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It's Freezing in Texas, please shut the freezer door up north......


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1 hour ago, MAC_32 said:

Really? I've never bothered to look at any data, but I'd have thought most of us have AC. We have the infrastructure, but we ##### about the heat because we choose to live here to avoid it. 

We don't have A/C, the upstairs of my house is basically a sauna from like early July through Labor Day.  We keep pretty much every window open (so long as someone's home) from like May through September, and usually have two box fans going in the bedroom at night in the summer.  My house was built in 1916.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand - this #### looks scary in Texas.  It's a legit snowstorm.

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Sorry, well behind on this thread and not going to try and get caught up. Went to a hotel Monday that had power after we were basically 40 minutes off, 5 minutes on, repeating. Was awesome. Warm, grea

Seems like kind of a #### thing to say when its 10 degrees and there are millions of people without electricity.

I’VE GOT THE POWER! Very glad to be back. 

10 minutes ago, FBG26 said:

Dumb question - Is the demand for electricity the biggest issue when it gets absurdly cold in southern states? Not trying to minimize anything, just thinking back to my comment about chuckling about the reaction to super cold weather by people living in the southern US. When I made that comment I was thinking about people driving on icy roads or just generally not having the proper attire for such conditions -- things that we're generally more prepared for here and which can probably be avoided simply by staying inside. But I didn't appreciate how the cold would cause such a huge surge in electricity use, and people wouldn't be able to heat their homes / businesses. So I'm just wondering if that's really the biggest safety issue or if there are other things that I wouldn't think about. 

if it’s just in the 30s, the grid can generally handle it, and transportation is generally the biggest problem.

the grid can’t handle these temperatures for extended periods.  here’s some more detail.  natural gas is the primary source in the winter, and its massively overloaded right now.

https://twitter.com/jessejenkins/status/1361348544154664961?s=21

 

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Man, I feel for all you guys in the south.

I remember about 20 years ago here in KC, we had a huge ice storm. We had two inches of pure ice. Took down so many power lines, limbs, transformers, etc.

It was wild - imagine literally every tree in your neighborhood having limbs down, large limbs hanging down, whatever. We would go outside and look around and you would see blue flashes in the sky - transformers going out every ten minutes. Cars couldn't drive down the streets because there were so many limbs down.

I was out of power for a week - others were out for two weeks - it was nuts. Luckily we had a wood burning fireplace and a gas stove and gas water heater - we survived ok but it was tough

And we are a city normally prepared for stuff like this, but we had electrical crews coming in from all over the states. Those guys were heroes for those two weeks. 

Hope you guys can pull through this ok. 

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Damn. Stay safe guys.

If you still have power and aren't on city water, might want to think about filling tubs/sinks up with water before you lose it. At least you'll be able to flush your toilets and have boilable water.

I imagine the sales of whole-home generators are going to rise after this is over.

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I must not understand how energy works. Here's what Austin Energy said - 

 

BREAKING: Austin Energy says there is no more energy that they can turn off at this time. That means that the conservation is having to come from people who do not have power, and those who do, must urgently conserve.

--

But there are people with power right now. And a bunch without. So why not shut everyone off first (not counting hospitals, etc) then turn on the people who have been off since 2am? And then after a few hours for them, turn them off, then turn the current ones back on. And keep going until we are done.

What don't I understand?

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Follow up - 

 

Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent: "This event happened quickly, and the amount of load that we needed to remove from the grid was significant. It was in a very short time that we maxed out on all of the available circuits that we had to disconnect ..."

"So because we're at at max limit, there's no more energy that we can shut off at this time to bring these customers back on."

"Basically we're stuck here. ... It's a tough situation, and we understand that," Sargent said. "We're doing everything we can to get people to a place where we get people's power back on."

 

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This thing in TX is serious, folks. And I'm not sure there's much any of us can do to immediately help.  I've never seen a time when all TX major metros were effectively shut down due to weather with widespread power outages. Unless my group is an outlier, power is uncommon in all areas right now and it's cold enough to be dangerous in all three major metros. And add onto that travel is ill-advised and roads are iced over. Diesel trucks are gelling up. I don't want to be hyperbolic but this is scary.

