Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Northerners

I just received this email from one of my "kids that I didn't give birth to", as Bridget Jones would say. TR doesn't know who originally wrote this, but it's what I've been saying since Katrina struck.

WEATHER BULLETIN

Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from an Historic event --- May I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions"? --- With a historic blizzard of up to 24" inches of snow and winds to 50 MPH that broke trees in half, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed all roads, isolated scores of communities, and cut power to tens of thousands.

FYI:

President George Bush did not come, and was not expected to come...

President George Bush did not cause the storm...

Global warming did not cause the storm...

FEMA staged nothing...

No one howled for the government to do something...

No one even uttered an expletive on TV...

Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards...

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House...

No one looted...

Jim Cantori of the Weather Channel did not come...

And Geraldo Rivera did not move in to be on camera.

Nope, we just melted snow for water, sent out caravans to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars and trucks, checked on our neighbors, fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Aladdin lamps, and put on an extra layer of clothes because up here it is take care of yourself and others and work or die. We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sit at home' checks.

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and and we know how to deal with it ourselves.


This is the same storm that encased our area in an inch of ice. We were the lucky ones. West-central Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota got the worst of it. They got the 50 mph winds on top of the ice. Miles and miles of power lines went down. It wasn't just the line that snapped; the poles snapped off like matchsticks! 10,000-15,000 homes were without power for several days. They think that they've finally restored power to the last few homes TODAY. That's 10 DAYS without power! Many of these days had subzero temperatures.

TR's best friend's Dad is a lineman for Ottertail Power, one of the power companies that assisted in returning power to the affected area. These brave souls didn't abandon their jobs to see to the welfare of their families. They drove on icy roads, through 2 feet of snow, in the middle of the night. They reset poles through 4 ft snowdrifts and frozen ground. They restrung line in winds that were much stronger than the 20 mph maximum that their union rules allow.

After the power was restored many of these homes flooded when their ruptured water lines thawed out. Now these homeowners are faced with the task of replumbing their homes, in the dead of winter. There aren't enough plumbers to go around, so many of these people will be doing the work themselves.

Many people didn't have backup heating. They abandoned their homes and moved in with friends and relatives who were able to heat a couple of rooms in their homes. These people will return to homes containing frozen foodstuffs, toiletries, and cracked sheetrock.

The destruction would have been worse if the area were more densely populated. I'm sure that people perished in this storm, but I haven't heard a death toll. The news media hasn't covered our disaster very well.

We didn't wait for FEMA to rescue us. We northerners are smarter than that. We jumped on our snowmobiles and 4-wheel drives and went out to rescue each other.
We northerners are a self-sufficient lot!

41 Comments:

At 12/07/2005 8:48 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Well, I don't know what to say to this. Ok - I can think of a few things but I'm not in the mood.

I will say, cynically, that blizzards are not sexy and men & women in snowsuits and boots are not sexy, snow is not sexy. Get my drift? (Ha! Pun unintended but funny anyhow to one operating on little sleep...)

 
At 12/07/2005 9:15 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Umm...SEXY?

 
At 12/07/2005 11:00 PM, Blogger European said...

Not sexy, but, er, cool?

 
At 12/08/2005 9:06 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Just wait - FEMA will show up after Christmas ... it takes time to get up there you know ;)

 
At 12/08/2005 1:50 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

LMAO, Laura! I think the delay is caused by their trying to find someone who can read a map! Or maybe they need help zipping their snowsuits? ;)

Cool in more ways than one, Euro!

 
At 12/08/2005 8:24 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Sigh!

Ok - it's not a sexy story! That's what I was trying to get at.

You are a tough crowd, tshsmom.

 
At 12/08/2005 8:46 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Nah, just dense sometimes WC! ;)
Maybe it's brainfreeze?

 
At 12/08/2005 10:18 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Canadians are tough people. I think after the nuclear war, we'll have rats, cockroaches, and Canadians.

 
At 12/08/2005 11:27 PM, Blogger MonicaR said...

LOVE it! So damn true. Although I have heard it is evidence of global warming. I'm also shocked that Jim Cantore didn't make it. He usually gets all the plum assignements!

 
At 12/08/2005 11:39 PM, Blogger MonicaR said...

That should be 'assignments' - of course.

 
At 12/08/2005 11:55 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

Sounds kind of flakey to me if you snow what I mean...groan...

