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Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:06 PM

This is bad.

The daughter and I are caught in the East Texas winter wonderland in the Free State of Van Zandt.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Zandt_County,_Texas

Electricity started rolling blackouts at 2:00 AM. At 5:27 AM, power went out completely. Daughter and I are currently living in a trailer in an RV Park. We lost water yesterday (all the lines are frozen), but we have sufficient water to survive. What we lack is heat. We have a propane-fueled heater, but it requires electricity to ignite. We have two space heaters, and they are sufficient to keep our space warm, but they require electricity. We have no electricity, and our local power co-op tells us that the State of Texas has ordered them through the auspices of the ERCOT. This is the Texas Regulatory Authority that is in charge of power allocation in the State. This is the organization that decided to divert power from my local co-op and has, in effect, condemned thousands of people to freeze to death this evening. How they make these decisions is beyond me, but I assume that the wealthy North Dallas suburbs are powered up. Predominantly African-American South Dallas is probably freezing, as are the predominantly White redneck rural areas surrounding the city.

https://www.tvec.net/ercot-calls-for-rolling-outages-to-reduce-demand/

We have propane, but we can’t use it to heat the trailer because the furnace requires an electric ignition and is run by an electricity-powered thermostat. We’re living in the minivan. As long as it’s running, we have heat. We just filled up on gas.

We tried to book a hotel room, but none are available within a 100 mile radius. The roads are very bad, so we’re hesitant to attempt to find shelter at any distance from our current location.

It’s currently 7 degrees, and we are heading for a low of 3 degrees tonight. Tomorrow’s high is not projected to exceed 25 degrees. The seven inches of snow that we have on the ground isn’t going anywhere. Then, on Wednesday, we are expecting another five to seven inches of snow—completely locking us in. Temperatures will not exceed freezing until Friday. There is no official report regarding when electricity may be restored.

I am not given to panic. Only a couple of times in my life have I been this frightened—for myself and for my child.

Please, wish us well.

-Laelth



102 replies, 9149 views

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Arrow 102 replies Author Time Post
Reply This is bad. (Original post)
Laelth Feb 2021 OP
pandr32 Feb 2021 #1
elleng Feb 2021 #2
bottomofthehill Feb 2021 #3
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #8
mr_lebowski Feb 2021 #22
wnylib Feb 2021 #34
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2021 #35
niyad Feb 2021 #4
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #5
2naSalit Feb 2021 #20
dutch777 Feb 2021 #21
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #24
wnylib Feb 2021 #41
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #44
wnylib Feb 2021 #49
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #51
wnylib Feb 2021 #57
calimary Feb 2021 #64
wnylib Feb 2021 #67
calimary Feb 2021 #72
wnylib Feb 2021 #75
llmart Feb 2021 #81
wnylib Feb 2021 #90
llmart Feb 2021 #91
wnylib Feb 2021 #99
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #98
dianaredwing Feb 2021 #97
live love laugh Feb 2021 #6
sop Feb 2021 #7
nocoincidences Feb 2021 #9
JoeOtterbein Feb 2021 #10
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2021 #11
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #14
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2021 #16
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #26
Deuxcents Feb 2021 #12
eppur_se_muova Feb 2021 #13
Ohiogal Feb 2021 #15
Kali Feb 2021 #17
cilla4progress Feb 2021 #18
Joinfortmill Feb 2021 #19
safeinOhio Feb 2021 #23
Irish_Dem Feb 2021 #28
The Velveteen Ocelot Feb 2021 #29
mbusby Feb 2021 #25
mr_lebowski Feb 2021 #27
yardwork Feb 2021 #30
Laelth Feb 2021 #95
yardwork Feb 2021 #96
Mr.Bill Feb 2021 #31
monkeyman1 Feb 2021 #32
murielm99 Feb 2021 #50
world wide wally Feb 2021 #33
wnylib Feb 2021 #45
c-rational Feb 2021 #36
SleeplessinSoCal Feb 2021 #37
Warpy Feb 2021 #38
mzmolly Feb 2021 #39
summer_in_TX Feb 2021 #40
sprinkleeninow Feb 2021 #46
DENVERPOPS Feb 2021 #48
sinkingfeeling Feb 2021 #42
Buckeye_Democrat Feb 2021 #43
jmbar2 Feb 2021 #47
Tech Feb 2021 #52
BigmanPigman Feb 2021 #53
Heartstrings Feb 2021 #54
jalan48 Feb 2021 #55
Tbear Feb 2021 #56
KY_EnviroGuy Feb 2021 #58
MustLoveBeagles Feb 2021 #59
UpInArms Feb 2021 #60
blm Feb 2021 #61
Cozmo Feb 2021 #62
CaptainTruth Feb 2021 #63
Bayard Feb 2021 #65
Solly Mack Feb 2021 #66
Tumbulu Feb 2021 #68
Mersky Feb 2021 #69
BobTheSubgenius Feb 2021 #70
58Sunliner Feb 2021 #71
Liberty Belle Feb 2021 #73
Laurelin Feb 2021 #74
Throck Feb 2021 #76
bucolic_frolic Feb 2021 #77
mac2766 Feb 2021 #78
dlk Feb 2021 #79
AllyCat Feb 2021 #80
Skittles Feb 2021 #86
drray23 Feb 2021 #88
ancianita Feb 2021 #82
Jay25 Feb 2021 #83
Laelth Feb 2021 #94
Jay25 Feb 2021 #101
SWBTATTReg Feb 2021 #84
Skittles Feb 2021 #85
Bayard Feb 2021 #87
Laelth Feb 2021 #93
J3AC4 Feb 2021 #89
SpankMe Feb 2021 #92
cotdom Feb 2021 #100
Laelth Feb 2021 #102

Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:11 PM

1. I am so sorry to hear this

Please keep us updated.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:11 PM

2. ;-)

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:15 PM

3. Please be careful

Carbon monoxide poisoning is often times more dangerous than the cold. If you are using your car as a warming station, make sure you occasionally check the tail pipe and open the doors for fresh air.

Please be careful, stay safe and do not run the car constantly. Cycle it on and off and I know this is counter intuitive , but let some of th cool fresh air in

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Response to bottomofthehill (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:17 PM

8. Yes check the tail pipe, make sure it is clear, not filled with snow and ice.

The previous poster is correct.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:47 PM

22. How would that happen if the car is running?

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:07 AM

34. Trust me, it does. Snow piles up

around a vehicle quickly in a storm. It can form a cavelike enclosure around the car and the exhaust, pushing fumes back into the car and suffocating people inside. Piled up snow does not leave room for the fumes to escape and dissipate.

The exhaust heat can also make any snow that gets into the tail pipe turn to slush that freezes in the pipe if the wind chill is great enough.

I am thinking that you are in a warm climate. People familiar with snowy weather know the risks of exhaust fume blowback very well.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:07 AM

35. It happens often. The warm exhaust causes condensation and ice to form, but

if the car is just idling, the exhaust is not hot enough to melt the ice or snow to the point where it will disappear, especially if it's very cold and/or there is a lot of snow accumulating around the car. It's very dangerous.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:15 PM

4. Wishing you well, sending vibes for strength and peace of mind. Yesterday, the high here was MINUS

2, overnight low was minus 18. Of course, the difference is, this is typical winter weather here in CO. But I do understand.

Know that your DU family is here if you want company, reassurance. .whatever you need. Keep checking in.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:15 PM

5. How long will your gas last in the minivan?

When you run out of gas are you better off back in the trailer and pile the bed high with blankets, sweaters and clothing? You and your daughter can huddle together for warmth?

Maybe some others here will have some better advice.

Have you called the sheriff's office for advice or assistance?

Perhaps a local high school auditorium is being set up for local residents to spend the night.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:39 PM

20. That is true.

The vehicle become dangerous after it won't run due to lack of gas. And huddling under blankets together is the best way for everyone to stay warm.

Good idea to see if a shelter is nearby, FEMA is allegedly been activated so there may be such a thing.

Also, while in the vehicle, keep tailpipe clear of snow and keep one or two back windows open just a little for fresh air.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:41 PM

21. Good advice. Problem with using car is fumes and the gas pumps need power too so short term fix at

best if power being out is long term. I would think mobilizing the National Guard and have them set up warming tents in distributed locations would be interim help if this is going to be all week. God's speed!

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Response to dutch777 (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:54 PM

24. Where the hell is the National Guard? Why isn't the governor doing something?

Why aren't they bringing generators to local high school auditoriums and sending out heavy trucks to pick up stranded residents.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:20 AM

41. That's what we do here in the north, but

I think Texas is less familiar with handling snow, ice storms, and such low temperatures.

Huddling together inside a home is safer than being in a car or van. Depending on how much snow you get and how the wind piles up the drifts, cars and even vans can get buried.

Blankets, sweaters, gloves, hats, and warm bodies staying close together at home can keep you warm. If there is a window A/C unit, cover it with plastic, e.g. a plastic bag, to keep the chill out. Close curtains, drapes, and blinds to keep the chill out, too. When there is no heat, every little bit helps. If it is windy, the cold air can seep in around window areas.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #41)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:23 AM

44. I agree with your advice.

But certainly the NG or the military could come in and assist. NG from northern states if need be.