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god bless anyone stuck in this.   extended family in Oklahoma without power.      I'm a northerner by birth but am in fla now.  

it reminds me of hurricane sandy when my mom told me she had all 3 dogs, boxers, in the bed and covered with multiple blankets.    I said "three dog night, huh"   she laughed and got through it.   you will all get through it.

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We hit -28f this morning.. Wind chill was around -50.. Working from home sure does have its benefits :) 

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16 minutes ago, whoknew said:

I must not understand how energy works. Here's what Austin Energy said - 

 

BREAKING: Austin Energy says there is no more energy that they can turn off at this time. That means that the conservation is having to come from people who do not have power, and those who do, must urgently conserve.

--

But there are people with power right now. And a bunch without. So why not shut everyone off first (not counting hospitals, etc) then turn on the people who have been off since 2am? And then after a few hours for them, turn them off, then turn the current ones back on. And keep going until we are done.

What don't I understand?

don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve read some indications that everything left to turn off is also connected to critical services (hospitals, emergency centers, etc.). I don’t know how granular they can get with regard to the grid, but i suppose it’s possible.

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2 minutes ago, joffer said:

don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve read some indications that everything left to turn off is also connected to critical services (hospitals, emergency centers, etc.). I don’t know how granular they can get with regard to the grid, but i suppose it’s possible.

I see. Thank you.

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4 minutes ago, whoknew said:

On a bigger picture, what does it say about our infrastructure that we have one winter storm and basically the entire State of Texas's electrical grid crashes?

nothing good

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4 minutes ago, Bossman said:

So much for "Global Warming"....

and, living all of my life in the Northeast ... suck it up Buttercup also comes to mind

Seems like kind of a #### thing to say when its 10 degrees and there are millions of people without electricity.

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We are in northwest Austin and had 5.5" of snow and down to 7 degrees this morning.  We have kept our power so far. Worried the pool pipes will freeze up if we lose power as I don't think it is going to come back on any time soon. We don't have a generator. But many people have critical needs for power. The rolling brownouts would make this all more manageable.  They started talking about the weather models over two weeks ago about the low single digit temperature possibilities, but no one, including me, believed the models.  It was over 30 years ago that this happened last time and with the explosive growth of population in Central Texas since then, they had some time to plan. Easy for hindsight to be 2020. I guess they have a new standard for extreme power load situations now. Schools were closed today for President's day so everyone is at home and no where to go due to the roads.  ERCOT said wind turbines out in western Texas froze up so capacity was decreased also from that. "ETA: natural gas and coal production significantly reduced also due to transportation delivery issues". The communications of the rolling brownouts is conflicting...was suppose to be 10-45 minute outages every 2-3 hours.   But since this am, they are saying Austin Energy cannot do the rolling outages. They started implementing the brownouts last night around 1-2 am. You could see the outages pop up on the Austin Energy Power Outage Map.  Basically most people that don't have power aren't getting it back until more conservation happens or the weather starts moderating late tomorrow.

Edited by Phil Elliott
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14 minutes ago, joffer said:

don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve read some indications that everything left to turn off is also connected to critical services (hospitals, emergency centers, etc.). I don’t know how granular they can get with regard to the grid, but i suppose it’s possible.

This sounds like it’s going to rough going for many, many Texans.  Hope tgis doesn’t last too long.  

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4 minutes ago, SoBeDad said:

What are the in the house temperatures like?

We've been w/o since around 1130 (we had it set at 64 then).  Have the gas fireplace running and all other rooms shut off except for sun room which has blinds.  Thermostat shows 52.  Boys took Jeep out to go tubing.  Way to cold for me to join them.

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41 minutes ago, SoBeDad said:

What are the in the house temperatures like?

Depends on a lot of factors. Worst I've heard is mid to high 30's at a house where power went out this morning and it sits on essentially a prairie. 40-55 seems to be about the norm.

