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Foro Members in Texas Disaster   You are logged in as Guest
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BarkellWH

Posts: 3244
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

Foro Members in Texas Disaster 

With the terrible disaster in Texas, hope our Foro members are safe and secure. The two Foro members who are Texans that I am aware of are Richard Jernigan and Tom Blackshear. Hope you two guys, and any others who may be Texans, are OK. Many of your fellow Texans are in desperate circumstances. Stay safe.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 20 2021 22:26:20
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3127
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Foro Members in Texas Disaster (in reply to BarkellWH

The snow is gone. It began to thaw rapidly around noon yesterday, didn't freeze last night, and is supposed to hit 70F this afternoon.

For me electric power went out around 2:30 AM Monday morning, when the grid operators issued emergency orders to decrease demand, to avoid catastrophic statewide damage. It was off for hours, came back on intermittently for an hour or two. The heat pumps at my house were already falling behind, unable to maintain the thermostat setting of 68F. The indoor temperature dropped, but never fell below the mid-50s F. The intermittent doses of electricity kept it from getting too cold indoors.

Monday morning there were six to eight inches of snow on the ground. Trees were coated with ice 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. The weight broke a major limb on an ash tree, which fell into the streeet, blocking one of the two lanes.

Late in the morning a crew of four stopped by and offered to clear the fallen tree parts away. I hired them. It remained below freezing until yesterday.

The Austin city water system failed completely on Wednesday. 2 1/2 times the normal demand, perhaps partly due to major breaks in mains, completely drained the reservoirs which provide pressure. In buidings with sprinkler systems only the fire department can shut them off. A break in the large sprinkler supply line can lose a thousand gallons per minute. The main treatment plant lost electrical power.

The main water treatment plant was back online withing a few hours, but water service didn't resume for me until this morning, Sunday. It took that long to accumulate 100-million gallons in the reservoirs to provide pressure. We are advised to boil drinking water until tests show it is safe, but that's a minor inconvenience compared to no water at all.

My house suffered no frozen pipes or other apparent damage.

The statewide grocery chain HEB have been heroes in past disasters such as hurricanes. Their disaster supply chain is well organized and their recovery plans are detailed and specific. Still, given power and water failures and impassible roads, most of their stores were closed during the worst of the freeze.

Day before yesterday they were open for a reduced period. In a store a few miles from my house, customers were in emergency mode, re-stocking supplies, when the power went out again. It could have been out for an hour, or for the rest of the day. When customers arrived at checkout they were told, "Go ahead. No charge."

Just after noon today at the water shutoff valve by the curb my nextdoor neighbors and I were joined by other groups out for a walk. We chatted for a half hour and told of our experiences. None had suffered serious damage to their houses. There was widespread damage to trees. One neighbor across the street fell on the ice and broke his hip, but cancellation of elective surgeries due to the pandemic meant there was no wait for the operating room to put a pin in his hip.

I'm grateful to have escaped without any consequences. Many others have suffered seriously.

There has been the usual epidemic of politically inspired lies, half-truths and finger pointing by both the left and the right, as well as false rumors. Take any assignments of blame, or even accounts of what happened to the power grid from any source "with a grain of salt."

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 21 2021 22:03:52
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