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Country Discussion Topics
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Lost electricity
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rhudson    Posted 12-04-2001 at 14:56:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
all three phases of power come to a pole located on the edge of our farm. The top phase is used to feed everyone on our loop road, except my house which is on the lower wire. one year we had ice pretty bad. the whole road had no electricity for a week. we never lost ours. at about day 3, my yank neighbors sent a repensitative over to my house to find out why we had electricity and noone else did...they were upset big time. when you live in the country i think it is your responsibility to be prepaired for short term loss of: electrical power, heating, ability to use roads (iceing etc.) now with that said, it amazes me how those of you that live in the more norther areas carry out your lives in the long and harsh winter months. if we (virginia) had a foot of snow, we would probably have to declare a state emergency, we would not be prepared to deal with it. What do those of you further north do to get ready? Thanks for allowing me to ramble


Ludwig    Posted 12-05-2001 at 07:18:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well you don't rely on electric heat I'll tell you that!
Heh, my folks have a coal stove in the basement and a gas range. They've never had a generator, and in 98 when we got the ice storm we didn't have power for '69 hours.
Just cooked on the gas range and kept the stove stoked and glowing. Heated the whole basement and first floor of the house pretty good. Second floor was pretty cold. My parents slept in the first floor bedroom and I put a cot in the basement. During the day I spent time outside clearing the branches that fell from ice weight.
Now that I live in an apartment things are a bit more challenging. We have an electric range, so I got a whitegas campstove. I figure that if I crack the window that will probably keep us warm enough to get by and cook our meals. We haven't lost power for more than a minute in the two years we've been living there, but if we do, we're ready.

As for driving, just have good tires, go slow and keep your foot off the go pedal.


Salmoneye    Posted 12-05-2001 at 03:16:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Fill the woodshed and the 275 gallon kerosene tank.
During the major ice storm a few years back, I had people breaking trail to my place to see why we had 'power'. Didn't have electricity, but 30 kero lamps will sure make it look like ya do from the road...


M.R.    Posted 12-04-2001 at 23:33:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
When we were first married in the early eighties we lived in the Blue Mts. at a elevation of about 4500’ and off of the grid for eleven years. On one of the harder winters, it was five months before we could get a rig into the cabin. When the snow got to deep and powdery to get in and out we would snowshoe and pack a path hard enough to run a three wheeler [ATC] with duels - out to the rig. Putting on a set of chains on the four wheel drives only took five minutes or less, a lot of the time we wouldn’t really need them - except to be able to stop for the ones that didn’t know any better and would spin out and block the road.
Around ten years ago we got caught short trying to pasture the critters to late. Had to chain up all wheels on the truck and trailer and another rig behind the trailer to help hold it back on the grade [parts of this grade is 18%]. Now we may sometimes bring them out a little early, but those few extra tons of hay is pretty cheap insurance.

We were living with propane lights, frig, and range when we come off of the hill where others had power, we really noticed the waste of electric power in things, like when it seemed like every room in a house was lit up etc..

You are lucky to have three phase power available, when we bought our current place in the valley three phase was four miles away one direction and five the other. The power company would run it in at the cost of 20K per mile. In the last 6 years, 5 to 6 hours is the longest the power has been off and was starting to think I might have to hook up the portable welder to the transfer switch.

Like ones health one dosen't appeciate power till one does not have it and what a time saver it is.



Harvey    Posted 12-04-2001 at 21:22:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Winter just arrived a week ago here in the Peace Country of Northern Alberta. We pretty much expect it anytime after October. Generally we change our tires to one with a more agressive tread, I fill the heating oil tank though most farms have natural gas and don't think twice about heating. After the first cold snap we've tested our block heaters on our cars and we know if they work or not. We now have about 5" of snow and it's been low -20 celcius for about 10 days. Cars generally start without being plugged in down to about -20C.
The roads are well maintained in the winter here as we have only been snowed in twice in the last 25 years that we've been here.(both times the same winter about 2 weeks apart and managed to get out the next day) The warm spells make the winter quite bearable as it lets you get out and have fun. I can think of worse places to spend the winter.


Grove r    Posted 12-05-2001 at 07:27:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Same here in west central Alberta. Winters here, were a lot different when I was growing up. Used to get, on the average, four feet of snow over the course of the winter, now we get only a foot or a foot and a half. Snow plows are generaly out as soon as there is enough snow to move, so getting around is no problem. Both my van and pickup are two wheel drive. The only time I will opt to stay home is during a blizzard, sure don't want to be cuaght out in the open! As far as heat goes, we use propane, natural gas in the yard, but haven't got it hooked in yet, wood heat as a backup. Electricity rarely goes down, if so, candles or the gas lantern come out of hiding. Even before the days of elect. and propane/natural gas, snow plows every day, etc, we did what we did when we had to, never give "inconvenience" a thought. Went to school every day, even once when a freak weather system sent the temp down to -60F!! That was late 40's, I was about seven, dad walked with me the 3/4 of a mile to catch the school bus, [now, there-in is another story]!!! can't believe we did things like that......! Now, if someone whispers about weather problems, the schools close!!!

But, I'm starting to ramble, so, have a gooder R.E.L.


Mudcat49    Posted 12-04-2001 at 16:15:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
WOT'S SNOW????? We don't have that down here in Sunny South Florida!!!


Les...fortunate    Posted 12-04-2001 at 15:54:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Last winter our biggest storm was about 2 1/2 feet and it all fell during the night. I think I was an hour late to work. People have snow plows and use them. If it's icy, they just keep sanding and salting until they don't need to anymore. There ain't no secret.
When I lived in VA, just the rumor of a possible storm would keep people home or send them home early. Nobody seemed to know how to drive in it. As soon as their wheels started to spin, they would step on the gas and then, of course, you're licked.
I live well off the beaten path in the mountains of NH and I have not bought snow tires in years. Nor do I have a 4WD vehicle. I just put a new set of all season radials on the back of my Dakota today. They're way better than the old bias ply snow tires ever were.
If you ever have long power outages, which everyone eventually will have, you better have a wood stove or some other contingency plan. Lots of people have generators these days to at least keep their furnaces going.


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