Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This was the sight we awoke to back on March 12, 2006.  Four feet of snow had fallen during the night, reaching the top of the fence and burying cars and trash cans.  It took 3 days for the snow plows to reach us, so we were stranded all that time.  School was cancelled while everyone dug out.

This is my 20th winter here in the White Mountains, and that four-footer is the heaviest snow I've seen in all that time.  Most storms leave one foot or less of snow, with an occasional two- or three-foot dumpage.  The old-timers like to reminisce about the winter of 1967 when 10 feet of snow fell, caving roofs in and forcing people to tunnel out of their homes.  Nothing like that since then, though.

The weather people have prepared us for another big storm.  Actually, three storms in a row this week, coming to us from California.  Originally they were predicting huge snowfall levels, but so far the reality isn't living up to expectations.

The first storm hit yesterday and dropped 7 inches of snow overnight.  Not as bad as we'd anticipated.  Our school was cancelled, but Show Low--about 5 miles away and 1,000 feet lower in elevation--got very little snow, so they had only a 2-hour delay in starting school.  This afternoon the snow cleared sooner than predicted, and it was a beautifully sunny day, turning the snow to slush.  It looks like we could have gone to school on a 2-hour delay schedule, too.  

Snow for the second storm started about an hour ago and is falling heavily.  They say it may leave us with 14 inches of the white stuff by noon tomorrow.  Then the third storm is supposed to hit tomorrow night and last for 2 full days, the worst of the three.  We could get an additional 2 feet of snow, bringing the total to well more than 3 feet.  We'll see.  I wonder if we'll have any school at all this week.

What concerns me most is that the final storm is supposed to bring heavy, wet snow accompanied by more damaging winds, with the likelihood of long-term power outages due to power poles going down under the load.  Oh no, not again...

So I decided to be prepared, just in case.  I spent our beautiful afternoon mailing bills (the few I don't handle online); filling the propane tank for the gas grill; topping off the gas tank of my car; refilling a prescription that will run out in a couple of days; and running to Wal-Mart to pick up a few extras.

We collected all our assorted flashlights and I bought enough D batteries to power them all for the next few days.  I also purchased 2 more lanterns to go with the one we've had for years.
Dylan gets a bit freaked out in the dark, and the lanterns are far more comforting to him than flashlights.

We made a list of possible meals should we be unable to cook anything: cold cereal, bread, peanut butter and jelly, tuna, cold cuts and cheese, pork and beans, cottage cheese, salad, fruits... Everything is in place.

I checked our bottled water supply: we still have 12 gallons, so we're good.  The kids went out to the shed and brought in firewood for the fireplace, just in case. 

Tonight we charged up our cell phones, cameras, lanterns, iPods and MP3 players, and hand-held video games. 

As I told my children, life will be easier with these little conveniences intact.  Plus, maybe I won't have to listen to as much grumbling from my technology-deprived children!

And, in anticipation of no hot water should the power go off, we washed and dried all the laundry; washed up all the dishes; and made sure everyone took a shower.

I think we're ready.  Bring it on!

1 comment:

Jill said...

I didn't realize you go down a hill to go to school. So what is the elevation where your home is?

You always were organized about all the details. We are having rain everyday here this week and it's suppose to be especially bad today and tomorrow, so I'm going to at least get my flashlights ready.

I hope your internet hangs in there so you can keep us updated.