Awaiting Juno

By jtwalsh on Mon, Jan 26, 2015 - 10:08am

Awaiting the storm.

If we are to believe the forecasters our home in South East New England should be very close to ground zero for winter storm Juno.  The local stations are predicting up to three feet of snow with much higher drifts.  This may not sound like much to folks from Buffalo, or Minnesota, but that amount of snow in this region could be devastating.  Our proximity to the ocean usually keeps storm totals below twelve inches.  Snowfall above that amount in one storm outstrips the ability of the local and state governments to keep things moving.  Add to that medieval like cities with narrow streets, tiny house lots and severe overcrowding.  Above twelve inches there is just no place to put the stuff.  Our electrical grid is also one of the oldest and is almost completely above ground. Gail force winds produce outages.

On the good side.  My prepping persona kicked into gear yesterday.  A number of years ago I would have been in a panic about the forecast.  Now I just dusted off me mental list and began making sure things were in place. I’ve already discovered some holes in the plans.  My best snow boots, the battery operated am/fm/shortwave radio and a converter that plugs into a vehicle cigarette lighter to produce electricity sufficient to run computers, radios and to charge cell phones are all three hours away at our cabin.  It’s time to rethink redundancy or to add these items to the stuff in my trunk to be ferried back and forth.

Part of me will be disappointed if the storm passes by without giving my preps a test run.

Will keep you posted.


PS  Would love to hear from anyone else in the target area.



sand_puppy's picture
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I feel guilty

We are only supposed to get 1-3" here in Virginia.

Good luck up there.

Do you have a wood burning stove, JT?

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Don't feel guilty. The social

Don't feel guilty. The social motif here is that we are all supposed to be tough as nails and ready to take anything the weather sends our way.

We do not have a wood stove in the city (our cabin is heated only by wood) but our house has natural gas service. We have a gas cooking range as well as a gas heater that can heat the first floor of the house.  These units do not need electricity, so even if the electric power goes out we can cook and have heat.  The last time the gas service was disrupted is probably close to a hundred years ago as those pipes are all underground. I don't remember a time in my life when the gas was disrupted.

If things get exciting I will give updates from time to time.




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Jim H
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Reporting from Westchester

The first few inches have fallen here in Northern Westchester County. NY.  I should be just inland of the worst hit coastal zone... looks like coastal Westchester and CT (i.e. Stamford area) are in the 24 - 36 inch zone along with Long Island.. I was in the 18 - 24 inch zone last I looked.  At the big gas station last night the majority of folks were filling gas cans in preparation.  

NYC is going to be a real mess if they do in fact get three feet.  For me, the wood burning fireplace insert has a nice glowing bed - a new set of firebricks to replace the cracked ones has done wonders for the amount of heat it throws off.  The big snowblower is in position, and the smallish generator is at the ready.  Hoping no major trees down overnight.   

I have a friend who has a second house in the Green Hill beach road area of coastal RI  .. I wonder how bad that's going to get pounded?  Are you close to the coast JTWalsh?      

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central MA

Weather forecast I just saw put the bulls eye on central MA.

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Update: Reply to Jim H.

This type of storm is almost a cold weather, white hurricane.  The damage that can be done along the shore matches anything that can happen in the summer.

 We are inland, north of Providence and south west of Boston.  Coastal flooding could only reach here in a Noah type event.  However, we do get winds almost as severe as on the coast and we are north enough at an elevation that often means we get twice or three times as much snow as they do right along the water.

It is snowing at a decent clip now and there is over an inch on the ground.  Just let the employees go home an hour early.  Internet indicates many places are closing now for the evening and a growing number are already posting that they will be closed tomorrow.  Governor has imposed a travel ban on all state roads as of mid-night. 

Wife called a few minutes ago insisting I come home before it gets any worse. (So long as we have electricity, I don't mind spending time at my office. I especially like it when the phones are quiet and there are no appointments. I  only have a three mile commute and wife knows, left to my own inclinations,  I will push it to the limit, and stay almost until it is too late to travel.)

