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Thread: Texas popsicle

  1. #1
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Texas popsicle

    Any word on our buddies in the freezer down in Texas?

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  2. #2
    txpacer's Avatar
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    I have found that I prefer 105° over -5°

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    5° at my house in College Station the night before last. Not a big deal for an AK boy but a very serious problem for TX infrastructure and construction. Alternating between freezing rain and snow as it warms into the 20s. Two inside faucets are frozen (exterior walls) so hoping for the best when temps rise above freezing. Rolling blackouts are more blackout than not. Oh bother. 85° here in Kona. The kids and grandkids got stuck here since TX is essentially closed. Things could be worse but our timing has been excellent!
    Last edited by stewartb; 02-17-2021 at 11:36 PM.
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    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    5° at my house in College Station the night before last. Not a big deal for an AK boy but a very serious problem for TX infrastructure and construction. Alternating between freezing rain and snow as it warms into the 20s. Two inside faucets are frozen (exterior walls) so hoping for the best when temps rise above freezing. Rolling blackouts are more blackout than not. Oh bother. 85° here in Kona. The kids and grandkids got stuck here since TX is essentially closed. Things could be worse but our timing has been excellent!
    It’s all about the timing!

  5. #5
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    -5 here the other morning was the coldest I saw and 8" of snow. We aren't use to this low of temperatures and neither are our buildings. Water turned off at the hangar but the main busted under the valve anyway making a pretty good mess but fixed. Had to thaw the pipes the other morning at the house. We are fortunate and have not lost electricity but a lot in our small town have. My son works at the grocery store and he got sent home early when the power went out again there. Walmart has been closed for 3 days because of no power and there was only one gas station open with long lines all day. Glad I watched the forecast and we all filled up prior to the storm. Rolling blackouts all over Texas I am reading. Did get the walk at my house clear with a shovel and a broom, very dry snow and at Cathy's office. The sun helped dry the concrete so at least we won't have black ice on the walks at least. Won't be above freezing till Friday. That is when the fun starts. I use to manage the plumbing department of a large home improvement chain, when that stuff starts thawing it will be a huge mess. Good news is I pushed the Cub out and looked a beautiful winter wonder land, no gravel bars but it was fun. Nice flying in those Alaska like negative density altitudes, wow.
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    Natural gas power plant in the background has been going full bore.
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    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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    txpacer's Avatar
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    The density altitude is -3000 ft this morning. Could be fun.
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    I’m just a few miles from you Stewart. I’m over at Lake Somerville. 2 degrees the other morning. My well froze but I still have power and am hauling water from a neighbor. So many around us are getting rolling blackouts every 20-30 minutes. This has been truly epic!

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    Sorry !!

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    A bit of late advice, but if you leave a faucet or two with a fast drip the pipes tend not to freeze when you loose heat. Plumbing down south is just not made for that cold. DENNY
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    In my area the water utility asked everyone to do that days ago but now the system water pressure is too low and they're begging people to close their faucets. What northerners don't realize is that much southern construction distributes water in the attic. Lots and lots of residential and commercial buildings had pipes freeze and break overhead. With no heat you can imagine the mess. A friend in Austin has a 100% electric house and hasn't had any power since mid day Monday. No heat, no cooking, and now no water. And the roads are too bad to leave.
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  11. #11
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    Here in rural western WA we have power outages, usually trees blowing over & knocking down powerlines.
    Usually localized, and once fixed the power stays on...unless another tree falls across the lines.
    I'm having trouble understanding the rolling blackouts thing that's going on now.
    Sometimes in the summer big cities in warm climates have rolling blackouts or brownouts due to the infrastructure
    not being able to supply enough juice for everyone's air conditioners.
    Is everyone running electric heat?
    Is part of the grid down so they're re-routing power?
    ??
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  12. #12
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Wind turbines went down due to no anti-icing, natural gas lines froze up and Nuclear and coal is slow to get up and running. Lots of finger pointing going on and lots of god articles out there to read, educate yourself and make an educated determination of wtf happened.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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    Clearly TX has capacity for hot summer weather and full-on air conditioner use so we've wondered WTF as my house has been on a one hour on/6 hours off blackout schedule for days. Here's the best article I've read about.


