I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

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I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby Kurt » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:23 pm

So far it is:

If you lose heat, your pipes will freeze. fill up containers with water and shut off the water at the mains when all the containers are full. Wrap old blankets, pillows or whatever is insulating around the what little part of the pipe is sticking out before the mains valve.

Don't use a gas stove to keep warm by opening the oven door while set to 550. Instead take some of this water in the biggest container you have (I have a 10 gallon canning pot that I use to brew beer) and boil it, then leave it on a low simmer for two hours and that will warm up a small area better than a gas stove with the door open will. Use this water to wash up and make tea, etc.

They then ask me how to drive on ice and snow. My answer is don't. If they have to do to a life or death emergency drive with one side of the car on the shoulder as that is typically more rough and drive slow. But don't. No one is going to learn how to drive on snow by reading.

Also some people need to be reminded that it is ok to wear coats, hats and gloves indoors. Not sure why this is odd or forbidden, but this seems to be an alien concept to many tropical peoples.

Anything else? Canadians?
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby Tarkan » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:59 pm

It is impolite to eat the neighbors before a week of disaster has elapsed.

In Texas, it's not hard to drive on snow because it's flat. Drive slow. Like 10-20 mph. Unless you are in San Antonio or Austin, where, of course, it is hilly.

Using charcoal inside your house without adequate ventilation might kill you.

The best time to buy stuff for an emergency isn't 2 days into the emergency. There was fair warning that this was going to be bad. Next time listen and stock up on water, food, warm weather gear before hand.

Went to Lowes two days ago just to take in the shit show, lots of people panicking and trying to get the last few generators (that were already sold).
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby Kurt » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:16 pm

Tarkan wrote:Using charcoal inside your house without adequate ventilation might kill you.


That's a good one. Plus the parts of the house that may have provided ventilation could be frozen over.

Do grilling in the garage with the door open or on the porch.

A friend of mine in Austin is loving the fact she insisted on a house with a fireplace now.
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby Darcy » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:36 pm

Get a warm hat on your head. Cuddle under blankets. Was always a big thing growing up when the real cold hit, everyone in the same bed, under the same blanket (fully clothed with the hat on). Cuddle on the couch too while watching TV. Hot tea is nice too. Poor Nigerians, I spent lots of time on the equator and know plenty that can't cope with cold. It ain't easy if you didn't grow up in it.

I once saw -54 C (-64 F) on the thermometer, no windchill factored, up in Northern Quebec in the late 80s, and spent 10 years living in a place that didn't get above -30 C (-22 F) for at least two months every winter, BUT I grew up in the cold, was used to it, and had the gear. I really feel sorry for those Texans. Cold is no joke.

Now after decades of kicking around the equator I landed a gig today on the Northern tip of Baffin Island, and I'm heading to Antarctica next fall for three months for a Korean Research team. I am prepared though, got the gear in spades, and am used to the cold. I really feel for all my Southern friends and coping with this extreme cold snap.
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Postby el3so » Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:31 am

Darcy wrote: spent 10 years living in a place that didn't get above -30 C (-22 F) for at least two months every winter, BUT I grew up in the cold, was used to it, and had the gear.
No offense man but that sounds depressing as fûck.

Put your car a gear higher than usual for some extra traction and try to countersteer when going in a spin. Better yet, stay home.
Kurt wrote: A friend of mine in Austin is loving the fact she insisted on a house with a fireplace now.
Cozy but crappy way to actually heat a house, wood stove is a bit better, you can cook on those but you gotta clean that chimney on the regular or the roof 'll catch fire. Gotta use real wood too. Cutting trees, chopping wood, stacking it to dry is too much of a hassle IMO, I barely get round to mowing my lawn. Rather pay the gazprom thugs and be done with it. NS2 almost finished so those ukraine nazis can't cut off the supply. Benefits of living in a densely populated country.

There's some sleeping bags and spare duvets lying around for emergencies, big containers and buckets to collect snow, I know just enough about central heating to not have the pipes burst (again). Old timers used to heat stones to warm the bed.

Carbonmonoxide gets a couple of desperate people without heating money every year. Doc told me it's not a bad way to go, then again they say the same about freezing, go to sleep and never wake up. Maybe he was humoring me.
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:40 am

I never imagined Texas getting that cold but then I saw -11 C in Houston, which is the same temp as here.

Not driving in snow or ice when you never have before is good advice. Tried driving down my street in my shitty SUV on Tuesday and it was wailing around in 16 inches of snow.

Pipes can freeze, depending on how well your house is insulated, but your house can survive a couple of days without dropping below freezing if the insulation is good.

I wear a coat and a toque inside sometimes, no shame in that.

You can skip the gym if you have to shovel. Good core exercise.
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:43 am

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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby seektravelinfo » Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:00 pm

[quote="Tarkan"]
Went to Lowes two days ago just to take in the shit show, lots of people panicking and trying to get the last few generators (that were already sold).[/quote]



Then the outing was worthwhile for you, maybe even better than you’d hoped, as you got the bonus of witnessing people’s desperate and fruitless efforts in maintaining their lives and safety. That’s your idea of a fun outing. As for panic, you’re projecting. You are the most fearful person on this board.
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby svizzerams » Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:26 am

Saw a suggestion of putting a smallish tent on a bed and pile in with blankets, coats - apparently it will heat up and keep people warmer than just under the covers.