Yes I would stay inside and get all the blankets and clothing together and huddle in bed together.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #44)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:38 AM

49. I just realized as I read through

other posts that her alternative to the van is an RV, not a house or regular mobile home. The RV is probably better insulated than the van, though.

Agree that the NG should be out checking up on people and providing shelters with generators. But until they do, she can only layer up, block windows, and huddle to share body heat.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:41 AM

51. Yes I made the same points in a prior post.

That is the route I would take as well.

I feel so bad for the Texans, I wish I could help in someway.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #51)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:05 AM

57. It must be hell for people not used to

this kind of weather. At least those of us in cold winter regions already have heavy quilts, thick socks, warm hats, sweaters, mittens, etc. if we lose heat. Imagine people who don't have those things around to fall back on.

I worry about poor people living in drafty homes without enough clothing or blankets to cover up with. Not to mention the homeless.

But I would think that many Texans would have generators due to the hurricanes near the coast and tornados inland. .

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Response to wnylib (Reply #57)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:32 AM

64. We had a couple of nights like that this past weekend.

Dark, cold, silent, boring, frustrating.

No lights. No heat. No cell service. No Internet. Not nothing. And Saturday night I laid there from about 8:30pm til about 5am, unable to doze off. We burrowed under as many blankets as we could find. Same thing Sunday night except I actually got some sleep.

We had a few candles but we also have a young cat who likes to jump up on everything, and we wanted to save the flashlight batteries. Nobody seems to know when power will be restored in our part of town. The latest estimate, as of mid-evening Monday was there is no estimate of when we’ll all get plugged back in.

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Response to calimary (Reply #64)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:43 AM

67. What's behind the energy problems?

We do get power outages around here (western NY) sometimes in winter, but it's pretty rare. More likely with ice storms when the weight of the ice knocks down power lines or tree limbs. It's more likely to happen here in summer during a really bad thunderstorm. But that's less common now due to some areas having underground cable.

Weather forecast here is for 3 degrees tonight with a foot of snow overnight. Normal February around here.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #67)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 02:47 AM

72. Maybe you just nailed it.

“Normal February around here.”

I’m no seasoned veteran but I’ve never been snowed in like this as far back as I can remember, even born in the Midwest! I have kid memories of snowy days and cold mornings.

But in SoCal, OY! Anything dropping toward the 40s and that’s the bitter end! Heck, it rains so seldom down there that nobody remembers how to drive in the rain! The accident rate on the streets and freeways always goes up.

In Oregon people seem to be used to SOME snow in the late winter. I’ve seen three winters now. Snow yes. A few hours’ worth and then it’s melted away. But THIS? THIS particular winter? CRIMINY!!! This is bad! Instead of three hours and it’s gone, we’re at three DAYS and it’s still here! Conditions remain cold, slippery, and dangerous! Broken trees EVERYWHERE! My husband assured me they don’t feel pain but it sure looks painful to me!

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Response to calimary (Reply #72)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 07:25 AM

75. Yes, it all depends on what a region

is accustomed to and therefore prepared to handle. We have snow tires, plows, salt and sand trucks, and designated shelters with generators for when power goes off in winter. Also, "blue alerts" for homeless people when temps go below freezing. There are heated shelters for them on those nights. And as long as the power is still on, utilities are not allowed to shut people off for non payment between certain months in winter (I forget which, maybe Nov through March).

We get blizzards occasionally, but not often. I've been through a few. But Minnesota gets much colder temps than we do. Coldest I can remember is 15 below zero with wind chills to 50 below due to blizzard winds.

I wonder where you lived in the Midwest. They are wide open, with a lot of wind. I lived in Toledo, Ohio for a short time in spring and summer. So flat and open that the wind chill in March was brutal. Later lived in Cleveland where I experienced the worst blizzard in my life. The whole northern half of Ohio was shut down for 3 days.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #75)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:10 AM

81. I was born and raised in a rural NE Cleveland town right on Lake Erie.

I'll bet the blizzard you're referring to was in the 70's, maybe 1976 if I recall correctly. I also remember one in about 1963 where schools were closed for a week which in that area was rare.

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Response to llmart (Reply #81)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 03:26 PM

90. I lived in Westlake for 5 years,

and worked in the city. My husband worked in North Olmsted. The blizzard was on January 26, 1978. I remember the date because it was the anniversary of my MIL's death.

Before the blizzard there had been several heavy snowfalls already, followed by rain and thaw each time. The day before the blizzard, the temp reached 60 during the day, with a lot of rain. That night the forecast said another storm was coming and winds could reach 35 to 40 mph, with higher gusts. I did not believe them.

I fell asleep on the couch watching a late weather report in our first floor apartment. The wind woke me up at 5:00 am. I looked out and yelled, "Holy sh!t!" which woke up my husband.

