Country Living Series

Thursday, November 19, 2015

We're still here

Hello dear readers:

Just a fast note to let everyone know we're still here and fine. The wild windstorm that swept the region on Tuesday resulted in massive infrastructure problems to the electrical system, and most of Spokane (and an unknown portion of Coeur d'Alene) are still without power. Rumor has it the power poles between our nearest town and an electrical substation snapped, so it's going to take awhile before power is restored.

This was yesterday's update for the power company which supplies Coeur d'Alene:


This is a good test of all our preps, and I'm happy to report we're doing fine except in the issue of livestock water. A neighbor with solar panels is getting enough juice on sunny days to power his well pump, so those with livestock are filling barrels at his house and we're siphoning water from the barrels to the tanks.

I'm writing this from a coffee house in a town 45 minutes away (which, obviously, has power!) so I'll keep this short, but rest assured we're doing well. Please pray for those in towns and cities without power, as so many people are cold.

More later!

21 comments:

  1. Interesting in that in Oregon I have heard nothing of the outages in our neighbor state. Makes me wonder why that is. Nowadays I tend to look on the dark side on news suppression and would like to know what else is happening that is not being reported. Yes, I will keep you all in my prayers and share the story of Idaho's damage with others.

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  2. When we lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains (outside Silicon Valley) we often had power loss. Trees, it seemed, were attracted to the power lines. One winter in just our small neighborhood, 5 of 6 trees found the power lines. BUT, we had a generator and could "make" our own power.
    We also had an unusual hard freeze that caused over 500 breaks in the local water company's pipes. From this we learned that we cannot make our own water and while life without power is no fun, life without water - stops. One can take a shower at, and haul laundry to, Mom and Dad's. Hauling dirty dishes around is quite another matter. The "necessary" is bit of a problem as well.
    We have not lived on well water - yet, but at the top of my list, right after shelter is water. If we have a well we will have a beefy generator capable of the considerable power that a well pump requires. I will also investigate having a tank with gravity feed.
    I can make power several different ways, but water is quite another thing.
    My sympathies to your situation - especially for the critters.

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  3. So, do you have any plans on fixing your well so you can
    get water when the power is out? With animals that might
    be a good thing to do next.

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  4. Our old well gave us lots of problems this year. The Year of the Well. So the last thing to do was changing the wiring from the well to the house. A local guy and his father came to finish the job and hooked the wiring up to electricity and also to a generator if need be. Maybe something you could look into.
    andy

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  5. Good to hear from you. I guess you'll be thinking about the water situation a little harder now.

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  6. how are you powering your fridge and freezer(s)? generator?

    steve near athol

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  7. Our prayers are with all of your area........hello winter!!!!!!

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  8. Patrice, glad you are all safe and well. This will be a good test of your preps. A question though: Can you siphon water for your livestock from your pond? We bought a place in the Heartland with a pond for just such an emergency purpose someday; although we do not have the livestock yet. Blessings and stay safe

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  9. A little "grid down" experience for those who think it would never happen. Perhaps it will get more of the population thinking about reality. In my area of the country this would BE the reality without coal fired generation. I just hope we can be ready because it's looking more and more like it could happen.....Natokadn

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    1. Don't count on it. Power outages are a reality for most people...

      ...and most people take for granted that rule of law will persist and the power will be up and running again after a few days' inconvenience.

      Even in rural areas like the places I've lived, people take for granted that it will be up and running again posthaste, and get awfully testy when they find out it will be a week at the earliest.

      You'd think they'd learn from the past. I guess that would be an inconvenience.

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  10. Hi Patrice,
    Glad to hear you are doing well after the high winds. We are in SE Wa and the winds were wild here as well, with gusts up to 50+ mph. Thankfully our hay tarps stayed put!!

    Just wanted to share that although we have a generator if needed we purchased a hand pump for our well called an Earth Straw, just one more way to insure we have water for all our critters. Might be something to look into with all your thirsty animals.
    Praying you get power back real soon as the cold weather is on its way.
    Blessings,
    Janae

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  11. Glad you are all safe and warm! I hope the beasties stay safe! I know you will all weather the storm safe and sound. Prayers for all of you in the North West.

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  12. You should wire your well to a generator. Don

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  13. snow here for saturday. weather is very changeable and we are getting the winds the last couple of days.
    [northeast ohio]

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  14. Sounds like your next big *bleep* hit-the-fan purchase might be an off-grid or non-electric way to get water to the herd??

    Sorry if that sounds snarky. It wasn't meant that way. It's one of the biggies I'm working on.

    You're warm and fed and I very much hope you continue to be safe. Prayers sent regularly. For those who are cold...

    ...and for those who are careful.

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    1. We have solar but the dark north Idaho winter makes a generator almost a necessity. If we didn't get such a savings during spring and summer with the some of the fall as well, I would not advise anyone to "go solar". It worked better in Wyoming where it snowed then the sun came out. Cold helps too, which is why solar works well in space.

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  15. So no rush on answering because I know you're not hooked up to any electricity at this point, but how deep are your wells around there. The idea that you can run the pump off solar is just awesome!

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  16. Thankful you're doing okay - praying for those who aren't as lucky.

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  17. There is something to be said for wood heat! Our power was out for a number of hours last year and the wood stove kept us toasty.

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  18. My Hubby & I just moved back to Spokane 2 months ago "I grew up here" from Florida, I am laughing as the 16 yrs I lived in FL, we never had a hurricane and barley a tropical forced winds, I move home and we have a wind storm!! We didn't loose power but just down the street everyone is on the 3rd day without as most of Spokane is, we had 4 huge pines come down on our street,one of which was blocking my driveway when i got home from work Tuesday eve. I am glad you all stayed safe in your neck of the woods!

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  19. Glad you have a wood stove for keeping warm. One of our first purchases when we moved to the country was a Simple Pump. It's a hand pump for your the well (pricey, especially if you have an exceptionally deep well) but worked great. They have options for connecting to to solar, but the only upgrade we paid for was the long handle. Even my kindergartner was able to pump water from 120-150 feet. I sympathize for your plight - what a preparedness "wake up call" for all of us, even if many of us are just watching from the outside. I hope the power comes back on soon.

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