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Thread: Major SHTF winter storm for Texas 2-11 till 2-17, maybe longer

  1. #81
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    This is why it is a good idea - if you have a battery bank as part of your preparedness plan - to be able to charge that bank up using grid current which may be available only periodically. This can pump more power in a short time than you can collect via solar panels, obviously true at night but also usually true on cloudy/overcast days. If you have a natural gas or propane furnace, you may have enough juice in your battery bank to keep the blower running until the power comes back on, and you have a chance to charge up again.
    that's a great point

    I bet there's lots of folks in south central states that have natural gas furnaces that still have gas, but no way to make them work without electricity

  2. #82
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    Right Explo - of course, generators are one answer, but that presumes a supply of fuel and without power to a large area, fuel pumps are going to be out at most stations. It also presumes one's ability to get there and back - a challenge from what Cav was saying especially for folks unaccustomed to such driving conditions. I grew up driving in slush and snow and lived in that climate until I was in my 30's... but if I were in TX right now, I probably wouldn't chance it because of other drivers not being up to the conditions there. When there's a situation like this affecting such a large area - basically the whole state from what I'm hearing - there are knock-on effects that most people haven't stopped to consider.

    My generators are propane and gasoline compatible - but not natural gas. We are going to be relocating in the next couple of years (probably) and that is a high priority on my list, a whole house generator with natural gas/propane/petrol fuel compatibility (tri-fuel).

    Story that sticks with me, related by a co-worker a few years ago. He has one of those big McMansions, and it does have a whole-house generator which is sized to power the whole home just like the grid. Literally you can run every light in the house, heat, ac, all the appliances, all at the same time with this thing. When we had an ice storm and the power was lost for a couple of days, he never ran it... why? Because that monstrosity ate enough natural gas to power the Yamato, the Titanic and the Nimitz on an hourly basis. It was a question of overkill for certain - it was available but unusable due to fuel expense. That's a lesson I'll keep in mind when sourcing one for our new place. The new inverter-type generators are superior in this regard because they can scale the output to the load, instead of having to maintain RPM to keep the Hz compatible. His only had two settings: Flat-out and off.

    To those running generators - reminder to keep them secured somehow. Folks are going to be getting desperate and generators make a noise that says "here I am, come get me!". Chain it down or something because it's only a matter of time before folks start getting ideas. Back post-Katrina some folks told of going to sleep hearing the generator purring along... woke up to a nice steady purr and then were shocked when they went out to fill up their generator and found someone had pushed a trashy old lawnmower up in the lawn and made off with the generator... the uninterrupted sound allowed the thief a guaranteed getaway much to the homeowner's chagrin.
    Last edited by bruss01; 02-17-2021 at 03:17 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  3. #83
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    Well, I ventured out to take the nephew to work. It is crazy out there!!!


    The roads are pretty good right now but they are all wet with a lot of snow in all areas except where cars have been driving. Power is out, it is amazing at how much is out. Stop lights are out, probably 2/3 of all stop lights I saw were out. Most gas stations have no power either so there are long lines at the ones that do have power. Only a couple of grocery stores have power but there are long lines of cars waiting to get into the parking lots. EVERY drive through fast food place have lines of cars that stretch out on to the streets. I passed a major hub for HEB(an absolutely incredible local grocery store chain) and there was a mile long(I measured it) wait of 18 wheelers to get in to the hub to pick up a load. Diesel must be getting scarce because at one stop I made I saw a bob tail rig pull up to an automotive diesel pump after dropping his trailer on the street. Refineries here in Texas have shut down as have processing plants.

    ERCOT shows to be slowly increasing production to almost 54,000 MW as of right now(3:00 pm on 2/17), but they are holding demand back to 44,000 MW. They must be anticipating more power generation capabilities to go back off line with this next storm, but they need to turn more peopleís power back on in the meantime.


