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  • To Our Texas Members

    I have been hearing and reading about how awful the winter conditions are in Texas. There is a massive power outage and of course if you are one of those without power, you won't be reading this note. When we had a hurricane hit our area back in September 2003, we were without power for 8 days which meant we had no a/c, water due to using pumps for our well. It was a miserable time. I know this is a crisis with many people needing their power back and I hope it is restored sooner rather than later. Hopefully, the power company is recruiting workers to work on the grid from other states. Good luck.

  • #2
    I really feel awful for everyone having to deal with the cold, apparently the homes in Texas are poorly insulated. A few years ago we lost power for 4 days in brutally cold temps, thank goodness we have a small generator. I was able to plug in a space heater and we all pig piled in a small bedroom to keep warm.

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    • #3
      Oh yes, we have been watching on the news how brutal it has been there!
      A balanced diet is a cookie in both hands

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      • #4
        Thank you Vera, our power came just back on , so I am able to read your post and reply to it, hopefully I will have power to actually post it.
        It has been a nightmare. And that is an understatement. We are not used to having temps at night of 9 degrees and wind chill less then that. We don't know how to drive in snow , never mind ice.
        Highways are closed. Our cities don't have snow plows , why would we . Last time we had this kind of snow was in 1985. Our houses are well insulated, insulation of our houses has nothing to do with the power company doing black roll outs to save the grid from crashing. It is the lack of power that is the big problem. No power, no heat. Can't heat up food because I have an electric cook top, my whole house is electric. Nothing I can do about that now. We had an outside water faucet freeze on us ( yes, we had it wrapped ) and had to turn the water to our house off. So that means no running water until we get a plumber to come and fix it. And I am sure we are one of hundreds of people in this town that will need a plumber. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Today I melted some snow and I will use that water to flush the toilets. As soon as the roads are clear I will make a run to hopefully get some more bottled water. Grocery stores closed down on Monday, opened yesterday for just a couple of hours and there were lines of people trying to get in , just the way it was back when covid hit at first. Basically our electric company screwed us around by not being properly prepared , sad, but true.
        I don't know if AllieK is stuck at home without power or water ?? She lives close to the coast , but even corpus christi had ice and some snow. Some water pipes broke here in town and now we are supposed to boil water if we want to cook or drink it, running water that is. Well, that is sort of hard to do when you don't have power to use your cook top, but since we don't have running water, I can cross that one of my list of things to worry about. At least we have a fireplace that is heated with artificial gaslogs. We light that up when the power goes off. Believe me it's not fun, and we are supposed to have another surge of rain, ice, snow come through tonight. It is just unbelievable this is happing here in south texas.

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        • #5
          My heart goes out to all that are caught in this nightmare. It’s got to be so upsetting not to be able to do the things you need to do to be safe and warm.

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          • #6
            We've been having rolling blackouts. Off a few hours and on a few hours. I was asleep this morning and woke up to deathly quiet and knew the power was out. I sleep with a fan and lets just say, I can hear a drip from a faucet in the next room, so I couldn't go back to sleep. It's on now and all my appliances are running. It will probably go back out in an hour or two. I cannot wait until Saturday! And, I hope this is the last cold spell this year.
            I turned my water off, but filled the tub up with water to flush toilets with and had plenty of gallon pickle jars filled with water and all of my big pots, so I am good on water. I have a butane stove, so I can cook on the stove top. Heat is our main issue. Even though I have a butane central heating unit, it's not going to run when the electricity is off. I drug all of my blankets out to sleep under and I'm wearing layers of clothes and big coats in the house when the power is off too long. The ice and snow are gone from the roads now, so tomorrow, I'm making a run to the grocery store. I'm out of junk food! LOL Can't have that!
            I'm sorry, but all of the de-regulation in the past years of the power industry has caused this. The governor better get his act together and start regulating companies that the public depend on for their well being. Make the industry put people over profit or this will keep happening.
            Last edited by AllieK; 02-18-2021, 01:15 AM.

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            • #7
              I visited West Texas in 2000 when there was an icy, snowy blast and so many houses are not built to withstand extremely cold weather. I hope you all have power so you can heat your homes and cook meals.
              I really want a smoke detector that shuts off as soon as I shout…“I’M ONLY COOKING!!”

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              • #8
                I hope that all of you in Texas will be back up to normal soon! I do realize it will take some time. We have been in situations here in the north where we were without power for days as well, not fun indeed like you say.
                A balanced diet is a cookie in both hands

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                • #9
                  right now our power is on. Temp is 31, hopefully it will go up a bit and be above freezing. I also need to hit the grocery store for some more bottled water. I didn't fill my bath tub with water so flushing the toilet will become a problem unless I can get more water from my neighbor who has running water. Hope to get in touch with a plumbing company today to set up a time to get the problem fixed.
                  We may have to go to a motel to shower , I just don't see any other way. My daughter doesn't live in SA anymore and my granddaughter is out of town.
                  This Texas problem is the result of the green deal that our new president is pushing on us. Solar and wind power don't work when you have weather like we had the past few days. Wind turbines don't run when there is no wind and they are frozen over and solar power doesn't exist when there is no sun , hello! I hope the rest of the country watches what is happening here in Texas, because that could happen in their state if Biden and his green deal buddies get their way. You need a reliable power sources, what is happening here is terrible and there is no excuse for it.