I'm used to cold - 10 years in Alaska & the rest on east side of the Cascades in the PNW. My power was out for 10 days after an ice storm in Spokane w/temps in the teens. That was not fun w/an all electric house. Fortunately found refuge w/friends who lived in an area w/little to no urban forest that had taken down the power lines like in my neighborhood. Ran a small stream of water in a sink, which kept the pipes from freezing. Plus the house had some winterization. Checked the house daily & we came out OK with no damage.
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:38 am

Still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong. Ok - 2 degrees in Dallas sounds pretty cold for them, it was about 3 degrees and over a foot of snow fell here in the Niagara Region but that just means it takes a few minutes more to drive to work. A big icestorm is bad shit to the electrical grid but cold and a few inches of snow doesn't sound bad unless there is abosolutely no weatherproofing, which would mean the rain there would cause problems.

Are the watermains above ground there? A couple of days with cold temperatures does not sound like it would cause alot of problems as the frost would not go far into the ground. It would take a while of sub zero temperatures for the frost to get a couple of feet into the ground especially with an insulating layer of snow.
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby Tarkan » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:15 pm

ReptilianKittenEater wrote:Still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong. Ok - 2 degrees in Dallas sounds pretty cold for them, it was about 3 degrees and over a foot of snow fell here in the Niagara Region but that just means it takes a few minutes more to drive to work. A big icestorm is bad shit to the electrical grid but cold and a few inches of snow doesn't sound bad unless there is abosolutely no weatherproofing, which would mean the rain there would cause problems.

Are the watermains above ground there? A couple of days with cold temperatures does not sound like it would cause alot of problems as the frost would not go far into the ground. It would take a while of sub zero temperatures for the frost to get a couple of feet into the ground especially with an insulating layer of snow.


Pretty much everything went wrong at once.

Temps hit the coldest they had been since the 1890s. It hit -2 where I live, whereas it sometimes doesn't get much below 32 degrees all winter, and very rarely dips into the teens.

About 25% of Texas power comes from wind. Half of that power went offline due to icing of the blades. You CAN winterize wind turbines, but it isn't really economical to do so in Texas, so they didn't.

One of the two nuclear power plants was offline apparently for maintenance.

The coal power plants had their uncovered coal piles freeze up.

Natural gas pipelines froze (and some were affected by the electricity black outs), affecting delivery to standby generation capacity.

And of course demand surged due to the freezing cold at the same time that capacity was cratering with generation being taken offline.
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby Kurt » Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:11 pm

The weird thing about this is that it seemed to be a ripe opportunity for people on all sides to lie.

Green Power did not cause the failure, neither did the fact that Texas is not as connected to the national grid as other regions are (it is connected in parts and it is connected to Mexico in parts as well). If Texas had been able to utilize other power grids the most power they could have gotten would be like 5% as the other regions would be obliged to keep their capacity with a limit to spare.

The unsung heroes in this are the SCADA Operators who set up the rolling blackouts at the last minute and probably saved the whole power grid.

Blackouts = Bad. Bad can range from a few transformers fried out to a totally hosed power grid. My mother in law in Nigeria had a blackout that lasted for 5 months. If anyone thinks that is a third world problem and not a western one, then we will be in the third world faster than you could ever deny it. 5 months is "gotta fix everything". Apparently Texas was facing 2 months with no power.

Brownouts and rolling blackouts suck but at least it means someone somewhere has control.

The whole nation's grid and Canada's and Mexico's were taxed. It's just the grids that were for mixed and cold use did not fail and those that were set up for air conditioners rather than heaters failed.

btw I use Power SCADA systems but to run trains (and tunnel ventilation) but one of the coolest ways to weatherize equipment is used in Chicago. They have natural gas fired jets that heat switches and interlockings. They do this with an old-timey switchboard like telephone operators used to use. You plug in the circuit to "talk" and the person at the other end of the track gets a "Ring" then they "answer" and gas jets turn on. It's been around since the 1930s and the CTA has to have their own fabrication plant to make parts to repair the system or all rail traffic could grind to a halt.


https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... ch-heaters

I already know how I would automate this (and keep the original as a back up system)
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Re: I have been providing advice to Nigerians in Texas

Postby Tarkan » Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:15 pm

A fellow co-worker of mine as using Griddy and got hit with a $6,000 bill, most of it from a half day of usage.

Most people in Texas have a flat contract of $x.xx per kwh. Griddy customers get charged wholesale cost + $10/month. Normally wholesale cost is <$10 kwh, and during some periods of the day can frequently go negative (especially during the night when demand is low and wind is over generating) - a lot of Griddy customers were paying $50/month for electricity. On the 15th it surged to capped levels ($9000 kwh). So yeah, that sucks for them. Probably going to be the death of Griddy also, which nominally is a good option for folks, especially during non-six sigma weather events.
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