    This really feels like the aftermath of a really bad hurricane, but unlike a hurricane this damage goes on for hundreds of miles in each direction!! If I remember right, it is about 800 miles from Beaumont Texas in the east to El Paso Texas in the west, and from Brownsville Texas in the south it is about 500 miles to Amarillo Texas in the pan handle up north. And that is only for Texas, it doesnít even take into account other states hit hard by this like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma amongst others.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  4. #84
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    Thanks Bruss for the tips. If I start my generator Iíll chain it up. Got locks on the gate on my fence but truth be told they arenít hard to bust open.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  5. #85
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    Lotta folks can empathize with this just now. Not funny when you're on the receiving end. Looks like that's the kind of year it's going to be though.

    "First, they shafted the Texans by cutting their power during the worst storm in a generation...
    Then, they looked at the gun owners... "

    ReadyFor2021.jpg
    Last edited by bruss01; 02-17-2021 at 04:50 PM.
    "The thing about smart people is they seem like crazy people to dumb people" - Stephen Hawking

  6. #86
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    Reports are starting to circulate of people who do not have contracts with their electricity provider having bills that are already 10 times higher than a typical electric bill.


    Went into town once again to pick up my nephew from work. Gas stations that have power are running out of fuel. The few grocery stores that are open are limiting what can be bought but it doesnít matter. The sheer number of people that did not prepare, or that only keep a couple of days worth of food in their house are in such large numbers that any supplies left are practically all gone by now. People are also getting a false sense of security since the roads are good right now. Once this next round of precipitation comes through, itís gonna get really bad again.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91CavGT View Post
    Reports are starting to circulate of people who do not have contracts with their electricity provider having bills that are already 10 times higher than a typical electric bill.


    Went into town once again to pick up my nephew from work. Gas stations that have power are running out of fuel. The few grocery stores that are open are limiting what can be bought but it doesnít matter. The sheer number of people that did not prepare, or that only keep a couple of days worth of food in their house are in such large numbers that any supplies left are practically all gone by now. People are also getting a false sense of security since the roads are good right now. Once this next round of precipitation comes through, itís gonna get really bad again.
    My electric bill 2/1-2/17. $2087.00. Already switched providers, but can't start till Monday due to the backlog. We're sitting in the house in the dark with no heat and generator running.
    Common sense is so uncommon nowadays it ought to be reclassified as a super power

  8. #88
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    my son who lives in Austin just returned home after having to decamp to a friend out of town.
    says he has power but no water.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak474u View Post
    My electric bill 2/1-2/17. $2087.00. Already switched providers, but can't start till Monday due to the backlog. We're sitting in the house in the dark with no heat and generator running.
    There's just something wrong with that to me, that is robbery as far as I'm concerned. Do they even let you know that rates are changing and what you will be charged?

    We only have one provider in my AO or generate it ourselves.
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by flock6 View Post
    There's just something wrong with that to me, that is robbery as far as I'm concerned. Do they even let you know that rates are changing and what you will be charged?

    We only have one provider in my AO or generate it ourselves.
    It's totally price gouging. Tell me a major electric generating company or groups of them don't
    1. Watch weather forecasts as well as historical data to decide how much capacity is online.
    2. Order their coal reserves/gas supply according to the above at a contract price MONTHS in advance
    3. Have the capability to bring up reserve generation capacity on short notice
    There's zero reason for the ridiculous wholesale rate we're experiencing right now. They're acting like they had to go out and buy their coal in a pickup during the dead of night from the only store that was open, and they're passing the savings on to us. I can tell you, if Hess guys making power haven't negotiated their fuel costs and logistics months in advance regardless of sudden issues, then they don't need to be in the business. My company knows what they'll pay for drywall next January, and how much they'll need. Maybe it's them seeing the opportunity to make a few bucks in this deregulated market where they've had to be competitive and haven't made as much as they'd like. Up to now, we've paid as low as 3.7 cents per kWh, +3.99 cents for delivery and tax, and as much as 14 cents per kWh all in. It's 9.09 per kWh right now.
    Common sense is so uncommon nowadays it ought to be reclassified as a super power

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