Monday, February 11, 2013

Lessons From Nemo

After spending thirty-four years in Oklahoma I thought I was a veteran of every kind of storm there is. We had dramatic weather in every season from fire to blizzard. I truly believe the utility workers of Oklahoma are the best in the world, recovering from unimaginable damage over large areas with amazing dispatch. I was so happy to hear that Oklahoma crews were here to help Massachusetts recover from our recent winter storm.

This year since September we have experienced Sandy, followed almost immediately by a nor'easter followed by this recent nor'easter. I thought I was knowledgeable about storm preparation, but the storm that the Cape Cod Times is calling "Wintercane" and the Weather Channel is calling "Nemo" taught me a few things. First the winners of my preparation:

1.  Knee high rubber wellies from L.L. Bean are worth every penny, even if they are not pretty.
2.  Gigantic storm coats from L.L. Bean really do keep you cozy no matter how bad the weather gets.
3.  The Wovel is a good tool.
4.  Everyone should have a Coleman Stove.
5.  Headlamps are better than lanterns.
6.  Down duvets will keep you toasty at night when it is under 40F in the house.
7.  Wool socks FTW!

Lessons learned:

1. Get more and better snow removal tools for each of the cars.
2. The little plastic pusher that is great for 2" of snow on the deck is not a shovel. Get a good shovel.
3. The Coleman stove is good after the wind dies down, but in 40-60 mph winds gusting to 80 mph not so much. Mine actually blew off the porch.
4. Park the car(s) close to the street so you don't have so much to shovel.
5. Because the Coleman stove will not be really useful until the wind dies down have prepared foods to tide you over. We had peanut butter and jelly but could have had something better.
6. Little knit gloves are not suitable for shoveling. Get proper waterproof gloves suitable for heavy use.
7. Double check the charge on EVERYTHING. My Kindle ran out of charge.
8. If you do not have an established lawn service you will never get anyone to plow your driveway. :(
9. Cape Cod will lose power with every storm no matter what (even if a car drives down the street too fast) and it may come back slowly. Don't let wishes blind you to this sorry fact.

Friday afternoon our storm started with a snow and rain mixture. When the wind shifted to the north it started snowing in earnest. I started clearing snow from the porches before I went to bed. Lights went out for good about 10 pm. We had average wind speeds of 40 mph all night, gusting to 85. Snow all day Saturday at a rate of over an inch an hour until 4 pm. We cleared the front porch an walk several times and started on the driveway but progress was difficult, to say the least. Temperatures in the house were quite cool, about 42 Saturday night, and under 40 Sunday morning. Lights came on Sunday evening. A lot of the Cape is still out, and streets in some parts of metro Boston are still impassable. Some areas will have freezing rain today. Altogether a tough storm for everyone. We were lucky not to suffer any damage (not so far obvious, anyway) but many were not so fortunate. Because we are not right on the coast we had less damage but more snow. A fair trade, I think. We were also lucky enough to have friends come to get us Sunday to get out for breakfast and a shower before returning home to dig out a car.

1 comment:

Meryl Baer said...

Glad to hear you weathered the storm without any bad problems. And the pictures are beautiful - nothing like new, pristine, white snow!