    https://apnews.com/article/why-texas...b9220875f23b34
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  14. #14
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NunavutPA-12 View Post
    Sorry !!
    I guess they're having a heat wave down south of you Larry!
    N1PA
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  15. #15
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    Bet you love the negative DA. I was shocked when i flew the stearman in 20 deg out how quick it jumped off the ground

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Wind turbines went down due to no anti-icing, natural gas lines froze up and Nuclear and coal is slow to get up and running. Lots of finger pointing going on and lots of god articles out there to read, educate yourself and make an educated determination of wtf happened.
    A couple days ago I was driving by one of our large wind farms, in perfect conditions for icing, judging by the road conditions. They were all churning away, I'd expect these up here are anti ice equipped. Down there, not so much, and everyone will wonder why not:follow the money, it costs more and your conditions are unprecedented, or at least so rare the powers that be didn't think it'd be worth it. My own wind turbine has never iced up, I think it's airfoil (and it has one) is a non critical one, not a laminar flow type that can't tolerate any flow disruption.

    I'm NOT a big fan (pun there I guess) of large industrial wind farms, but I do hate hearing "wind farms are bad, they don't work when it gets cold, look at Texas," that's just plain inaccurate. What is accurate is that they don't work when it's calm, and solar doesn't when at a shallow angle/ covered with snow, like I'm sure the solar plants down there at that latitude are. My own are almost straight up and down all winter, snow slides right off. There is no bigger critic of renewable energy pipe dreams then those of us who have lived with it for decades, AND KNOW IT'S LIMITATIONS. And I sure as hell don't need to be lectured by Bill Gates, on our energy future, I'm sure his 66,000 sq. ft. home has one hell of a big fossil fuel backup generator.

    Some are saying the wind farms icing were a "minor" factor", but when at their best, their output is a minor part of the overall picture. I am hearing 50% of them iced up, and while the gas and other fossil fuel plant failures resulted in a much bigger percentage of the problem, I doubt 50% of them were offline, just a guess. NPR didn't even mention wind farms, "powerplant failures," Fox blamed it all on wind.
    Last edited by courierguy; 02-18-2021 at 03:38 PM.
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  17. #17
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    I was hoping to see a photo of a Texas-sized POPSICLE in this thread

  18. #18
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Between 12 a.m. on Feb. 8 and Feb. 16, wind power plunged 93% while coal increased 47% and gas 450%, according to the EIA.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-s...nd-11613605698
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    I spent a lot of time working overseas in the ‘80s. Much of that was in Eastern Europe and rolling blackouts were the norm. Welcome to 3rd world America.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Wind turbines went down due to no anti-icing, natural gas lines froze up and Nuclear and coal is slow to get up and running. Lots of finger pointing going on and lots of god articles out there to read, educate yourself and make an educated determination of wtf happened.
    Mismanagement of energy by the SWPP ( Southwest Power Pool)????

  21. #21
    CenterHillAg's Avatar
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    Rural East Tx and it went downhill for us yesterday. Sunday through Tuesday night we were staying warm and pipes unfrozen for the worst of the cold, 30 min blackouts every 3 hrs weren’t bad with our Generac kicking in. 3 degrees at our house on top of a hill Tuesday morning, -3 at a friends house down the road in a creek bottom. Yesterday morning the freezing rain started and immediately accumulated on the power lines and trees, and trees and branches started knocking the lines down almost immediately. Standing outside you heard a branch breaking, tree snapping every 30 seconds. Kind of like an overhead land mine running to get firewood. Our coop is doing good and anticipates having the power back on by Sunday, sure glad I don’t like electricity and being a lineman was never in the cards.

