ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Maine News & Culture

Updated on January 11, 2014

The view from my front door, a few days before Christmas. That's ice, not water.

Maine's Grinchy Ice Storm

As I write this, the entire state of Maine – with the exception of some places on the immediate coast—is once again coated in ice. There are scores of accidents being reported across the state, including one that involved 4 tractor trailers and a passenger car this morning near Falmouth: http://www.pressherald.com/news/Maine_Turnpike_southbound_shut_down_by_multivehicle_crash_.html

Twitter is blowing up with accounts of sand trucks that can’t make it up the hills, cars sliding off roads, and pleas from law enforcement agencies for everyone to just PLEASE. STAY. HOME.

Those of us living in Waldo and Hancock counties, the areas hardest hit by the grinchy ice storm that stole Christmas, are still dealing with the aftermath of the last storm.

My neighborhood lost electricity on the morning of Monday, December 23rd, the 2nd day of the storm, and didn’t have it restored until Friday the 27th. Family holiday plans had to be canceled, and after the temperature inside the house dropped below 40 degrees at 5a.m. on Christmas morning, we packed up the dogs and cat and took refuge at my office where there is a back-up generator. Things were pretty touch and go there for awhile too, as the propane in the tank that powers the generator froze on Christmas day, but an emergency delivery bailed us out. When we returned home, even some of the drained plumbing fixtures had gotten so cold that they broke, and with the temps hovering around 15 degrees below zero, it was nearly 2 weeks before the plumbing & heating guys could take a break from furnace calls and come fix our plumbing. And did I mention that my car wouldn’t start, even with a brand new battery? Through Christmas week and New Year’s, life was like a freezing cold, scary camping trip.

I’d love to remodel my old house in the village, adding solar and a big woodstove, but that's not going to happen, at least not in the short run. And predictions are that we’ll be seeing more of these “extreme weather” events, so I came away from this with some survival pointers for those of us without unlimited funds:

  1. If you have a pellet stove, especially the older generation models, you probably know that when the power goes out, the smoke backs up into the house. The owner’s manual for ours actually advises us to open the front and back door of the house to create an updraft to cause the smoke to be sucked out the vent pipe. When it’s 15 degrees below zero, the last thing you want to do is open the doors, but obviously you need to clear the smoke. But if you go online before the next storm, and do a little googling, you’ll find battery back-ups that will keep the stove and fan running for at least a few hours after the power goes out. These can be added to the older model stoves for around $500.
  2. Add your power company’s outage reporting number to your cell phone contacts, and bookmark the link for their outage pages on your phone as well. CMP is: 1-800-696-1000 and http://www3.cmpco.com/OutageReports/ , Bangor Hydro/Emera is: (800) 440-1111 and http://bangorhydro.com/about-us/outages-and-restorations/current-outage-reports.aspx
  3. Monitor those sites during a storm before there is an outage. If you start to see outages in your area, fill up thermoses with hot water so you can have hot drinks later.
  4. Stock up on hand warmer packets to stuff in your pockets and socks. (We even stuck them on the dogs – not sure how kosher that is, but we were pretty desperate)
  5. Speaking of pets, have an emergency pet kit ready with their food, leashes, meds, and blankets
  6. If you don’t have a garage, park your cars facing each other in case one needs a jump start
  7. If you’ve stashed away your cooler ‘til summer, dig that out so you’ll have it handy if you need it as a makeshift refrigerator.
  8. Gather all the blankets, pillows and couch cushions, and make a “fort” – sharing body heat to keep warm.
  9. Always have some cash handy and fill your gas tank ahead of the storm. The debit card machines weren’t working even at the stores that did have electricity in the recent ice storm
  10. Layer on the clothes and try to get the pets wrapped up in blankets while you are still warm (but don’t get hot enough to perspire, as the dampness will make you colder later)
  11. Have a designated place for candles, matches, flashlights and batteries, and a stash of food that doesn’t require preparation, and include a few treats to have with your tea. (My personal favorite is Nutella).
  12. And finally, check on your neighbors, and share whatever resources you can.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)