Snow in – Power Out

We got about 6″ of snow early Tuesday morning and then another two by noon. Wednesday night we got an additional inch or so. It is a very white, white world out there. As always I’m not quite ready for winter. Projects to do. But the trees are weighed down with the birches bending to the almost to the ground and winter waits no more. The soil is not yet frozen below the snow so we’ll see if this lasts or not. If the snow does not melt so the ground can freeze up hard it will make winter logging more difficult. We need the ground to freeze up solid to support the logs and equipment so they don’t damage the tree roots.

The electrical power has been out since 5:20 pm Tuesday. It just came back on at 6:30 am Thursday morning. I wonder how much the power company spends on this sort of problem? No clue on their web site. It seems to me that it would be better to have all the power lines underground where they would not be susceptible to bad drivers, lightning, storm damage, snow weight and falling trees – the main causes of outages around here. The telephone company in Topsham has put most of their lines underground and is continuing to do so. Makes a lot of sense. I have my own solution that I’m working on.

The town did plow, although I don’t think that was a good idea given how muddy the soil is underneath the snow. They just dug up great globs of dirt. The half foot of snow or so is easy to drive over making plowing all the more questionable. They also graded the road in the rain on Monday. A strange thing to do with it so soggy. My guess is our road was on the schedule and they followed the schedule to the letter rather than adjusting for conditions. The result is they took a road that was hard and in good condition and turned it into a sloppy muddy mess full of ruts. They should spend their time more on ditches and culverts and certainly not grade the road in the rain. Grading is dry weather work. Normally I think they do an excellent job but this one has me puzzled.

Fortunately I do not drive much so it isn’t a big issue for me personally. I suppose if anything perhaps it will slow down the traffic and maybe convince some rushing people that this is not a short cut – it isn’t. In fact I suspect that our road is very damaging to the cars of people who use it as a short cut at 50 to 70 mph. This is one of those cost benefit ratios that people get backwards. Last week I found another bumper. The hyped up drivers need to learn the trees do not move out of the way. Same for the rocks and ditches. Last year I found a bumper wrapped around the trunk eight feet up in a tree. Apparently four kids had taken one of their dad’s new car out for a test drive. It appears they did not account for the steepness of the peak of the hill. I think their suspension unloaded at the top and they never regained control – until the tree caught them. Amazingly they lived. The car did not survive based on the number of pieces I found.

Drive carefully.

Tuesday: Low 31°F, High 32°F, Overcast, Snow 8″
Wednesday: Low 31°F, High 33°F, Overcast, Snow 1.5″
Thursday: Low 32°F, 34°F, Overcast

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Snow in – Power Out

  1. Jay says:

    Good advice, of course. But I cannot believe how much snow you’ve received. It looks like this year we’ll be having a green Halloween, which is unusual for us. Last year was also comparatively warm, but when I was a kid it seemed like we always trick-or-treated in a blizzard.

  2. For us, Halloween snow on the ground is hit and miss. The last couple of years have been warm. I was not expecting this deep snow already as it had been quite warm until a few days ago. Apparently the snow is very localized to spots here and there. The power outages were wide spread through the state according to the radio but my wife went down to the post office which is half way down the valley and she said that below that point the snow ended and the fields are all still green. It gives me hope this will melt off so we can finish with fall projects.

  3. pablo says:

    I am so not ready for it to snow!

  4. Hick says:

    I am not ready for snow yet. We don’t usually get our first snow until the end of November. We also lose power numerous times during the winter and I always wondered why they don’t put the dang lines underground…probably the same reason I still have only dial-up available to me. Part of the joys of living in the country.

  5. I have always thought they should put the power lines underground. I was doing the math during the last power outage and came up with astronomical numbers to retrofit this. My conclusion came to “it would be cheaper for the power company to put in solar electric at all the homes than for them to put in underground power lines now that they have the above ground lines in place.” Discouraging on the one hand. On the other hand it points to our putting in our own power since I’m rather tired of paying for electricity and having it out so much of the time… I think a lot of us feel that way. In 2006 and 2007 there is a tax credit to help with that so maybe those are the years to do it.

  6. Evelyn says:

    If you did put a photovoltaic (PV) system in… you'd never look back.
    I put a 5Kwatt system on my house in Los Angeles & it helps soooo much! I never have an electric bill! And, I can tell my children that I was part of the solution… not part of the problem.
    Many people say that it'd pay in SoCal but not on the east coast because of the days of sun. What that doesn't take into account is that heat costs efficiency. During the summer, it's so hot that I don't get as much electricity in the summer as I do in the winter.
    What could be an issue for you is shade. I was astounded to find that some trees that are over 100 ft from my garage roof precluded me from using the garage for my panels! Also, if there's even a thin wire that casts a shadow over the panels, it'll cut their production way back. The panel is a gang of cells. All the cells must produce the same. If one cell gets a shadow, it's production is cut back. That cuts the production of all the cells. The shadowing is what makes the desert better for PV production, not the sunny days.
    I've been told that when I sell my house, I won't get anything for the PV system. If I don't… it'll go to Missouri with me! I can put it on my barn roof & it'll work great!

  7. I’ve always wanted photovoltics but we get a lot less sun than you do in Los Angeles. We do get a lot of wind so I’ve seriously considered that. The high towers though make it hard to maintain them and I see a lot of dead windmills around which is discouraging. What may be right for our situation is hydro-electric. We a reasonable flow with lots of head. But that is a project for another year. Winter’s closing in and right now we’re working on building a greenhouse combined with winter farrowing space.

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