  22. #22
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    -5 here the other morning was the coldest I saw and 8" of snow. We aren't use to this low of temperatures and neither are our buildings. Water turned off at the hangar but the main busted under the valve anyway making a pretty good mess but fixed. Had to thaw the pipes the other morning at the house. We are fortunate and have not lost electricity but a lot in our small town have. My son works at the grocery store and he got sent home early when the power went out again there. Walmart has been closed for 3 days because of no power and there was only one gas station open with long lines all day. Glad I watched the forecast and we all filled up prior to the storm. Rolling blackouts all over Texas I am reading. Did get the walk at my house clear with a shovel and a broom, very dry snow and at Cathy's office. The sun helped dry the concrete so at least we won't have black ice on the walks at least. Won't be above freezing till Friday. That is when the fun starts. I use to manage the plumbing department of a large home improvement chain, when that stuff starts thawing it will be a huge mess. Good news is I pushed the Cub out and looked a beautiful winter wonder land, no gravel bars but it was fun. Nice flying in those Alaska like negative density altitudes, wow.
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    You would be in heaven with skis!!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  23. #23
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CenterHillAg View Post
    Rural East Tx and it went downhill for us yesterday. Sunday through Tuesday night we were staying warm and pipes unfrozen for the worst of the cold, 30 min blackouts every 3 hrs weren’t bad with our Generac kicking in. 3 degrees at our house on top of a hill Tuesday morning, -3 at a friends house down the road in a creek bottom. Yesterday morning the freezing rain started and immediately accumulated on the power lines and trees, and trees and branches started knocking the lines down almost immediately. Standing outside you heard a branch breaking, tree snapping every 30 seconds. Kind of like an overhead land mine running to get firewood. Our coop is doing good and anticipates having the power back on by Sunday, sure glad I don’t like electricity and being a lineman was never in the cards.
    I saw that moisture coming up from the gulf hitting you guys. Stayed well east of us. Hope they get y'all up and running again quick. Forecast looks good here, 10 tonight and only one more night below freezing. 68 degrees by Tuesday, let the thaw begin.
    Steve Pierce

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  24. #24
    CenterHillAg's Avatar
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    If we can make it through tonight without any more ice accumulation I think we’ll be ok, the trees can’t take much more. Checking our road this evening I see where more trees have fallen on our line since yesterday and ripped the lines off the poles in a few spots, they’ve got a good bit of work ahead of them to get us back going. Propane truck should be here tomorrow, that’ll make it all ok.
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  25. #25
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    I'm back online after our internet connection (and phone line) went down over a week ago. Using the "hot spot" on my cell phone to get access, now that I've got a full 1 bar of cell coverage. Feels like it's the early 80's again, and I'm using dial-up...I was lucky, because we only lost power for
    Jim Parker
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  26. #26
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    Kind of fitting that the post got truncated like that... given what we've been going through.

    Bottom line is we made it through with no perceivable damage to the house. A couple of the attic-run water lines froze up for a while, but putting an electric heater in the attic eventually thawed those lines, and they didn't burst. For the next five days, I was up every 90 minutes (even during the night) to run some water through the faucets. I couldn't just let the fauces run, because we're on an aerobic septic system, and the sprinkler heads were frozen and buried under 6" of snow. Finally got them uncovered, chipped away the ice, and almost got a faceful of water as soon they were cleared... Sheesh! (At 9ºF, no less.)

    During this whole time, my wife was in Austin, visiting my daughter, helping her with her three kids. She got iced in down there, and we're hoping that she gets to come home on Saturday... I know I'm ready for her to be back! The cats and dogs don't help me with "faucet duty" at all - lazy beasts!

    Glad to see the sun today - light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak! It's helping melt the snow and ice, but it's going to really get slick tonight when it freezes again!

    PS - Whoever it was up in North Dakota that let their cold weather out... Please come get it and take it back where it belongs!
    Jim Parker
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  27. #27
    courierguy's Avatar
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    I understand why the water lines are run the way they are down there, as opposed to up north. But after this, if I was a homeowner whose ceiling collapsed after a burst pipe, rather then put it all back like it was I'd put in a few strategically located drains in those lines, so at least if a person had a little heads up you could drain or blow the lines clear, like they do with sprinkler systems. the drywallers and plumbers are going to be swamped. Bad choice of words.

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    Strategically placed? Turn the water off and open the petcocks on the exterior. Problem solved.

