Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Another Winter Storm

 They just keep coming ... one winter storm after another. Last night's was particularly dangerous because of the possibility of freezing rain. Our long power lines here in the country are easily snapped by the added weight of ice and there seems less incentive to quickly repair lines that service fewer customers. But I went to bed with some satisfaction that the snow would remain snow and we wouldn't have to worry about ice.

 But that was not to be. At midnight I woke with a start and heard the freezing rain tinkling against the east window at the head of my bed. I decided to get up, fill a couple of buckets with water, at least enough to drink and cook with should the power go out for a while.

 When I had finished I walked into the living room and told Mom that we were having heavy freezing rain and I was worried about the power. I decided to spend the rest of the night sleeping on the living room floor so I could light the kerosene heaters if the power failed.

 I also fired up my tablet and saw that the back edge of the precipitation was moving east of us. As I had all my bed clothes already downstairs, I decided to just stay. But I went to "bed" with the satisfaction of knowing things would not get any worse.

 When I read the rain gauge this morning, the melted precipitation measured 0.78". That's a lot for a single storm in February. The snow depth averaged about 4". All of the plowing Jeff did for us, all of the shoveling I completed, has been undone by a single evening's storm. I had the car washed yesterday and it will stay in the garage today anyway.

 The rear of Pinehaven is buried in snow. I've made a path across the back porch to the garage, about three shovelful's wide. That will have to do. The mound you see at the right side of the house is where I've piled snow against the outside of the bathroom in an attempt to keep the coldest air from reaching the pipes. So far, so good.

 Here's a better view of the paths I've made. The wide one leads to the garage. The thin path that leads to the concrete bench in the left foreground is so I can place peanuts there for the birds. I whistle each morning and songbirds arrive in droves. They have been trained to know I'll be there at about 8 a.m.

 Clayton Road (looking north) is amazingly clear of snow but likely as slick as it looks. There is little traffic this morning. I heard the salt truck pass about 12:30 a.m. and the 27° we have this morning must be warm enough for it to do its work. Even so, Valley View schools as are again closed. Kids will be in school extra days in June to make up for all the "calamity" days.

 And Pinehaven sits snugly in the snow this morning. Colder days are just ahead. Thursday night we are supposed to dip to -7°. When will winter end?

Later: After I posted this, our neighbor, Phil Coffman, came by on his John Deere tractor and plowed out our driveway and garage apron. Thanks, Phil!

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