Obeying the call of duty, I am signing off for awhile. Compromise is one of the bonds of a long term relationship.


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Please go home now, JT

Spending a night with a car slid off into a snowy ditch is really not fun...

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My Storm Preps

This is a cross post from Doug's forum, dropped here just in case it helps...

Doug wrote:

Chris and others in the path of the blizzard. Here's yet another opportunity to test your resilience. Keep us posted. Good luck.

Thanks Doug.

I am taking this storm seriously, as I always do, but I mentally cut the exaggerated potential snowfall totals in half, which is usually reasonable.

The automated message to my phone from the police chief this morning warned of 30 inches possible, so I am expecting 15 or fewer.

Still, I did the following (mostly because we tend to lose power during these storms):

  • Filled all potable water jugs, but also including five gallon buckets, and (after tonight's shower) the bathtub for extra water for flushing and cleaning.
  • Went shopping and bought paper plates and cups (to limit washing duties), topped off the essentials, and some fun things to keep us all happy and interested during an awesome storm.
  • Filled 3 five gallon gas cans in case generator time is called for, and topped off the cars.  I may not use the gas, but I'll probably know someone who will, and if not it will be poured into one of our vehicles as soon as possible.
  • Charged all of our electronics and all of our rechargeable batteries (brand = Imedion, the only ones I use), and made sure all of our flash lights were functioning with fresh batteries.
  •  Brought a huge amount of wood to the front porch from the wood shed under the principle that when there's more than a foot of snow on the ground that's a much harder task.  So we loaded up enough to both get us through the storm and the eventual melting/settling/thawing period.  
  • Bought extra chicken feed because we were low and it was time anyways, and then Pulled back their hawk netting sop it did not get dragged down and buried.

the last item is the most important.  I take my kids skiing at Mt Snow in VT and the kids are great skiers.  I have one promise to them...when there's a major dump we get up an ski the next day if we I already bought tickets on line for Wednesday and circumstances permitting, we'll go hit the powder.

In my entire life I have only managed to hit the powder after a nor'easter three times and each time it was one of the more memorable, unforgettable and magic moments of my life.  While we can still ride chair lifts, I'll do that because skiing is really one of the more sensual joys of life.  It's pure magic once you get past the learning curve.

Me?  I am good enough that I ski fast, rarely fall, and often slip into a place of pure joy where I tip forward far enough to lose any visuals of my skis, and imagine I am flying effortlessly like I do sometimes in special dreams, and just float down the mountain.

In short, I love a good blizzard!



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bonus lesson from Chris's post

When one preps well and uses common sense to proactively prepare for a known event, doing the little things that make a difference, one is able to turn a negative situation into something potentially fun. Talk about making lemonade from lemons... well done Chris. And have fun skiing, if you can get to the hill.That is the reward that you earned for your efforts. Something we can all keep in mind in our own life circumstances. It seems it does pay to be prepared!


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Report from Northern VT

We are pretty much out of the path of the storm.  Slight chance we get 5 of 6 inches, but it isn't even snowing yet up here.  Good luck to everyone in the path of the storm.



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Post Script

Still snowing, but lightly, and the wind has died down. There appear to be twelve to fifteen inches of snow on the ground.  Hard to tell as the wind moved things around quite a bit.  A drift near our gate looks to be almost three feet while there are only a couple of inches near the opposite fence. The snow was heavy and wind strong at times during the night but nothing historic. Power stayed on throughout.

The town plow came by several times but the street is completely drifted over again with more than a foot. Since the roads are still closed we will be home today shoveling (figure of speech as we have a good size snow blower which my sons test ran and fueled before the storm) and cleaning..

It was an interesting exercise in reviewing our preparations. We were ready with some things but will have to work on others. I will have to rethink my snow storm preparedness which until yesterday focused greatly on New Hampshire and not so much on Rhode Island.

Happy shoveling!


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