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45 minutes ago, whoknew said:

Seems like kind of a #### thing to say when its 10 degrees and there are millions of people without electricity.

It is. It's ignorance too. More impactful weather has been happening in recent years, on both extremes, and while it'd take a scientist to explain why there will always be lowbrows that believe they know better.

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2 hours ago, Phil Elliott said:

We are in northwest Austin and had 5.5" of snow and down to 7 degrees this morning.  We have kept our power so far. Worried the pool pipes will freeze up if we lose power as I don't think it is going to come back on any time soon. We don't have a generator. But many people have critical needs for power. The rolling brownouts would make this all more manageable.  They started talking about the weather models over two weeks ago about the low single digit temperature possibilities, but no one, including me, believed the models.  It was over 30 years ago that this happened last time and with the explosive growth of population in Central Texas since then, they had some time to plan. Easy for hindsight to be 2020. I guess they have a new standard for extreme power load situations now. Schools were closed today for President's day so everyone is at home and no where to go due to the roads.  ERCOT said wind turbines out in western Texas froze up so capacity was decreased also from that. "ETA: natural gas and coal production significantly reduced also due to transportation delivery issues". The communications of the rolling brownouts is conflicting...was suppose to be 10-45 minute outages every 2-3 hours.   But since this am, they are saying Austin Energy cannot do the rolling outages. They started implementing the brownouts last night around 1-2 am. You could see the outages pop up on the Austin Energy Power Outage Map.  Basically most people that don't have power aren't getting it back until more conservation happens or the weather starts moderating late tomorrow.

I thought you were on the lake? NW Austin has probably been the worst power shortages in the city, unless you get up toward Cedar Park

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2 hours ago, joffer said:

don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve read some indications that everything left to turn off is also connected to critical services (hospitals, emergency centers, etc.). I don’t know how granular they can get with regard to the grid, but i suppose it’s possible.

https://twitter.com/mattlargey/status/1361392939436564482?s=21
 

@whoknew

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Currently sitting in a hotel. They've supposedly had about 5 blackouts since 5 pm yesterday lasting about 30 min each. Figure that's better than electricity just plain being out. Will stay today and maybe tomorrow depending how this pans out. I have to admit, if anyone had told me a year ago what we'd have gone through the past 12 months, I would have thought they were FOS.

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Reading this thread while expecting the #### to come this way tonight and tomorrow.

School is already cancelled. Now I'm just concerned about the pipes. (We do have the foam covers but I'm not entirely confident in those). 

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I'll just toss this out there...

Mind your car battery! Id imagine a 3-4yr old battery may not wanna crank back up after a surge of cold that it ain't used to. Especially over a few days sitting there. 

Im fully used to (and currently dealing with) 1ft+ of snow and -20 or lower temps... im the guy that still takes his car for a 5-10min drive daily just to get the battery/alternator moving

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48 minutes ago, Soulfly3 said:

I'll just toss this out there...

Mind your car battery! Id imagine a 3-4yr old battery may not wanna crank back up after a surge of cold that it ain't used to. Especially over a few days sitting there. 

Im fully used to (and currently dealing with) 1ft+ of snow and -20 or lower temps... im the guy that still takes his car for a 5-10min drive daily just to get the battery/alternator moving

You inspired me to go outside and warm up my car and truck. Drove the car around the culdesac, but did not even try and move the truck even tho its all-wheel drive. I ran them both until solidly above Cold on the temp gauge, about 15 minutes. I even cleared lot of show off the glass. Sucked..

 

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4 hours ago, whoknew said:

On a bigger picture, what does it say about our infrastructure that we have one winter storm and basically the entire State of Texas's electrical grid crashes?

It's not just texas.  And people have been screaming for years that our power systems needed to be improved upon.

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4 hours ago, whoknew said:

On a bigger picture, what does it say about our infrastructure that we have one winter storm and basically the entire State of Texas's electrical grid crashes?

I’ll bet that the executive pay structure is not in danger of crashing. 

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