Rolling Blackouts?

As I am penning this post at 9:30am, the outside temperature has warmed to a pleasant six degrees on our way to a downright balmy high of 22. We just experienced our first-ever rolling blackout, 95-minutes of no electricity in a forced conservation imposed by Xcel Energy. Our neighborhood went dark less than 30-seconds before I opened the garage door. I was walking through the kitchen, toward the garage, ready to open the door when we lost power. D’oh! So I disconnected the door, raised it by hand, and it’s snowing. Again.

The temperature hit -1 on Sunday and then bottomed out at -10 degrees yesterday and never reached positive double digits. The low this morning was also -1 and the wind chills have been in the negative double digits since Saturday. I can’t remember the last time we were above freezing — late last week — but we’re supposed to stay below 32 until Friday afternoon. We received about five inches of snow Saturday night and Sunday and are expecting another three to four inches today and tomorrow. But you can’t even make a snowball with this stuff. It’s too cold! It doesn’t stick to anything! It just blows around and piles up! No icicles! Anywhere! Nothing’s melting!

I’ve never been in a place where the temperature was below zero. Not once in my life. Or where it stays below freezing for a full week. The high here Sunday was 3. Yesterday’s high was 7. I don’t know how to do this. We’ve had all our cabinet doors opened and every faucet in the house dripping since Saturday afternoon. Still, something’s frozen up with the water supply to our washing machine. The pipes come in through the garage, which never gets below freezing, until now. It’s 21-degrees inside the garage!! So, no laundry, maybe until late Thursday.

This feels bad. And big. Like, how much worse are things going to get? Tom Brady won the Super Bowl. It’s snowing in Galveston. Texas is in a power crisis. J. J. Watt is gone from Houston. The Stars are on an eight-game winless streak. Amarillo is experiencing its coldest temperatures in two decades. And rolling blackouts? That’s always been something that happens to people who don’t live in Texas. People we feel sorry for. People and conditions to which I’ve never been able to relate. Will 2020 never end?!?




  1. Allan

    I stand corrected. My father, who missed his calling as a TV weatherman, has informed me that between December 18-30, 1983, the official temperature at DFW Airport stayed below freezing for 296 hours. That’s twelve-and-a-half days of sub-freezing temps that I experienced during my junior year in high school.
    After being reminded of that brutal winter, I remembered that my friend Todd Johnson and I watched the Cowboys lose to the Rams in a wild-card playoff game at Texas Stadium on Monday, the day after Christmas. Dallas / Fort Worth was locked down in that deep freeze, everything was covered in ice, and the Cowboys couldn’t sell enough tickets to the game. The TV blackout rules were still in effect back then, so car dealer W.O. Bankston bought all the remaining tickets and gave them away for free at his dealership. I begged my parents to let me drive to the dealership, pick up the free tickets, and go to the game. They were hesitant-I had just turned 17 and probably had never driven on ice before-but they relented and Todd and I went. I remember we did not have to wait in line to get the free tickets. And I remember we nearly froze to death at that game. Texas Stadium was generally miserable on a good day, but this was truly awful. The temperature stayed in the teens, the Cowboys turned the ball over four times, and Vince Ferragamo’s underdog Rams beat Danny White, Tony Dorsett, and company 24-17. That was the last good Cowboys team Tom Landry ever coached.

  2. Howard Holmes

    This is my first year to live on Decatur Island in Pudget Sound (north of Victoria, Canada). I was dreading the winter.

    Result: Our coldest has now been 25 degrees for the winter which is a bit unusually cold. Seldom have we been below freezing. Not missing Texas much right now.

  3. Allan

    This is all a bit unusual for us down here, too.
    Congratulations on your move; I didn’t know aboot it. I hope it’s a beauty, eh?

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