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Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Great Freeze of 2018

Last week, New Orleans ground to a halt as the city iced over for more than two days. Don't laugh at us: it's a big deal! With almost no insulated homes, no de-icing equipment, and a population entirely unprepared for such weather, we were in dire straits.
On Wednesday morning, we awoke to a snow day! It was really more of an ice day in my neighborhood, but I wanted to enjoy it anyway, so I bundled up (tights, two long-sleeved shirts, light jacket, hat, gloves) and did a whole loop around Audubon Park, the most I've walked since my injury (3.2 miles). It was beautiful, and quite empty (except for Drew Brees out playing with his kids!). I did get pretty cold by the time I got back, though - it was only 20 degrees.

Work was silent. No one could travel - the interstate was closed, and there was ice on the roads, and I guess people are just scared to drive on ice. Only two of my employees came in at all! I actually got off early on Wednesday, and that was when the real work started: trying to keep warm. Our floor furnace has been on the fritz for years now, and the repair guys keep telling us it's the thermostat - except, three thermostats later, the problem  persists. Right now the secret trick is to stomp violently near the unit, which usually makes it wooosh on (not a great solution for someone with a broken foot). David and I spent all day Wednesday and Thursday rushing from our side of the house to our landlady's - she was out of town, and we had to keep her heat on, too. With no insulation and pipes exposed to freezing air, it was a balancing act to keep the pipes from freezing. We succeeded, but many of our friends weren't so lucky - people who were at work all day and didn't run water all had burst pipes, with one friend having to replace twenty burst pipes!

We survived the freeze with just a few dead plants, but the city had a rough time: the water pressure dropped so low after so many pipes leaking plus so many pipes being left to run, that the city had to issue a boil order. We live in a third world country, so this is actually a regular occurrence for us. I think we had three or four boil orders last year! As a matter of fact, as I type this, we're being threatened with another boil advisory, as water pressure is still very low. Ah, the joys of NOLA living.

We rarely get hard freezes in New Orleans, and I can't ever remember there being so MANY freeze days - we might get one day every other year, but we've had four or five already this winter. This has been a season of extreme weather! What crazy weather have you had in your area?


  1. It as straight to the point! You could not tell in other words!
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  2. I remember coming home from Memphis one February in a surprise 2" snow and how completely unprepared the area had been for it. Your experience sounds even worse!

    We had no school on last Tuesday because the temperature (straight up temp, not wind chill) was in the negatives until late morning and I don't think it rose into the double digits until much later. Yesterday, 5 days later, it was in the mid 60's and I rode bikes in shorts and short sleeves.

  3. What is a boil order?? As a northerner this is foreign to me! We had super cold weather in December and early January. The really cold streak in December was abnormal as we usually don't have the super cold well below 0 temps until January. Then yesterday we got 12" of snow! We haven't had a big snow fall like that in a couple of years, I think. Usually we just get maybe 3-5" at most? All the schools were shut down and the roads were just terrible. I was home from work as I am having some terrible hip/groin pain and Phil called to say his bus got stuck. I thought I could go get him so he would have a shorter walk but my car got stuck at the end of our driveway. So he got to dig out my car and do all the snow blowing when he got home (luckily we have a snowblower that his mom gave us - shoveling all that snow would have been so much work). He had to go back out to snow blow again around 9 and will have to do it again today when he gets home from work. I sure am glad that he can do all the manual labor as I would be helpless. I did have to dig out a spot at the end of our driveway to get to a PT appt this morning. That was interesting as I was hobbling around with terrible pain in my adductor. But my desire to get some pain relief from the PT outweighed the pain of shoveling.

    1. What the heck! Everyone's weather is insane lately! Hope your hip feels better soon!