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                  • #10
                    Yesterday when I was returning home from Northern Virginia and heading south on I-95, I passed a caravan of power trucks with cherry pickers on top. Not sure where they were heading but my guess is the crew was being sent where help is needed like Texas. Of course, that is a long way to travel from the East Coast but hopefully there is help coming. We are having terrible weather right now - not so much the snow that was predicted but it is sleeting heavily so it is best to stay off the roads.


                    Sabine - I hope you can get a contractor to fix your pipe ASAP and the plumbers that are available don't over charge the public. It would be nice if your neighbor, who has running water, would let you use their shower so you don't have to go to a motel. I hope your life returns to normal quickly.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you Vera, we have been in touch with 2 plumbers now , whoever is able to come first gets the job and at this point it doesn't really matter what the charge will be.
                      And to top it all off, it has started to snow, temp is 29 , forget about getting out to get water today. Temp tomorrow is supposed to go up to 45 , so I will aim for tomorrow. That's the plan.
                      Stay off the road is the advice we are getting.
                      I am thankful that we are able to get water from our neighbor , I don't expect for them to offer for us to use their shower. I have made reservation for 2 nights at a Hilton close by . Checking in Saturday afternoon since it is snowing today and we can't travel.
                      I know that we are not the only state that is having severe winter weather, because the storm that has hit us this week and is still hitting us, is going east and up the east coast.

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                      • #12
                        Sabine, it's a natural gas issue

                        "Failures across Texas’ natural gas operations and supply chains due to extreme temperatures are the most significant cause of the power crisis that has left millions of Texans without heat and electricity during the winter storm sweeping the U.S.

                        From frozen natural gas wells to frozen wind turbines, all sources of power generation have faced difficulties during the winter storm. But Texans largely rely on natural gas for power and heat generation, especially during peak usage, experts said."


                        Green energy has a place in Texas, but the other forms of energy need to be ready when needed and de-regulation of the industry over the past 3-4 governors is the issue. The natural gas industry has not invested in weatherization of their facilities like other states have because they are counting on the mild winters here. They wanted to keep the money because they could.

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                        • #13
                          Green energy is unreliable , as we have found out. If the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine , green energy is out to lunch, so to speak.
                          So far green energy is a small percentage of our power, but even at that it couldn't be relied on. Not all generators were in running order, even so we had known for more then a week a big storm was coming. Some were just pulled out for repair others were just off line.
                          I lived in Kansas for several years and are very familiar with snow and ice and what comes with it. I don't remember ever being without power or frozen pipes or no water.
                          And who the heck or what is Ercot ?? Until all this happened the majority of people in Texas had never heard of that group. So I did a little research. this is a private group with 15 board members, and several, most of them, don't live in Texas. Really,
                          AUSTIN (KXAN) — The nonprofit managing 26 million Texans’ access to electricity voted to hand one-third of its decision-making power to five people who do not call Texas home. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, known as ERCOT, manages about 90% of the state’s electric load, according to the organization.

                          As millions of Texans are still without power, Texas lawmakers and the governor are demanding answers after ERCOT activated the state’s Energy Emergency Alerts. The first alert happened at 12:17 a.m. Monday. A level two alert went out 55 minutes later, asking people to conserve energy or they’d face “rotating outages.”

                          Just 13 minutes later, at 1:25 a.m., ERCOT activated its third-level EEA, and Texans started to lose power in what was supposed to be rotating power losses.

                          For millions of Texans, those outages never rotated as power was intentionally cut to homes across the state and has still not been restored.
                          Needless to say I think we need to investigate ercot and maybe get rid of it. El paso didn't turn their decision making about the power structure over to Ercot, why did the rest of texas.

                          It is almost 2 pm on Thursday afternoon , it is still snowing, highways are closed , city once again has shut down and grocery stores are closed.
                          Am I angry, you bet I am!

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                          • #14
                            Sabine,
                            Like I said, de-regulation of the energy industry.
                            As natural gas runs out, we will need to find different energy options. Solar and wind are a part of that. Texas is sunny and warm most of the time and where I live, the wind never stops blowing. Solar panels on most houses will make enough energy to meet the needs of that house and then some. "Will clouds effect it? Yes, but power storage from the good days will more than make up for those days.
                            My husband worked in the oil industry years ago and even back then, the wells around here were fading and running dry. Unless we want to be dependent on other countries for our power needs, then we have to start somewhere.

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                            • #15
                              What makes you think that we are running out of natural gas ? Yes, we need different energy options, but wind turbines and solar panel are not it. I don't have solar panels on my house , very few people actually have them here in my area. But my girlfriend has solar panels to heat her pool , but that would never work for her 4000 sq foot house. Do you have solar panels on your house ? I bet you don't.
                              Sure it is windy every day where you live, you live on the coast. It is windy when I go down to Corpus, but it is not always windy here in SA. I drive up to the Lubbock are on a regular basis, because we own cotton farms up there, there are hundreds of wind turbines in the Sweetwater area, and you know something most of them don't run . Most of them are not running because they need constant repairs.
                              AllieK, we don't agree on this subject, so I think the best we can do is to agree to disagree and let it go.
                              I hope what happened here in Texas these past 5 days will never happen again. Yes, we will have cold weather again, maybe even snow here in Texas, but I hope the authorities have learned a hard lesson and will be better prepared the next time.

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