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    Pics of our airport in the San Antonio area. Taken from our 180 on Monday morning. We were the only ones out all week. Dry snow on Monday and a heavy wet snow on Thursday. Had the power turned off 30 times in 4 days, averaging 30-45 minutes. We feel very lucky.
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  30. #30
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Strategically placed? Turn the water off and open the petcocks on the exterior. Problem solved.
    That'd be a good start, except for possible pooling in low spots. If I was a plumbing contractor down there, I'd offer two price points. One for simply repairing it how it was, and a higher one (but not much maybe, depending on the layout) to repair it AND make it super easy to blow and/or drain water free. You AK guys know more about freezing pipes and how to prevent them than most on the planet.

  31. #31

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    All the overhead plumbing I’ve seen is PEX. Give it some air space and all’s good. Rinnai water heaters on the outside wall? Different story. I think mine survived this time. My neighbor’s in the attic? Epic fail.

  32. #32
    Mot's Avatar
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    Ask This Old House. How a frozen pipe bursts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuPO5hKdo8A
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  33. #33
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    I was heading to Utah for some skiing via Dallas. Sure felt like skinning up some of the snow piles they had on the runway. The temp inside the Dallas terminal was colder than the temp outside the Salt Lake terminal when I arrived there. Chilled Texas are quite funny to observe.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  34. #34
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubflier View Post
    I was heading to Utah for some skiing via Dallas. Sure felt like skinning up some of the snow piles they had on the runway. The temp inside the Dallas terminal was colder than the temp outside the Salt Lake terminal when I arrived there. Chilled Texas are quite funny to observe.

    Jerry
    Our blood is thin from 100 degree temps for 3-4 months.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  35. #35

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    Funny like a couple of summers ago in AK when temps were in the 90s for two weeks!

  36. #36
    cubflier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Funny like a couple of summers ago in AK when temps were in the 90s for two weeks!
    Exactly! We don't know how to take off our long underwear and they don't know how to put theirs on.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

  37. #37
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I stayed warm, but the house and the hangar were a constant battle. I have always been to Alaska in late fall, winter and early spring and with my thing blood and no natural insulation have figured out how to dress warm.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  38. #38
    JimParker256's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubflier View Post
    Exactly! We don't know how to take off our long underwear and they don't know how to put theirs on.

    Jerry
    People in Texas: "What is this 'long underwear' you speak of?"
    Jim Parker
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by courierguy View Post
    A couple days ago I was driving by one of our large wind farms, in perfect conditions for icing, judging by the road conditions. They were all churning away, I'd expect these up here are anti ice equipped. Down there, not so much, and everyone will wonder why not:follow the money, it costs more and your conditions are unprecedented, or at least so rare the powers that be didn't think it'd be worth it. My own wind turbine has never iced up, I think it's airfoil (and it has one) is a non critical one, not a laminar flow type that can't tolerate any flow disruption.

    I'm NOT a big fan (pun there I guess) of large industrial wind farms, but I do hate hearing "wind farms are bad, they don't work when it gets cold, look at Texas," that's just plain inaccurate. What is accurate is that they don't work when it's calm, and solar doesn't when at a shallow angle/ covered with snow, like I'm sure the solar plants down there at that latitude are. My own are almost straight up and down all winter, snow slides right off. There is no bigger critic of renewable energy pipe dreams then those of us who have lived with it for decades, AND KNOW IT'S LIMITATIONS. And I sure as hell don't need to be lectured by Bill Gates, on our energy future, I'm sure his 66,000 sq. ft. home has one hell of a big fossil fuel backup generator.

    Some are saying the wind farms icing were a "minor" factor", but when at their best, their output is a minor part of the overall picture. I am hearing 50% of them iced up, and while the gas and other fossil fuel plant failures resulted in a much bigger percentage of the problem, I doubt 50% of them were offline, just a guess. NPR didn't even mention wind farms, "powerplant failures," Fox blamed it all on wind.
    The funny thing is that Fossil, Nuclear, and Renewable all worked exactly as designed... this was a planning / people problem.


    Duff
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  40. #40

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    My house and the daughter’s house did fine. Not a single issue between us. Our offices didn’t fare so well. Somebody turned the water off at the meter or it would have been much worse. We have repairs to do to plumbing, walls, and flooring. At least it’s slab on grade. It could have been worse.

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