Friday, February 4, 2011

Frightful, Not Delightful

Jaz has finally stopped calling for Poco and settled into his new role as Herd Leader and Chief Nanny to Baby D. Meanwhile, North Texas got kicked in the booty with the storm that has buried much of the country. We had been watching the forecast carefully, so I made sure I had dropped Poco's blanket off at Iron Ridge, and that Jaz and Daltrey were blanketed before it started.

Mr. Fry, back on night shift (boo, hiss), left before the storm started. He took a change of clothes with him, which ended up being a good thing, because his company was kind enough to put them up in a hotel. As with the last storm, this one started as rain. Temps dropped, and it turned to sleet, freezing rain, then "thunder snow," which completely wigged out Chula the Doberman in the middle of the night. By morning, we had a lovely layered parfait: a crust of ice on top, then snow, then varying thicknesses of solid ice underneath. Temps never got warmer than the low 20s F, flattening to the low teens as highs, with lows of 5-7° F. We had biting 40 mph winds.

Yanks and Canadians can scoff all you want about how this is nothing, but keep in mind: this is Texas. Not only are we not used to this; we are ill equipped to deal with it. Most of us do not have clothing suitable for such bitter weather. Southern heating systems aren't designed to withstand sustained cold temps. Our heat pump froze the first day. Schools across the Metroplex and surrounding areas have been closed for four days. We've had rolling power blackouts.

I grew up in the Northeast, so I'm not afraid to drive in inclement weather. However, I commute 43 miles each way to work, most of which is farm roads. I took off two days and figured yesterday it would be cleaned up enough to not be a major hassle driving. I could not have been more wrong. It took me 1.5+ hours each way. I was truly amazed at how bad it still was. We don't have chains and snow tires here. I saw someone two cars in front of me and only doing maybe 30 mph do a couple donuts into the opposite lane and off the road. There are places where the ice was several inches thick. They may throw some sand in the roads, but that's about the extent of snow management down here. 

There was a 30% possibility of 1-2 more inches of snow today, which would have been enough of a mess. But that changed during the night. We have 3-4" on top of the ice, and McKinney, where I work has more than 6". Nope, ain't happening. You can't even see where the road is. And it's still snowing. Bitter cold temps prevail and they are calling for the dreaded "wintry mix" again on Monday.

And what do we have to look forward to?  MUD. The inevitable rain rot under those blankets. Gunky hooves. Poco's training being delayed.

It's official: I am SO over this.


Hopeful said...

well, try and enjoy your time home from work cause it looks like you will definitely have a lot of work to do around the house with the mud. stay warm! sping is coming!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's nasty - our 20" was all snow which is better. I hate ice - very scary stuff. Hope you warm up soon.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

It's devastating when areas that are not used to getting that kind of weather do. As you say, no one is equipped to deal with it.

When I lived in Alabama, an ice storm with some snow came through and those poor people were horrified. I was much younger and more arrogant back then-LOL-and coming from SD, could not for the life of me figure out why everyone was so upset. Heck, that was nothing. But it sure shut everything down for a couple of days.

Stay safe and warm down there Leah.

C-ingspots said...

Yikes! Sorry you're having such a rough time with the weather. Seems like all over the world, the weather is becoming more severe. Very interesting to me...maybe we all should prepare for the unexpected more often. Be careful and enjoy your unexpected home time. There sure isn't anything else we can do when weather shuts everything down.

Rising Rainbow said...

I was thinking Texas was proabably the place to be this winter until this happened. Glad to know you are safe.

That night shift thing really sucks too. I have had to deal with years of that in the past. It was not good.

Dreaming said...

Yup, folks in the Southern states have a hard time with snow and ice. As you pointed out, no snow tires, many people who don't understand how to accelerate and stop very gradually and even heaters that really can't handle temps that low - I think this may be the cause of the rolling blackouts - most folks have heat pumps and when it gets below a certain temp the heat strips pull in and they are energy hogs.
One time when I lived in coastal SC we had snow. The highway department took pickup trucks out to the beach. They 'sanded' the bridges and intersections by having a guy stand in the back of the truck and shoveling the stuff off.
Stay warm! Hopefully this too, shall pass.

AareneX said...

You aren't wimps.

"There's no such thing as bad weather--only bad clothing choices." And if you don't have polarfleece, gortex, thinsulate and WOOL in your closet during cold weather, well, you can come to my house and borrow some. We have LOTS.

Jeni said...

A friend of mine lives in the Houston area and had a calf born during the storm, and has a mare ready to drop a foal any day!

It's WAY too cold and they almost lost the calf because of the weather. I shipped him a heavy weight foal blanket to borrow if needed!

morningbrayfarm said...

Good golly... totally NO fun. Hope you're doing okay now.

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