We've been having sleet and/or freezing rain here -- putting a layer of ice on top of our snow. (sigh) But THANKFULLY we're now back to blizzard-like snow. I'm not crazy about huge piles of snow everywhere, but it beats ICE from freezing rain any day...
Sister Sue phoned with TERRIBLE news about their home. The toilet in the smaller bathroom froze and exploded, throwing water EVERYWHERE. They had four inches of water in Sue's bedroom and also in Nicole's bedroom, too (it went through the wall into Nicole's room). Sue had tried to stop the flow of water and was soaked -- not a good thing in this cold weather. She was pretty hysterical and upset the first time I talked to her, understandably.
She finally got someone to crawl under the house and turn off the main -- which meant they had no water and couldn't use the toilet in Sue's room, either.
Anyway, Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I discussed it and I phoned her back to suggest they (and their two cats) come here to our house to stay. I thought two of them could share the bed in my bedroom and one of them could sleep on the sofa in our living room. And I figured the cats would just find a way to get along...
Obviously this would be far from an ideal situation, but I was worried that they wouldn't be able to stand staying home. You can stand a lot of things, but standing water, no running water and no working toilet means you're screwed.
Anyway, when Candy (Sue's daughter, my niece) got home from work (she goes in at 4:30 a.m.), she went and got a shop vac and started getting up the water. The neighbor man who helped earlier told them what to do about the toilet, so I guess they've got their water back on now.
I just spoke to Sue by phone and got a few more details. The water gushed out, hitting the wall into Nicole's room. That how the water got in there. But it didn't go through the back wall (where it's installed) into Sue's walk-in closet, thankfully. (They've had issues with that before.) Water got on the floor and into the hall and down the hall into Sue's bedroom. It also got into Candy's bedroom (across the hall) and down into the living room a bit. It's a lot of water to deal with, and Candy has a bad back, so using the shop vac has been killing both Candy and Sue. They've got towels and blankets down everywhere to sop up water and the dryer running non-stop to dry them out.
I guess they plan to stay home, so I don't need to rush around making things ready to house them. I was totally willing to do it, but it's easier not to need to. I'm taking a breather from frantic picking up and cleaning in order to blog.
We also took a break to have a hot meal (our first meal of the day), which was nice.
We spent part of the day with both of us outside tending to the birds and squirrels. The hummingbirds were flying from hole to hole on the frozen feeder -- it was heartbreaking! We had to do it twice, as it freezes over again pretty quickly. And after we got the seed out, there were birds and squirrels EVERYWHERE in our yard.
This is so strange. Portland simply isn't prepared for this type of weather. The cost to the city is horrible. Our news people are working around the clock to keep us informed. The street crews and power company people are all on call and working around the clock.
I feel awful about Sue's misfortune, and am sure it's repeated dozens and dozens of times all over the city and the state. And this winter storm certainly isn't a local thing -- there's nasty weather all across the country. But I do think places that are used to snow and ice are probably dealing with things much better than we are here...
The NaBloPoMo theme for December is THANKS, so each day this month I'll try to include something I'm thankful for -- or an example of the word 'thanks.'
We have our nice WARM home -- and we still have POWER! Our house is full of light, TVs are on in more than one room, the stove and microwave are working to keep us fed, the fridge is keeping food cold and our furnace is pumping away to keep things comfy.
I'm so glad we've gone from freezing rain to snow. (And I love the way the snow looks, even if it is a bear to deal with...)
I'm grateful that our pipes haven't frozen. (Even if the sound of dripping water is maddening!)
I'm just feeling very lucky to be doing so well, in spite of this winter storm.