Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Old Man Winter 2012 New Challenges


Old Man Winter took a big shot at us in the Pacific Northwest late last week. Places hit worst were the foothills of the Cascades as well as Thurston and Pierce counties. Our farm happens to be in both the foothills and Pierce county so we took quite a beating. We had warnings a big snow storm was on it's way but it was immediately followed by an unpredicted ice storm, (also known as a silver thaw, I'm told).


These pictures were taken after the frozen rain hit the 17 inches of snow we had last Thursday. The ice formed a crust atop the snow about 3 to 4 inches deep that seemed to hold the snow on the roofs together like one huge blanket.

You can see in the barn picture how the huge heavy mass stayed intact even as it slid down the steep grade. I couldn't believe the blanket stayed together even after it left the roof. We worried all that weight would cause damage but all our structures held up, thank God.


We lost power before the icy rain even arrived and didn't get it back until sometime early Sunday. Our cable, phone and internet didn't come back until late Sunday evening.

Without power, we also have no water since our well runs off electricity. We did have some water available in stock tanks but with this number of horses and the length of time our power was out we actually used everything that was available near the barns. We were quite relieved when the power finally came back. Taking no chances, Dave headed straight to the barn to fill water.

The horses seemed to weather the storm and the resulting outages better than the humans. When the thaw did finally come most horses didn't seem to mind the sound of the snow and ice breaking up and falling to the ground. A couple even seemed to be enthralled watching the snow as it hung there waiting to drop. You just never know what will intrigue them.

Before the ice storm arrived, a couple of the boys got out to play in the deep snow. Storm has been in the snow before and he had great fun cavorting in the white stuff. Andy has not been out in the snow and he wasn't quite sure what to think at first but it wasn't long before he was bucking and rearing and rolling, having a great time.

I wish I had pictures of their antics but at the time, I was busy getting what I could ready in the house so we could be as comfortable as possible under the conditions. Thanks to our wood stove we stayed warm and were even able to have a couple of simple, but hot, meals.

I'm really glad it's over but I'm told by my friend who works closely with the National Weather Service that this is only round one. I'm thinking it's going to be a very long winter.......

16 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you guys failed pretty well. We didn't get hit as hard up here in whatcom county but i hear the same as you, we're getting another hit and it is suppose to be worse. A few years back the barn ran out of power for three days with 50 horses and no water running. Scary stuff!

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  2. I am so glad to hear from you MiKael. Welcome back.

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  3. That same storm is bringing us a big ole bunch of much needed rain. We haven't seen any snow yet. It hasn't even been cold enough to snow, which I normally wouldn't mind, but I have 2 PowerPaks with my ponies' names on them that are waiting until we get a freeze to be administered.

    Stay warm and hope you are feeling better.

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  4. That was quite a storm, glad you stayed safe. Hope you are feeling better.

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  5. It is so beautiful... until you have to live in it and deal with it and worry about loss of power.
    I'm glad your power came back on before you ran out of water.
    I hope you don't get 'Round Two'!

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  6. You guys really got slammed out there, which was made even worse since you don't have the equipment like we do in NY to take care of it. Yuck.

    Farmer's Almanac is predicting a nasty February. I'm really hoping they're wrong...

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  7. Glad you got through it , good days to stay in and stay warm

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  8. If it is only round one, it will be a very long winter, even though winter here seems to be nearly over. Sorry, but I won't be trading weather with you guys any time soon. I know, I know, I can keep our heat when July hits...

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  9. Wow thats a lot of snow, but it sure id fun to watch the horses play in snow. Hope no more power outages, but at least you have a wood stove to keep you warm in the house.

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  10. Thanks for the update. Sounds like you must be feeling stronger. Sure hope you're well on your way to recovery.

    My puppy loves the snow. Sometimes I have a hard time convincing him to come back inside.

    Several of the bloggers I read are in the Pacific NW and it sounds like the weather has been miserable. I'll take snow over ice any time.

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  11. Ice storms are never fun although they always give the opportunity for spectacular photos! I think since moving to Montana I've only seen one day with freezing rain. In the East it was a winter tradition! I sure hope this isn't just round one for you guys. Winter stinks enough without that.

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  12. You really got hit hard. The worst thing is losing power and water for the horses. That stinks, we did that twice at the farm and it was no fun if I remember correctly. We finally got a small house generator and could fill water buckets in the tub and bring them out. Hope your friend is wrong and you don't get any more snow.

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  13. Glad to hear you're doing ok. I wondered how you would all weather the storm. That was a big one! Hope you're feeling better!

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  14. For the Arab folks in your area, let them kow the weather for this month has been both up and down. Although we were supposed to get rain on Sunday/Monday, we got nuthin'. Which means the weather next month for the Scottsdale show is anybodys guess at the moment.

    For those familiar with the horse show but wondering what I am babbling about- If our weather in January is wet & crappy- February is Beautiful. If it is Beautiful in January- you can bet it will be wet and crappy in February for the horse show. And now you know.

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  15. My stinking phone autocorrected faired to failed! I just caught that, sorry!

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  16. We had just over 16" of snow, missed the freezing rain - thank heaven! It was beautiful for the first few days - then quickly became a chore!

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