After the long Thanksgiving weekend here, winter arrived here late Sunday afternoon. Joyce had already taken George back to school, and the snow started falling at 3:40. Snowed heavy all night, and I got up at 4:30 to dig us out. Jenn’s school was closed, so she finished off the shoveling. After I got home from work, I grabbed the shovel and cleared out the Christmas floodlights she wasn’t able to see under the snow during the day.
The storm had been hyped for several days, with excited forecasts of heavy snow starting Wednesday late morning to early afternoon, and going on through the night. Come Wednesday afternoon, nothing. Easy drive home, with the snow just starting as I drove up Rt. 3. The snow picked up quickly, with big, fat flakes after I got home.
About 10:30, just as we were getting ready for bed, the lights flickered a couple of times, and a few minutes later, went out for good. I added a couple of gallons of gas and started the generator, then went to bed. As we fell asleep, we could hear loud cracking and crashes in the woods next to us. The next morning, we were knocked out of our beds by a crash that shook the house, and awoke to find this outside.
The top of one tree took out our power lines to the pole, and another just missed our back porch. The news reported Tyngsboro was 92% without power, and many other towns nearby were completely dark. Reports said many roads were blocked by downed trees, poles, and lines, and to stay off the roads unless necessary. Later that afternoon, Jennifer and I ventured out for more gasoline, and she took these pictures along Frost road.
The power was restored to our neighborhood around eight that evening, except to our house. Power crews were not able to address individual homes until all the large areas and critical operations were restored, so we didn’t see any activity until Sunday morning. First a tree crew arrived to clean the downed limbs from the lines, then the line crew arrived to reattach the lines from the house to the pole.
Just getting back to normal, just in time to start another school and work week. Forecasts are now calling for another ‘noreaster for Tuesday, here’s hoping it will pass us by.
If you’ve been trying to see what we’ve been up to these past few days, you probably got a timeout or web page inaccessible message the past few days.
We lost power in the storm Sunday night / Monday morning, around 2:40 AM. A lot of people in the Merrimack Valley lost power that evening, as we had a storm come through with hard rain and strong winds. There were a few places in the area that clocked gusts in excess of 90 MPH. Lots of trees and branches down. We had a tree come down on Robin Hood, just around the corner from us, pulling down electrical wires and blocking the road. Our generator had been running full time since early Monday morning, so keeping the website up has not been a priority here.
We hosted Anne and Mike last night, as they lost power too, but didn’t have a generator. Joyce skipped major cooking and brought home Market Basket roasted chicken and salad, and made mashed potatoes on the stove.
I got a call from George about 12:30 this afternoon (school was canceled because the buses couldn’t run their regular routes) saying our power was back on. I talked him through the process of switching back to line power, and shutting the generator down. Still lots of people in the area without power, hope they all get power back soon.
Bundled under a blanket on the couch last night, Joyce gently suggested that perhaps it might be time to turn the heat back on. Summer is gone, leaves are turning, frost sparkles on the morning grass. We finally turned the heat back on last night. Woke this morning to a comfortable house, with the warm smell of the heaters working. Fall is here.
Less than a month ago, we had ~10″ of snow on the ground. Today, it’s hitting 80+, and the glacier to the side of our driveway is nearly gone. Suppose to cool down a bit and rain, but still a lot better than teens and twenties with ice and snow.
So far, we haven’t been hit too bad. We did get one power ‘glitch’ about 3:30, just after I took this picture. Power was off for about two seconds, then came back.
We’ll probably get more than the 5″ NWS was predicting earlier this week, but I doubt it’s going to be the 18″ – 24″ the TV has been hyping. The kids schools were canceled yesterday afternoon, and my work decided to close for the day as well.
It’s starting to wind down now, we’ll probably go out a bit later and start digging out.
Update – 14 Mar 2017 7:00 PM
We were able to get out and clear the driveway after dinner. Depending on where measured, we got anywhere from 7.5″ to 10.5″. While snowfall reports around us were more, we suspect the bulk of the blowing snow was trapped in the woods around our house.
We’re well into April now, a time when the plants have usually turned green, the trees starting to show fine, green leaves, the grass has awakened and the bulbs are blooming. While not there, we are seeing signs that winter is finally finished.
We’re now seeing more yard than snow in the front, and the snow stick is ready to be taken down.
I can almost get the front floodlight and extension cord out of the ice. This illuminated the Christmas wreath on our front door, and was frozen and buried in all the storms.
There are a few bulbs starting to poke out of the dead leaves, although nothing is blooming yet. The forsythias have taken a beating, as we are starting to see lots of broken branches starting to come out of the snow.
We can likewise see more of the backyard than snow, although the melting snow makes the ground very soft and squishy. The squirrels jumped on the birdfeeder, and the soft ground rewarded them by letting the feeder lean over so they don’t have to jump anymore. Perhaps in another week, we’ll be able to get out and starting cleaning up the winter damage.
Hope you’re enjoying your spring too. It’s been a long winter.
The forecast wasn’t too far off. They were warning that we were going to warm up to around freezing, and then get a mix of snow, freezing rain and rain. With the gutters full of ice, and a good amount of snow on the roof, I spent a good part of Saturday digging out around and pulling as much snow off the roof as I could. Although I tried everything possible, I found the only way to get any significant amount of snow off the main roof was to get up on the big ladder.
It was actually a lot more comfortable, and stable, than it looks. Joyce was out there with me as a spotter and taking pictures. Using a combination of a plastic snow shovel and the roof rake, I was able to get the majority of the snow cleared off the front part of the house before this weekend’s snow moved in late Saturday afternoon.
Fortunately, the warm-up they were forecasting never quite made it this far north. Temperatures remained in the high 20’s, which although made the snow wet and sticky, never turned to sleet or freezing rain. Sunday morning we woke up to 31F. Another trip outside to clear the walks, porches, paths and driveway. I soon had to take off the cap, gloves and winter jacket, as it was getting (relatively) warm. With the warmer temperature, the ~1″ thick ice that covered the driveway started to crack and split, so a combination of the walkway ice scraper, snow shovel and snow blower gave us back our driveway.
Unfortunately, this warm spell is supposed to end this evening, dropping down to 19, and then only warming up to 20 tomorrow. Temperatures will then stay in the low to mid ‘teens until Thursday, when we are scheduled to get some more snow. We’ll be so glad when February is gone.
Listening to WCAP (where ‘Everyone Gets It’) on the way in to work this morning, I heard that the National Guard is being deployed to Lowell to assist with the snow removal. Oddly, it’s the Vermont National Guard , not the Massachusetts Guard. They didn’t say if the Mass Guard was already deployed elsewhere, or if they too were snowed in.
It has been warming up into the low to mid 20’s the past couple of days, which made yesterday’s evening snow heavy and sticky. Forecast is to warm up into the high 30’s on Sunday, with a mixture of rain and snow. Saturday morning is going to be spent figuring out how to remove the snow that’s already on the roof and clearing the gutters.