I suppose once you’ve seen video of the mammoth ‘Lake Effect’ snowstorm that hit the Buffalo, NY region a few weeks ago, you could panic when forecasters predict a once-in-a-lifetime winter storm is headed right at you. Then again, the forecasters don’t exactly have the best track record for being accurate. Still, they did say Buffalo would get hammered, and they did.
So, we were hearing about this big storm brewing a few days ago, and although they had predicted a massive amount of snow, they also cautioned that the snow totals may or may not materialize in record numbers for the state of Iowa, where we have our home base, almost all of the ‘experts’ were sounding the alarm for extremely bitter cold temps, and deadly wind chills.
As of this morning, I haven’t witnessed any real panic in our little town, only the decisions to close up city government offices and services early. Oh, wait…. they had already planned on giving their taxpayer-funded employees a 5 day holiday for Christmas. (Or did they refer to it as a Holiday Season?) Most of the shopping that I’ve witnessed as I tried to fulfill Santa’s obligations, were in the same boat, while also insuring their groceries were adequate for the extended weekend. (Again, most people around here are either getting, or are taking the days prior to or after Christmas Day off)
Personally, we have stocked up on food for the past year, with a basement pantry that has plenty of staples to keep us fed for a few weeks, along with three chest freezers that are kept full, replenishing each stockpile when we use something, so we’re not panicked about that. We’ve weatherized our sticks and bricks as best we can and know what Mother Nature can deliver when she’s in the mood to inflict misery, after all, we lived in extreme northern Maine for three years where the winter makes conditions here seem like a summer day. And we do have a reliable snow blower that has come in very handy when the blowing and drifting snow creates a problem.
Our main concern is the anticipated high winds, of up to 60mph and higher. The last thing any of us need is to have trees fall and snap power lines, causing outages. Yes, we have a generator and some propane heaters at the ready, but that won’t necessarily alleviate the problem of keeping the house at least somewhat warm. This storm is slated to affect a huge part of the country and power companies may very well be put to the test for an extended period of time.
The latest from the National Weather Service says we have a Blizzard Warning posted for our county and others in the region from noon Thursday (Dec 22) through Christmas Eve. And the bitter cold will stay with us into next week. So while we may be calm before the storm, I suspect we won’t be ‘comfortable’ while experiencing life’s reality in the Midwest. (Of course, the weather people could be wrong…. right?)