I remember when I was a kid we had a big snowstorm that closed schools early. Our bus got stuck somewhere.

No big deal...

Parents that could drive in the snow picked us up, called our parents and got us home eventually.

Your post reminds me that I need to do some stocking up, just in case...

 
At 12/09/2005 6:47 AM, Blogger Laura said...

OMG Shawn that was sooooooo bad, but it made me laugh anyway.

 
At 12/09/2005 10:26 AM, Blogger Miladysa said...

Have they written the film script yet? :)

 
At 12/09/2005 3:30 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Yeah, but Minnesotans are ARMED, Canadians arent't, ZS!

Monica, I think the reason that newspeople don't show up at MN disasters is because we'd put them to work! About 50% of global warming is due to the fact that we're still coming OUT of an ice age.

That WAS a groaner, Shawn! ;)
You just captured the whole northern attitude in 3 words "No big deal." We do what needs to be done.
I was a little unprepared myself, Shawn. After the storm I went out and bought spare mantles for our coleman lantern and filled up 2 of the 4, 5-gallon cans of gas we keep on hand for our generator. We still had 4 gallons of coleman fuel on hand though. ;)

Milady, that's the sad part. They'll never make a TV movie about this because northerners are pretty boring in an emergency.

 
At 12/09/2005 4:41 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

yeah, but Hollywood makes really cool movies about us, like "Fargo", "Mystery Alaska", and my favorite, "Escanaba In Da Moonlight" And there was that TV show "Northern Exposure"

I am amazed that after watching these, Southern folks didn't drop everything and move right up here.

Incidentally, we only got 9" of snow last night. We celebrated by taking the Airedale for a midnight walk.

 
At 12/09/2005 5:01 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

GWB, I'm sick to death of people wanting to hear my Minnesota accent after they saw Fargo! WHAT accent?! Other than Bostonians, we northerners all sound alike!

 
At 12/09/2005 5:32 PM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

This post reminds me of my grandparents' stories about how tough it was when they were growing up (you know, walking four miles in the driving snow to school - uphill both ways). :-P

Seriously, though, I wonder if people from the south are soft. I live in CA now and you should see what happens when it rains - you'd think the world was crashing down! I'm wondering what they'd do in my hometown where, the other night when I called my mom, it was 3 degrees. :-P

 
At 12/09/2005 6:01 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

See Notta; you're obviously a northerner or you wouldn't notice the wusses around you. ;)

 
At 12/09/2005 7:40 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

WOW very damn impressive, tshsmom! Am sitting here grinning ear to ear at the resiliance. What a storm....

Here's to the heroes that don't toot their own horns and get the job done.

Wish there were words sufficient to do justice to them...Bridg

 
At 12/10/2005 2:09 AM, Blogger SME said...

To be frank, watching enormous Louisianans wading around in their own waste, wearing old wife-beaters, wasn't terribly sexy. For me personally.

 
At 12/10/2005 2:16 AM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

tshsmom - gotta disagree with you on the accen thing. Minnesotans have an accent I can only describe as being half way between Yoopers and Canadians. It gets more distinct when you get up around Boundry Waters (have I ever mentioned how much I love Ely and Grand Marais?)

 
At 12/10/2005 6:29 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Oh no! If you're right GWB, I have one HELL of an accent! I was born a Yupper, and didn't move to MN until I was 2. I learned to talk in the UP. PLUS, I've had LOTS of Canadian friends in my life. At least I don't talk like they do in Fargo. ;)
We may have that camping trip yet. Let me know the next time you go to Ely. If you're willing to take a small side trip, we'll show you our favorite haunts. ;)
BTW, what are YOU doing up at 2 a.m.?

SME, what are "wife-beaters"?

 
At 12/10/2005 7:49 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Bridg, we'll have to watch how the East handles their disaster this weekend. The Boston area has 100,000 without power.

 
At 12/10/2005 8:31 AM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

Wife beaters: what those of us in the great lakes states commonly call undershirts. Kinda like white tank tops.

Up at 3 am eastern because my back hurt, so I poured a really hot tub of water and fell asleep in it. Woke up about once an hour to heat up the water. Finally, after about 4 hours, decided back felt good and got out of tub. Decided to check email while I was dressing. Ended up here.

 
At 12/10/2005 8:44 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks for the info, GWB!
Lay off the shoveling for awhile.