The snow was coming down in totally horizontal sheets. The whole row of sapling evergreens in front of our building was flapping horizontally. Snow was flying through the A/C and pooling on the floor. The cat was racing to the window and back to me. The temp had dropped 20 degrees in one hour and kept going down.

Foolishly, I bundled up for work and went out to my car in the parking lot, next to an empty wooded lot. The sidewalk was sheer ice where the rainwater froze instantly. The sheets of rain had frozen on my car, completely encasing it in one inch thick ice. I could not even grip the door handle. Then a tree in the empty lot snapped in two and the upper part flew over my head.

I could not open the building's exterior door to get back inside because the wind was too strong. I caught my husband's attention through the living room window and he pushed from inside while I pulled from outside. Once open, we could not close it until he grabbed the door and I grabbed his waist to pull together.

Winds were steady around 50 to 60 mph, but there were gusts (quite a few of them) that reached 80. One gust was clocked at 110 mph (at the lakefront airport).

The TV scene I remember most was a local NBC reporter standing in a downtown bus shelter, warning people to stay away from the downtown area due to broken office windows and flying debris. As if on cue, the bus shelter lifted up and blew away while she was talking. Then the screen went blank.

It was like a land hurricane, with snow.

I90 went behind our building. We could see bobbing lights through the swirling snow where lines of people, tied together by ropes, stretched out to the expressway to rescue people trapped in cars.

I have seen other blizzards, but none as bad as that one.

.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #90)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 04:27 PM

91. Great description!

Yes, I sort of thought it was 1978. We had two winters in a row where it did nothing but snow. We had a long driveway and a three-car parking area and at one point there was just no other place to throw the snow, the piles were so high. Walking down our driveway was like walking through a tunnel. I was a stay at home mother with two small children those years. One of those winters I clearly remember it snowed every single day in January. My then husband went to work in Cleveland (we lived in Lake County) and what was normally a 45 minute drive took him 4 hours to get home. There were stories in the Plain Dealer of people stuck on the freeways for hours and how some people found "interesting" ways to pee in their cars. If I remember correctly, my son got a board game that year called "The Great Blizzard of '78". (I'll have to look that up to see if anyone remembers that.

We got transferred to North Carolina in 1982 and I thought I died and went to heaven. I hated the Cleveland winters. The first winter I was in NC was one of the mildest ever and the first week of February my neighbor was on his riding lawn mower doing a first mowing and I had daffodils blooming in my yard. I had to call my brother back in Cleveland to rub it in. I really, really wish I would have stayed in NC but we got transferred once again to Michigan. Ugh.

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Response to llmart (Reply #91)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 08:46 PM

99. I remember that January when it snowed

every day. I think that, at the same time, the temp did not go above 20 for a very long time. Can't remember now just how long.

I am from Erie, originally and I thought that, except for the blizzard of 78, Cleveland winters were usually milder than Erie's. But I think that's because we were in Westlake. The ridge that goes through the suburbs to the south and east of Cleveland also runs through Erie County PA, dumping snow in winter and thunderstorms in summer.

But the ridge does not extend to Westlake. Usually we could watch clouds drift toward us and then turn southeasterly, leaving us untouched. We always went to Erie for Christmas and when we were returning to Cleveland, it always seemed to snow heavily from Erie until we were passing the center of Cleveland on I90. By the time we got to Westlake, the sun would be shining in a clear sky, no snow coming down and none on the ground. Like going from one world into another.

But the Blizzard of 78 was different because it came directly from west to east along the southern shore of the lake in a wide swath, extending from the lake to several miles southward. And in Cuyahoga County, Westlake was the first to be hit.

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Response to wnylib (Reply #57)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 08:38 PM

98. Yes I wondered if they even have gloves, hats, scarves.

And heavy blankets and quilts, etc.

Right we know what to do if we lose heat, and have the bedding and clothing to take care of ourselves.

Generators are not cheap, and seems like a luxury to many I suppose.

Some of the homeless are probably not going to survive this.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 07:58 PM

97. Why the hell

Aren't they opening shelters and sending the national guard and police out to help people? It takes a lot less energy to heat a large auditorium than a hundred or more little trailers that leak heat like a sieve. I live in Louisiana. It only takes the threat of an emergency for shelters to open.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:15 PM

6. I'm so sorry 😞 I hope you can safely weather this disaster. nt

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:16 PM

7. Take care.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:17 PM

9. Stay in touch with DU.

If there is something you need, or you think can help, please ASK!!

We can't guess what will help, please tell us.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:18 PM

10. I'm sorry....

....(tears).

