Icepocalypse in Texas

Icepocalypse December 2013
Winter Storm Cleon

Day 0—
Predictions of sleet and freezing rain cause panic among the citizens. Light rain is falling but temps are above freezing. Everyone runs to the store and buys enough groceries to last for a week or so. It’s like World War Z in here. The bread aisles are stripped and other staples are bought in a frenzy. All checkouts are open and every lane has 4-6 customers with shopping carts filled to the top. Frozen pizzas and spaghetti makings are among the top items. Strangely, no one is stocking up on toilet paper.

Day 1–
Temperatures drop through the night and light rain turns to sleet which takes a while to accumulate but accumulate it does on grassy areas and streets. We were awakened by the sound of a tree falling about 4 am from the weight of the freezing rain, about 45 minutes later, I heard a large limb hitting the ground. Day comes, roads are slushy and somewhat frozen but driveable if you are very cautious. We got out and picked up a Christmas present that was ordered and had arrived and then went to Walmart. Lots of people still on the roads and in the stores, but many of them short-tempered and impatient. Christmas trees are frozen to the pallets where they sit so I can’t buy a real tree and decorate it for something to do. Soup for dinner, big pot which will last 2 or 3 days.
I-35W/I-30 Mixmaster in Fort Worth completely stopped. They had to have people turn around, one by one, and go back down because there was no going forward.

Day 2–
Hard freeze overnight which turned the partly melted sleet and water on the roads into a glaze of ice. It’s thick enough on the grass to hold my weight. Temperatures start out about 27 and slowly drop through the day. Very few people on the road in the neighborhood. Hubby got out and tried driving around, didn’t get out of the neighborhood before declaring it a lost cause. I walked out to take pictures again with new lens I bought myself for Christmas and it was slick as snot. I only fell down once, though.
Lucky, the black cat, was getting cabin fever and went in and out several times in a 10 minute period and finally went out when I ventured forth to take pictures. He then proceeded to disappear for 4 hours. I was nearly panicked for fear he had slipped and fallen into the creek and I couldn’t find him. By dark, it was 25 degrees. But, he showed up for dinner, only a little cool and fluffed out. He has a safe spot somewhere outside and I guess he spent it there in quiet and solitude. I’m needing some of that by now.
It’s now 9:30p.m. and the temperature is predicted to get down to 17 tonight with a chance of more freezing rain and freezing fog. Think about that one for a minute, “freezing fog”.
There was a pickup truck driver that went off the bridge today over Lake Lewisville and went into the water and died. I really feel bad for the truckers that don’t have a choice and have to keep going. They are the only people on the road right now.

Day 3–
The streets are a solid sheet of slick ice. Channel 4 says the roads are completely impassible. So, I call in to work and say I’m not going to be there. The manager I talk to doesn’t sound the least surprised.
Temperature slowly creeps up to 35 and a little melting and dripping goes on, up the street where the road is traveled and has no trees hanging over it melts to the road surface but it stays wet, ice waiting to happen again.
Hubby has extreme cabin fever and decides he needs to clear the driveway of ice and goes out and works on it for a while and gets it cleared of buildup but melt from the roof keeps it wet. Then he works on the patch of street right in front of our house.
Freezing temps will arrive soon and everything will freeze up again.
I just saw on the news this weather event has a name–Winter Storm Cleon. You know it’s a serious event when it gets a name.
We have not lost power and still have plenty of food. Wine is about to run out, though.

Day 4–
It didn’t get as cold last night as predicted so, at least In front of our house, the road appears to have continued thawing a bit. Hubby went to work today and sent a report back that the roads are still a little slick, but navigable. I will go to work today and see if there is still any food left to sell.
I get to work and look around. The milk is gone, just a little meat left, ramen noodles mostly gone. Paper towels and toilet paper are cleaned out. Most of the bottled water is out. The chips look really low but not picked completely clean. Loaves of bread are gone but specialty breads still have some. Cat litter is gone. Frozen pizzas and pasta looking really thin. Produce has a lot of holes. The back room is as bare as I have seen it in a very long time.
The bread and pizza vendors made it in to stock their areas and Frito Lay was backed up to the door and he was working the chips. We got the frozen/dairy truck in and produce but Walmart trucks still haven’t mad it through yet.
The interstate roads and overpasses are still a big mess and a lot of people who can’t get to work. But, by golly, they can drive to Walmart and do some shopping.

Day 5–
There are still major trouble spots on the roads especially to the north of us. But the Walmart trucks are starting to roll in by afternoon. 17 pallets of grocery and general merchandise coming in in the next 12 hours. I should clarify…a pallet is 4 feet by 4 feet and stacked as much as 7 feet high with cases. In 2-3 days we should be back to normal.
The sun finally comes out today and starts ice melting, in the shade is still cold enough that it re-freezes, the ground is cold enough that runoff in shade areas gets slippery and slushy.
After dark, temperatures are headed below freezing again.

Day 6–
Still freezing temps at night but roads are not hazardous anymore. Things are mostly returned to normal. Everything is heading toward thawed. Bread is still in short supply, guess you can’t get yeast to cooperate when it’s that cold.
There’s still ice in the shade but it is slowly melting.
I think we can declare this winter weather event almost officially over now nearly a week later.
But wait, there’s another arctic mass gathering in Alaska now………


10 thoughts on “Icepocalypse in Texas

  1. I came over from Susie’s Place and I read with amusement – I grew up south Texas near Houston in a place called Sugar Land..I’ve since moved away and become a Yankee living in the western suburbs of Chicagoland… it got cold there this winter – we lost four school days to cold -15 with wind chills to -40.. cold, the kind of sold that instantly freezes the snot in your nose. But, I digress… I remember the Christmas of 1983 in Houston – cold settled in and the temperatures dropped to 15 and stayed below freezing for three days… water lines all over town snapped and the restaurant I worked in had low water pressure, so we had to close for three days – so I played golf with my dad and my hands froze… now I am used to the cold… have a great day

  2. Wow !! Here we whine about the summer temperatures and mercury levels rising to 45deg C – water scarcity, shortage of green veggies, sun strokes. Such a contrast !!!
    Was aware of the terrible winter US faced this year but this post takes me on a virtual tour.
    Thanks for sharing it on Susie’s party 🙂

  3. I love your post! It cooled me right down. That was one crazy winter!!! We lost gas and our house dropped to 40 degrees. This was after the 16 inches of rain that dropped in September. July was our 5th wettest, so I’m expecting a lot of snow this year!
    Thanks for bringing this to the party! I’m sure you’ve already been mingling and meeting the guests. Have fun!!

  4. We lived through this, too….and did NOT enjoy it. Hubby got stuck at home for over a week when we couldn’t get his truck out the driveway. The fur-kids stayed inside, happy for the warmth. *s* BTW, Suzie sent me…

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