, PVC, and PEX all run through their attics and are the ones that had problems.   of the ones with $3000 water softeners with exposed plumbing on the sides of their houses.  stuuuupid ideas, even if it only freezes a couple days a year.

don't tell anyone else, but I slurped out some water and put some normal old antifreeze in all the radiators and ran the cars for a bit to circulate.  if I blow a radiator on track, someone can find me and yell at me while I'm packing my crap.  so far in 10 yrs it hasn't happened.  more likely to be chocolate milkshake mix when the FRS explodes at 7000rpm (again).

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With a crude pipeline control center full of controllers, I came in all week to downtown Houston to make sure that we stayed full uptime to respond in case of emergency. Couldn't stay in the hotel where we staged controllers because wife a 2 tiny kids at home needed lots of help too. 12 year old 2wd silverado for the win!  Didn't see all the Diesel F250 platinum 4x4 Fx4 crew cab guys trekking through to the office like in the commercials haha! 

Total failure to plan for the impacts here regarding food for a crew of mandatory employees. I asked about the food plan, and was told "tell the crew at the hotel to bring food, and their P-Cards" which was heinous, because 1/2 were at the hotel with no Functional Kitchen, and the other half were sleeping to come in on nights. Add up that everywhere they could have eaten downtown was out of water, power or both, and the snack bar at the Holiday Inn empties really quick . So guess who was the only manager who came in all week bringing pizza from where it could be found, Baking Lasagnas at home when we had heat, etc. and made round trips across the I45 feeder road tundra so that they could eat? This guy lol...push a couple orange barriers out of the way, and pretend it's MSRC in the rain. Piece of Cake 😉...which my boss basically said "let them eat" 😣

Between working with Facilities all week, juggling trashcans to catch the water raining from floors above, to chef boyardee-ing the shit out of some improvised italian food, and wearing a metallica tshirt to work because F-it, no one but us is here anyway - AWESOME ADVENTURE! I'm rocking a full on pushbroom stand alone next week because I feel like I could fight a bear and win right now. Or take a huge nap. 

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3 hours ago, joesurf79 said:

pretend it's MSRC in the rain.

And to think we're going to lose our TX Winter training facility next month with the repave.  Kind of makes me sad.

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More issues to come for some as many (not me, luckily) are on variable rate electric plans.  Plenty of four and five digit (!) electric bills just from this week shown on the news.

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Back to normal here, but I had a houseful of neighbors for most of the week. Power went out about 3AM Monday and other than 2 hour long stretches, it was out until late Thursday morning. Luckily I’d just had my propane refilled last week, so our gas fireplace kept the house above 60* for the duration. Neighbors with all electric houses and gas fireplaces that needed power to run didn’t fare so well, so they all camped out in our loft for a couple of nights (it stayed 72* up there). Water never went out, but I did have to rig a jumper from a small generator for my on demand gas-fired water heater to run. That sucker is getting a UPS as soon as I can find one that’ll fit in the box. HEB on Friday looked like first week of COVID lockdown. No produce, meat, milk, eggs, or bread.  Now that power is back I don’t mind opening the freezer, so it looks like we’ll be eating from that for the next week or two. 

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