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:18 PM

11. That sounds just awful.

You are right to stay where you are for now rather than try to drive on slippery roads in an area where they can't handle that much snow and won't be able to clear it efficiently. Advice from a northerner, for what it's worth: The key to staying warm is to wear clothes in layers - put on as many clothes as you can, but not jeans; cotton is not warm and if it gets wet it stays damp and makes you colder. Double up on socks and gloves and wear a hat. If you are running your minivan to stay warm be sure to clear the tailpipe of snow from time to time and crack the windows now and then. You should be able to get road reports on the radio or your phone so you know when and where it's safe to drive somewhere, but if you decide to drive and happen slip off the road, stay with the car and wait; don't walk to get help.

You will be OK, but what a sucky couple of days you're stuck with. Hang in there and let us know how you're doing.

I can't believe how f&cked up the electricity situation is in Texas. True, it's unusual weather for the state, but why have a grid that can't connect outside the state? It's insane.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:24 PM

14. Yes the extra gloves and socks are important to prevent frostbite.

And the hat as well.

I hope she can read our suggestions.
I don't know if she has battery left on her phone.

Edit to add: Yes stay with the car or trailer.
Don't start walking around in a frigid snowstorm.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:31 PM

16. Hope there is a car charger for the phone.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:55 PM

26. Right, if the situation becomes more dire, she must call the sheriff.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:19 PM

12. I'm sorry I cannot help

My sister lives in Henderson n she is w/o power, too. She lives by herself n her daughters are not close enough to help. My family in Houston are w/o so I have a good idea what you’re going thru. Please stay safe as you can with those heaters when power comes on. 🙏🏻

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:23 PM

13. If you resort to using a catalytic heater please be careful !

These are normally used in spaces where some airflow is possible, to prevent the accumulation of traces of carbon monoxide. Improper use can lead to CO poisoning.
https://mobilervglass.com/how-to-use-a-catalytic-heater-in-an-rv/

Coleman used to make a version that burns so-called "white gasoline" (a liquid fuel sold by Coleman) but it has no CO detector, and I believe they quit making it. There are now propane versions available. https://campaddict.com/indoor-portable-propane-heater/

Of course if you live in TX why would you ever think of keeping one of these around? This is a once in a century thing!

Probably there's a run on all the camping/outdoor equipment stores in the area right now, so it's probably too late to find one--or a generator for that matter.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:25 PM

15. I am so sorry.

I hope conditions improve for you very soon. I can’t imagine what you’re going through.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:31 PM

17. is your kitchen stove propane?

with the same warnings about carbon monoxide issues, can you light it manually, or just the top burners? you can put a big pan of water inside so it doesn't malfunction from being on a long time. would take the chill out of trailer, which should have better insulation than a vehicle. as mentioned layer clothes and move around to get warm before bed. don't fall asleep cold, get your body warm first by running in place or some such thing.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:35 PM

18. Stay in touch.

Let us know what you need.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:38 PM

19. I said a prayer

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:50 PM

23. I hope Biden calls out the troops

to save everyone. It’d be great for everyone. Hang on and huddle up for body heat.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:56 PM

28. If FEMA and the NG are not enough, he should consider that option.

The military has the resources to help.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:56 PM

29. I think the governor has to do that.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:55 PM

25. Couple of days ago...

in a northwest Denver suburb, we were down to -10, felt like -25 wind-chill. We are currently at 10 degrees.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:55 PM

27. Huh ... last time power went out in California, the Governor got recalled and replaced by a B-level

Republican movie actor.

Also, it was the fault of Texas that our power was out in the first place.

Now people are trying to recall the CA governor again.

And the power is out in Texas.

Hopefully this means Abbott will be recalled next, and a Democrat will take his place.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:57 PM

30. I am so sorry that you're going through this.

Is there a shelter being set up near you?

There is good advice in this thread. Layer clothing, especially anything wool or synthetic, which helps keep you warm. Stay dry. Don't get wet.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 05:46 PM

95. No shelters are available in the county to my knowledge.

This morning’s update is here:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1018&pid=1470956

We made it through the night, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #95)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 05:50 PM

96. I'm glad you're ok for now but wow.... I am so sorry.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 11:58 PM

31. What about your neighbors?

If any of them are home and have some kind of heat can they take you in? Does the RV park have a common building like an office or a rec room? Is anyone there? Contact people close to you and make them aware of your situation. I live in a mobile home park myself, and when we have these kinds of problems we get together and pool resources. Best of luck to you.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:04 AM

32. LAELTH


please call a police officer now or fire Dept. they will you to a warm location now !!!

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Response to monkeyman1 (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:40 AM

50. We were in a situation like this

when we were newlyweds. Snowmobilers were rescuing people. They even brought an OB to a woman in labor so she could have her baby safely.

