Snow Day in Austin, Texas. We got something like 5 inches of snow. It was pretty cool till the power went out.


So. It snowed. And snowed. The trees bent over and fouled some power lines. Everywhere across the city. 

Then the power went out. We thought it would come back on in minutes. Nine hours later it was dark and we 

were starting to feel the temperatures  in the house drop. I brought in a couple of big, battery powered LED 

panels for the living room and dining room. Smaller panels for bathrooms and the kitchen. 

We have a gas range so Ben was able to make his fantastic curry beef recipe (served over rice). 

About an hour after dinner was served, eaten and cleared we were on the cusp of getting the Scrabble game 

down from the closet when the power came back on. Belinda was disappointed that our enthusiasm for 

board games immediately vanished but Ben and I were thrilled to be re-connected to the world through

the miracle of fiber optics.

I know our experience is extremely anticlimactic for our friends who live in the Northern climes but it was 

a change for us. We have winter clothing but no flame throwers, automatic bonfire makers, no Krups hot 

chocolate machines, etc. We don't even have engine block heaters! Can you imagine our primitive existence?

On a happier note, the pool is still heated at precisely 82° Fahrenheit, the coffee shops have dug themselves

out of the snow drifts and opened the doors, and it should be back in the 70's by Thursday. 

The top link will show you how hard it was coming down. The bottom link: https://vimeo.com/499343411 is just a 

bit of footage out in the neighborhood.

Hope all my friends up North don't have to deal with this often, the touch screens really slow down when the

temperatures drop....


JohnW said...

Up here in the Great White North (aka Canada) it's green and wet ... at least in Vancouver. We get very little snow here; just one small dump so far this winter and gone in a few days. But then, I grew up in Montreal and can remember the power being out for ten days after an ice storm with the temp at -20F. Like you we had a gas stove so we had some heat and could cook. The tricky part was going to bed ... warm up the beds with hot water bottles and once you got in YOU DID NOT MOVE! Anything on either side of you was FREEZING cold.

Tread carefully and enjoy the "white" while the novelty lasts.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Sadly, the streets were totally clear this morning and the snow is just about all gone. Brief but fun. Maybe that's the way snow should be...

John Miller said...

Wow...that's pretty cool for Austin! Did everyone get a snow day?

It's amazing how we depend on our electrical/digital connections.

Where as my parents and I'm sure your parents would have been able to just go about their business as if nothing had happened. No power, no big deal, they would have a good wood store and kerosene lanterns plus cards, checkers and books that needed to be reread again. I think they had a can do attitude from being raised in the great depression and where money was very scarce.

But I'm sure it was fun sort like being on a camping trip!

Happy Trails

Anonymous said...

That snow 'filter' on the camera works great!

I agree with your comment on the snow coming, being fun and going quickly.

When we were snowed in two years ago it got old quick.

That said, we're a bit more used to staying in these days.


JC said...

Wait! You have a power company that tells you when the power will come back on...and then it does? That's a novel concept, for people who live in snow country.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

JC, The power company is owned by the city of Austin. They're very responsive. They have a great app for the phone that allows you to report outages, see system map of outages, drill down to see when the outage occurred and how many customers are affected, and what the status of the repair is. You can initiate a status report at any time by sending "STAT" to their text interface. And yes, they will let you know when the lights are coming back on. Actually their text telling me I should be getting power came a bit early...about 52 seconds before the power returned. Nice to live in one of the few remaining civilized cities in the USA. Now, if we can just get traffic and congestion under control.

A non-profit utility company...who would have thought it?

Ray said...

A non-profit utility company...who would have thought it?

Socialist dog.

<< Just kidding >>

Jan Krabat said...

No flamethrowers? Hard to imagine indeed...

Up here the winter has finally come for good: https://flic.kr/p/2kroFjQ


crsantin said...

We've actually had a very mild winter here in the Toronto area. I'm not complaining about the lack of cold weather but our great lakes system actually needs the winter to thrive. The melting snow and ice in the spring feed our water systems. It looks like water levels will be low this summer and that's not good. Usually, by this time of year, we are in an extended deep freeze and we've had lots of snow. It's not very often our power goes out. Maybe our infrastructure up here is built for harsher temperatures. The cold and snow don't bother me really. I have winter tires on my vehicle and I'm pretty comfortable driving through bad snow. Life is good in Canada and I wouldn't trade my life here for some warmer weather. I hope everyone can say the same wherever they live. Stay safe out there.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Hi CR Santin, Just a note about the reason we lose. power in ice and snow storms. We have above ground electrical lines and many of the neighborhoods have dense and quick growing trees. It's a constant battle to keep limbs from overhanging the wires. Most of our trees still have their leaves right now and as soon as we get ice and snow the tree branches bend down and break the power lines. Every once in a great while the City Energy people will contract with tree trimmers to cut back the over hangs; but it's a lot like playing Whack a Mole.

It's not that the infrastructure is overwhelmed nearly as much as it is a function of deferred tree maintenance....

And I'm jealous of the Canadian life. You can see what's going on here when you watch the news.

Chuck Albertson said...

Snowfall is rare in Seattle, thankfully, as the slightest amount shuts down the city. We don't have a lot of snow removal equipment (because it's so rare), and the hills guarantee a lot of news footage of fools who think their 4WD Suburbans can get them up or down anything - the bigger ones can spin down half a dozen blocks before encountering a utility pole, or a bigger parked vehicle. Instead, we have the Pineapple Express running this week, which ought to give us 2-3" of rain by tomorrow night and some minor flooding and landslides.

Anonymous said...

Love the video clip of the bicyclist -- especially when he sideslips a bit at the end.