 
At 12/10/2005 5:34 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

SME: I wasn't implying in any way "sexy" as a positive or even sexual thing.

tshsmom: oh, there are plenty of armed Canadians, all right.

 
At 12/10/2005 6:39 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I found that out when I read what you wrote about your Dad, WC. My understanding is that it's difficult to get licensed to own a firearm up there. PLEASE, set me straight! Facts would be far better than the rumors we get down here.

 
At 12/10/2005 7:49 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

OK you guys, what's a Yopper? Yupper?

Gotta start reading the newspapers...poor Boston.

Don't think anyone's going to beat Louisiana's um mmm performance (watch the hostile comments flow in now....)

 
At 12/10/2005 7:55 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I'm not sure of all the ins and outs. You for sure need an FAC, or firearms acquisition certificate. This involves taking a course and passing a test. Would you be surprised to know, after reading that post of mine, that my dad teaches this course?

I'm not sure what else. Most likely a ciminal record check. It's difficult to buy guns up here - there aren't that many vendors that are obvious to the general public.

Also, there is a strict restricted list of firearms and there is an extremely controversial gun registry, where everyone is legally bound to register all their firearms with the police.

My dad is a collector and target shooter and there are lots of guys in his gun clubs and who attend matches at his range and others in the area. Gun ownership in rural Canada is pretty high because lots of people hunt, and there is a lot of recreational gun use in the form of target shooting at ranges etc.

I grew up around guns, ranges, reloading equipment, bullet-making equipment, targets pasted on cardboard, gun books, gun EVERYTHING, because this was my dad's big love in life. And still is. I wasn't joking about the burying of his guns in the woods. He and his buddies have threatened that in the past if there is ever any more really strict gun control in Canada.

 
At 12/11/2005 7:29 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Bridg, a Yupper is someone who lives on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is actually above Wisconsin. The "mainland" of Michigan is overpopulated with cities like Detroit. The UP is more rural. They have the same fights that we "outstate" Minnesotans have with the metro areas. Yuppers have been threatening to secede from Michigan for years.
The first thing that Louisiana residents have to do, is elect officials that have their safety in mind. The levees need to be rebuilt the RIGHT way. I don't know how their economy can EVER recover.

WC, thanks for the info. This is pretty much what I've heard. The problem with your system is that pre-existing gun owners had a much easier time getting the proper paperwork. New gun enthusiasts find it damned near impossible to get all the paperwork AND purchase a gun.
I don't have a problem with required gun safety classes. I was once the youngest instructor in the state. Individual states have their own requirements. In MN you have to have a valid safety permit to buy a hunting license or handgun permit.

 
At 12/11/2005 5:47 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

You're from the UP? Then you really know about snow.

 
At 12/11/2005 6:34 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I was born there Squirl, but we moved to MN when I was 2.

 
At 12/11/2005 7:22 PM, Blogger grannyanny said...

you know, the media never really reports blizzards unless it wipes out new york. i couldn't believe that the today show was opening their program on thursday with pictures of central park in four inches of snow! um, i live here and even i'm aware that there are people in other parts of the country that can't believe that we're whining about four measly inches!

 
At 12/11/2005 8:47 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I think you're right Ann. It's only a disaster, to the media, if it strikes a densely populated area.
I'm sure if NYC would have whined long enough about their 4 inches of snow, the gov't would have declared it a disaster. ;)

 
At 12/12/2005 5:56 AM, Blogger SME said...

Never heard of a "yupper". But then I'd never heard of "booya" either.

 
At 12/12/2005 3:15 PM, Blogger Miladysa said...

Us Northerners here are strong too, the Jessies are in the South.

 
At 12/12/2005 4:00 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Sorry SME, but you're half yupper. This may explain some of your weird behaviors. ;)

Miladysa, I've always noticed that this isn't an American phenomenon, it's worldwide. We northerners are tougher AND better preserved. I can't believe that you're a Grandma!

 
At 12/13/2005 8:15 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

tshsmom: grannyanny's comment is what I was getting at when I used the term "sexy."

 
At 12/13/2005 9:45 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Yeah, sorta like why they don't have Survivor-Arctic Edition. ;)

 
At 12/14/2005 10:47 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Exactly.

Well, sorta. Journalism sexy is not the same as hollywood sexy. But you get what I'm saying.

 
At 12/15/2005 2:03 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I don't know, journalism is going more Hollywood every day. :(

 

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