The police or fire department near you may not be able to provide snowmobile helpers, but there may be other types of rescuers or helpers who can do something for you.

Stay safe.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:05 AM

33. What if you drive west?

Maybe you can make it to Arizona or Southern Cal if you are lucky

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Response to world wide wally (Reply #33)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:29 AM

45. No. Not good to drive in icy conditions

regardless of what direction it is. Stay put and layer up to keep warm.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:08 AM

36. Good wishes Laelth. Hope you can find enough eclectic to power you propane heater. Hope some

neighbors can pool resources. Also, be careful in the car with fumes. Take turns sleeping or set an alarm. Best. Note, from someone who use to like winter hiking, warm enough dress, movement, and a good sleeping bag can get you through.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:11 AM

37. if ever there was a need and reward for hugs, this is the time.

It can keep you warm and and positive and close.

Wishing you needed relief.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:12 AM

38. Well, leave yourself at least a quarter tank in that minivan

Go inside and bunk in together, piling all the clothes you own that you're not wearing on top of you in bed. Layers of even light stuff will insulate you. Tonight and tomorrow will be bad. The next storm is supposed to be warmer, not the killing cold of this one.

If you need to call 911, do so to find a heated shelter somewhere. That's what that 1/4 tank of gas is for.

As long as those blackouts actually roll, you should be OK. Power will be back before the place freezes solid.

This is the fourth one of these bastards that's roared through NM in the last calendar year, dropping temperatures 50-60 degrees in twelve hours when they do.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:15 AM

39. I'm so sorry. How can we help get you a kerosene heater or?

Can you pick one up at a local Walmart or? I'm sure many here are happy to fund, myself included.

I'm in Minnesota and I can't imagine.


When I was young and we had no heat, we used to turn on the gas oven. I'm not sure if that's a viable option. But I don't think sleeping in your van is advisable. You might be better off with some source of intermittent heat in your RV.

Please do check in.

My thoughts are with you and your daughter.


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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:19 AM

40. The County will have emergency shelters open.

Likely schools and perhaps churches. Please, call 9-1-1 and find the closest shelter. Ask for transportation if the roads are too dangerous to drive on. I'm south of Austin and roads have been closed. But the radio station here was able to arrange for a staff member to get a ride over there from an EMS person. First responders have resources and training to get through terrible road conditions that many civilians don't have.

Be safe, and please let us know.

Praying for you both.

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Response to summer_in_TX (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:29 AM

46. I'm with you. Laelth, please call 9-1-1 and go to a shelter! Remember your phone charger.

Request transportation!

Dear God! The opening sentence in your OP!

Lord! Be with these sisters of mine, guide them to safety.

Love to you both! 🙏💓


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Response to summer_in_TX (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:35 AM

48. Call police, fire, ems

They will probably be able to transport you to a place that has heat.

Many large office buildings, public schools, hospitals, etc have emergency power generators that kick on during power failures.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:20 AM

42. Are there any public warming stations? Library or school where folks

can go to be warm?

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:21 AM

43. Wishing you well!

Please dress in several layers, obviously.



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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:32 AM

47. Your situation is REALLY scary - I am so sorry

My family is in Houston, and it's NEVER been this cold.

This won't help you tonite, but maybe in the future. I keep a 12v electric blanket in my van for emergencies. I've only had to use it once, but it made a big difference.

Also put layers underneath your bedding for insulation from cold coming up under the vehicle, and add a top layer between you and the ceiling. I've done it with an extra blanket hung from the ceiling over my sleeping space to reduce the size of the space my body was trying to heat. Have also seen people say to use a large cardboard box inside the vehicle around your sleeping space.

For me, it was just camping one nite at 20 degrees. Your situation is far more serious.

Keep us posted. My heart goes out to you. Sending you warm energy.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:55 AM

52. Someone posted earlier that they used to winter camp, using a coffee can and a candle.

It was something we all kept in our cars in the old days before cell phones etc. Perhaps you have a larger food can and a candle.

As others have said, lots of layers and as many blankets and sheets that you can find. And make sure you have some air circulation.

Wisconsin girl here who spent a few years in Texas. Loved it, but the buildings really are not made to withstand the brutal cold. And this seasoned winter driver who had gone up and down many hills with no wheel drive went into the ditch only once, in a couple of inches of snow on Austin in the 80's while driving a front wheel drive. Found out they are not very good at plowing sanding and salting.

