Help! We’re getting colder and colder!

Writing from the Internet cafe at Flour Garden …

We’re into our fourth day without power, and without our HVAC, except when we’re running our backup generator. We have no secondary source of heat, such as a woodburning stove.

By our second day we were able to shovel enough snow from the driveway to get out for awhile. If it weren’t for our pets, we’d probably have headed for the valley and warm lodging days ago.

I went out to the garage this morning — which we often use in the winter as a spare “refrigerator” — and for the first time ever I felt no subjective difference in temperature there from the temperature inside the house! The upside of this, I suppose, is that now we can just use our house as a spare refrigerator.

The thermometer on the bookcase in our livingroom read 48 degrees when we got up at 7 AM today.

I heard on KVMR this morning that there are about 500 people remaining without power in Nevada City, and about 50 in Grass Valley (where we live). This means that we have the honor of being members of the last group here to get power restored, and as of this writing we have no idea when that may be. PG&E promises more “information” by midnight tonight.

A number of old-timers in this area have mentioned that there were big snowstorms in the 1970s, but not nearly as many outages as we have now. Isn’t PG&E doing enough tree work before winter to prevent many of these outages?

This is our third winter in Grass Valley since we moved into the house we built here twenty years ago. We learn something new about survival each winter. This winter our big lesson is … we need a secondary source of heat! Yesterday we went over to Sierra Timberline and started shopping for a fireplace insert.

Listening to chatter here at Flour Garden, I realize that we are surrounded by refugees from Nevada City and Grass Valley (some from our neighborhood), all waiting to hear from PG&E that their power is restored.

Looking toward our neighbor's vineyard

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3 Responses to “Help! We’re getting colder and colder!”
  1. Anna Haynes says:

    Ouch. Hope you get power soon, if it’s not already back yet; otherwise, you can always move to Alaska, which I understand is balmy this winter.

  2. Don Pelton says:

    Actually, we got our power back late Monday afternoon.

    We learn something every winter. Our lesson this year is that we’ll definitely have a woodburning stove before next winter. We can’t be 100% dependent on electricity for heat, as we are now with our HVAC.

    But Alaska? I just checked Fairbanks, where our daughter’s inlaws live, and right now it’s a “balmy” and toasty -4 (that’s minus four) degrees!

    I’ll stay here, with all our problems.

  3. Anna Haynes says:

    > Fairbanks… -4 (that’s minus four) degrees

    OK, time travel back to early January 2010 might help.
    (“much of coastal Alaska warmer than Florida” (link))

    I think I read somewhere that once the Arctic sea ice finally freezes over, weather patterns seem to go back to normal.

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