The Neverending Winter!

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Posted by Shawn & Annette in Tuolumne County, Twain Harte News on March 20, 2011

I don’t know about you but I’m beginning to feel like a broken record. There are just so many ways to say, “Hey, man it’s snowing mountains of the white stuff.  I think the last time I saw it snow this hard was during the blizzard of 1978 — the very weekend I decided to take the plunge into matrimony.

I should have taken that as an omen for things to come but of course in my young life, I didn’t pay much attention to omens, or luck for that matter. During what we have come to call the blizzard of 78, we had 12 foot high snow drifts. We had to climb out of an upstairs window to get out of the house. We were a week trying to get unburied.

Well, we certainly don’t have that much snow on the ground — yet. Oh, and I am so thankful for that. My back aches just thinking about shoveling out from under all this. I really thought we were in the clear last night, when it started pouring rain. It rained hard for a good deal of the night. I thought gee, wouldn’t this be nice, if it just kept raining all day, it would warm up some and all this snow would just melt away.

Ha! No such luck. Here we go with this luck thing again. As soon as the sun came up — well, it was daylight for sure but I don’t recall actually seeing the sun — the snow returned with a vengeance. It’s been snowing all day long and no matter how long you shovel, moments after you leave one spot, you can’t see the ground any more.

About an hour ago we lost cell service totally. I’m certain it’s storm related. The lights have flickered on and off several times again today and we lost power for a brief moment early this morning. So far, the power is holding.

Mymotherlode reports:

PG&E reports that 9,585 customers are without electricity in Tuolumne County. There are 4,344 without power in the greater Sonora area (including Cedar Ridge and Phoenix Lake), 2,111 without in Twain Harte, 1,220 in Tuolumne, 680 in Mi Wuk, 675 in Long Barn, 230 in Soulsbyville and 130 in Pinecrest.

Just as I was posting this — wouldn’t you know it — the power went out. Fortunately, our power came right back on. I had to get this posted before we lose power again. As luck would have it — I have none — my Dr. Heater quit working after the power outage.

We’ve tried various types of space heaters, since our last home had baseboard heaters. We used them one month and I just about had a stroke when the electric bill arrived. Since then we’ve used the oil-filled radiators, ceramic heaters, micathermic heaters and these infrared heaters.

Out of all the heaters we’ve tried, we really like the Dr. Heater the best. It’s economical to operate and Shawn even got mine working again. He said he pressed and held both the “Standby” & “Mode” buttons together for a few seconds. The Dr. Heater reset and it started working again.

My feet are still cold though. For some reason whenever it snows, my feet get cold and refuse to warm up. I hope you are staying warm!

Enjoy the snow!

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PG&E Outages Continue

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Posted by Annie in Outdoors, Tuolumne County, Twain Harte News on February 20, 2011

Saturday in Twain Harte

I just received a recorded telephone message from PG&E informing me that they are working to restore power to the affected areas and that many area customers will remain without power for up to 3 more days.

We were a little confused by the message — since our power was restored 36 hours ago. I hope PG&E wasn’t calling to prepare us for another outage. We are used to having our power interrupted each year about this time — what we aren’t used to are these extended outages. In the past PG&E would have our power restored within a matter of hours — not days.

On a brighter note — and I do mean brighter… The sun is shining, the snow and ice are melting. The current temperature is 40 degrees.  All in all, a beautiful day. What a difference a day makes. If you’ve been putting off your trip due to Twain Harte weather conditions, it’s not too late to make the trip for a nice outting for President’s Day weekend.

Sunday in Twain Harte

Don’t forget, the post office will be closed on Monday. Why not take the day and make a trip up to Dodge Ridge or even a trip to Yosemite. The roads — while I wouldn’t call them dry — we can at least find pavement under all that snow.

I’m enjoying this wonderful break in the weather. We are expecting sunshine for the next several days. Be sure to get outside and enjoy all the snow we’ve been blessed with.

Some residents in Columbia (1-outage), East Sonora (6-outages), Soulsbyville (19-outages), Tuolumne City (6), Ponderosa Hills, Phoenix Lake-Cedar Ridge (33-outages), Twain Harte (13), and Mi-Wuk (3-outages) are still without power.

PG&E Electrical System Outage Map — Tuolumne County reports:

182 outage(s) affecting 5000+ customer(s)
Start Time of Outage: 02/20/2011 12:49:00 PM
Est. Time of Restoration: Not Available
Last Updated: 02/20/2011 12:58:12 AM

This report shows progress over my last report…

194 outage(s) affecting 5000+ customer(s)
Last Updated: 02/20/2011 12:58:12 AM

MyMotherlode Reports:

The majority of the remaining power outages across the Mother Lode should be restored by this evening, according to PG&E.

Tuolulmne County currently has around 8,800 customers without electricity, and Calaveras County has 7,800. The East Sonora area, including Phoenix Lake and Cedar Ridge, has 3,430 without power, Twain Harte has 1,845 and Tuolumne has 1,630. In Calaveras County, Arnold has around 2,000 customers without electricity.

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Dropping Temps

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Posted by Annie in Twain Harte News on February 19, 2011

The power was restored around 2:30 a.m — a special word of gratitude for those hard-working PG&E workers, who braved the rain and snow last night. I worked 3rd shift for much of my adult life, I know what a struggle it can be. Fortunately, I worked inside – out of the elements. And certainly not in the kinds of weather we’ve been experiencing…

Temperatures here in Twain Harte hovered around 35 degrees for most of the late night hours. Overnight it rained for a couple of hours, until around 2:00 a.m., when heavy snowfall started up again in ernest. Another fresh foot of Sierra Cement fell in the early morning hours.

If you managed to shovel (or snow blow) your way out from under all the snow that fell Friday evening, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well-done. (Ata-Boy!) I kept the back corner of our deck cleaned off and just a few hours ago, I went out to clear it once again, only to find that my once fluffy white snow, now weighs one-ton per square inch. Moving it will not be fun.

In just the past hour the temperature has dipped down to 31 degrees, all that wet slush is freezing, making everything an icy mess. I was hoping to venture out this morning to the post office but that’s not going to happen. It will be well past noon before road conditions are clear enough to allow for safe travel. Even chains and cables aren’t an even match for all this ice. It’s just not worth the risk.

So, keep an eye on the thermometer before heading out today. With all this rain and snow, the roads will be ugly until the tempertures sufficiently rise again.

The woodburner is stoked and we are cozy warm, which is where I plan to stay. I hope you are staying warm as well. What’s it like where you are?

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