Some great advice here. Wish I could do more, but sending you all the wishes I have. Please keep us posted, and the best of luck to you.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:56 AM

53. This makes me think of The Long Winter

by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They had no trains for 6 months in S Dakota and constant 3-day blizzards in 1880. There was no food or fuel so they made sticks of twisted hay for fuel in their stove and they ground seed wheat in their coffee mill for "bread". They put grease on a rag with a button for a light to see in the cold, dark. I try to think of this when I am cold and it's 55° outside. I wouldn't have lasted a week 150 years ago.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:02 AM

54. Warm and safe vibes sent....

Please keep us posted and let us know how you’re doing. I hoping help is on it’s way.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:02 AM

55. Wishing you well. When I was a kid we placed newspapers between ourblankets when it got below zero.

Anything to help create layers will keep you warmer. You’ll make it!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:04 AM

56. Candle under a flower pot ca provide some heat

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:18 AM

58. Amazing how Van Zant survived some of the winters. If I recall right, he roughed it a lot.

I wish I could beam you a small generator to operate that furnace thermostat and propane furnace valve since it doesn't require much power. Something to consider for the future and a small generator could run yours and a bunch of neighbors. However, in order to do that it would require modification of your electrical system.

I'm luck that we have a gas wall furnace that has a non-electrical thermostat. So far, our electricity has held in north central KY.

Big DU hugs to you and your daughter from very chilly Kentucky.......

PS: Be sure to check the oil in your minivan and when you're in it warming up, keep a window cracked a tiny bit to let fresh air in and fumes out.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:18 AM

59. I'm sorry you and your daughter are going through this

I wish I could do something. Follow the advice about layering your clothing and bedding. Keep us posted if you can and stay safe.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:19 AM

60. I wish I could do or say anything

Stay as safe as you can, dear Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:24 AM

61. Sweaters and blankets. Stay under the covers.

Form your own heat tent. You will get through.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:26 AM

62. Only know you through your previous posts and I appreciate them

I hope you find the warmth you and your child will need through the night and I will say a prayer

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:27 AM

63. You're in our thoughts!!!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:40 AM

65. Sorry you're going through this, Laelth

As others have said, your best option is to get somewhere else safe and warm, even if you have to call 911. You may have to wait awhile, considering conditions there.

In the meantime, do you have a cat or a dog? I know that sounds stupid at this time, but they can be incredibly warm (from experience here). Take your daughter and your pet, put on all your clothes, and then huddle under covers together in the RV. Body heat is the way to go till you are rescued. Who else is around you there? Is everyone in the same boat? Can you at least get a thermos of hot coffee? This is not the time to be shy.

This is an emergency. Your DU family is here for you. Let us know how we can help. Please.



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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:42 AM

66. I am so sorry! Let us know how y'all are doing, please.

I wish I had some helpful advice.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:44 AM

68. I wish you well and am so sorry to read this!

Oh my goodness!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:48 AM

69. Thinking of you two - hang in there

Sounds like you’re making things work. Bundle up the extra layers of blankets - I’m under six right now in a house without power for 22 hours. My grandmother depends on propane, too. And it’s all scary, but you can make it through.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:51 AM

70. This is horrifying! I wish I had some secret survival knowledge to offer, but...alas...

When I first read your OP, I thought 7 and 3 degrees...doesn't sound so bad. I forgot you don't use Celsius. I am now very concerned.

Filling the inside of your car with things that tend to be insulating, and fill up the spaces where cold air can live. This will also cut down on breathable air, so the advice above on that should be very carefully heeded.

Also, do not warm up your car to the point that you feel like reducing your clothing in any way. For one thing, your gas will last longer, and more importantly, it could be a vital step in not succumbing to exposure.

I wish I could give you my cold weather gear. I bought it when I was almost transferred to a place with EXTREMELY cold winters, but it fell through. So, I have very good winter gear that I never use.

I wish you the very, very best and will be looking for a followup from you.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:55 AM

71. I wish we could all do more for you. Great suggestions in the thread.

Looking to the future, if you need some help getting your situation ready for emergencies please consider setting up a go fund me. I'd love to help as would others. Take care.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 03:03 AM

73. Scary. Exercise can help you warm up and keep blood circulating.

Running in place, jumping jacks, etc.

Consider making a makeshift tent over the bed/seats to keep warmer air in. Even a walk-in closet might be used as a warm space,

Besides blankets, pull out warm clothing to pile on top of the covers -- coats, sweatshirts, etc. Keep your feet and head as warm as possible. A COVID mask can keep your face warm.

Got a thermos? If you have any way to heat up water or soup, or buy any hot liquids such as hot tea or coffee if there's a drive-thru or 711 near you open, do that.

For those who plan ahead for things like this, camping supply stores carry hand warmers that you put in your pockets and they emit hit as needed. Outdoor cold weather sports people use these.

Remember your cell phone probably has a light function if your flashlight batteries run low. But be sure to save enough charge to make an emergency call if needed.

Consider going anywhere that may be open -- a hospital cafeteria, a casino, etc. would have generators and may be open 24/7.

People have survived when stranded in the cold by building snow caves, igloos, etc. in the worst-case scenario.





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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 04:41 AM

74. Wishing you well

Since that's your request. I spent the last 20 years in Texas myself so I don't have good advice. You're in my prayers, with all my Texas friends.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 08:13 AM

76. Layer up on the clothing.

Old winter camper here. 10 and 15 below. Layer up on the clothing, non cotton if you have it. Layer up your child with your extra clothing over theirs. Then grab the bedding off the beds and huddle up under that. Top off with a tarp if you have one. The objective is to trap and stagnate layers of air. Cover your head. If you don't have gloves use socks. Eat light and sip water.

By all means if you can get to a shelter, go.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 09:59 AM

77. Be well

You have shelter. Make the most of it. Layers upon layers. 12 layers or more. Perhaps you have food. And each other. One person is cold. Two people are a furnace!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:15 AM

78. I experienced a similar situation in the mid 80's in Indiana.

I can't remember the exact amount of snow, but the drifts went over the top of the mobile home I was living in and buried automobiles completely. The wind was howling and the wind chill was unbearable.

The furnace ran on heating oil that was tainted with water. It became sludge in the tank and the furnace wouldn't start. Luckily, we had a full tank of LP gas and were able to turn on the oven to get some heat at least. We put on as many layers of clothing that we could and pulled out all of the blankets that we had. It was very cold. I think it took about 4 days or so for the county to get to our road to dig us out. They used a front-end loader to scoop up the snow and pile it on top of itself. It was a weird and very short period of my life. I have fond memories of it today, but I'm sure at the time it was a bit unnerving.

I hate to hear that anyone is living through this type of thing. Good luck to everyone who is dealing with this.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:19 AM

79. Are there warming shelters closer to Dallas you could possibly get to?

Even with road conditions, you maybe could take it slowly. I’m so sorry you’re stuck.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 10:24 AM

80. What I am reading from TX residents on Twitter is all the rich

suburbs have had power the whole time.

I am so sorry this is happening to you and your government is doing nothing to help. Please be safe.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #80)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:40 PM

86. that is absolute bullshit

seriously - I can't speak for all but I live in a tiny apartment in such a community and the power has been going out for nine hours off - one hour on for a while now

check for yourself

https://poweroutage.us/area/state/texas

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #80)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 02:20 PM

88. its likely because new housing developments

have power lines buried instead of in the air.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:34 AM

82. You and your daughter take care, Laelth. I'm with all the advice above.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 11:57 AM

83. Just read this now.

Wish you and your daughter well. Please let us know how you are doing.

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Response to Jay25 (Reply #83)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 05:45 PM

94. Thanks. This morning's update is here:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1018&pid=1470956

We made it through the night, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #94)

Wed Feb 17, 2021, 11:16 AM

101. That's good. I'm sorry you guys are going through this.

Sending love, positive energy and prayers your way.
Sorry, a day late again, but your in my thoughts.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 12:08 PM

84. Perhaps you have a manual button to start up the heater? Some models (but I don't know

RVs in particular) do have a manual override for your electric ignition (you push a button to get that spark for your heater to start it). I don't know about your electricity-powered thermostat, can't batteries temporarily run the thermostat?

Best wishes to you and be safe.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 01:40 PM

85. I can assure you the "north Dallas suburbs" are being hit too

yup

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 02:07 PM

87. Laelth--please give us an update!!

Let us know you found shelter. Been worried about you.



Sending you virtual

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Response to Bayard (Reply #87)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 05:42 PM

93. This morning's update is here:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1018&pid=1470956

We made it through the night, but we’re not out of the woods yet.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 02:57 PM

89. Now Would Be A Good Time

For Texas to show the other states that they don't need the US Government.
They should act like they have already seceded from the union and go it alone.
Let's see them backup all that BS.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 05:31 PM

92. Where's the Red Cross?

They typically put up temporary facilities for things like this.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Tue Feb 16, 2021, 09:38 PM

100. You should be able to light your stove with a lighter

just don't run it non-stop. And unfortunately you might need to refresh the air from time to time. You could end up with an oxygen shortage if you dont.

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Response to cotdom (Reply #100)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 12:12 PM

102. Thanks.

I never run the stove without venting the air in the trailer. We have a SMALL one, only 133 sq. ft. The stove will eat up all the oxygen in the trailer very quickly without proper ventilation, and this was our problem. It was 7 degrees outside. If we ran the stove for heat, whatever heat we generated would be lost because of our need to properly ventilate.

We decided to just live in the minivan and keep the engine running for heat. Ultimately, we survived.

-Laelth

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