We were originally expecting 12-18 inches of the white fluffy stuff we've seen so rarely this winter. Instead, we've woken up to about 1-2 inches of a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain. It's nasty outside, and last I heard, we can expect this to continue all day.
The kids are off from school today (NBC30 reports 658 closings or delays as of this writing). I can't see the road from my house, so I have no idea if the roads are clear or safe. But with the continuing sleet falling and the winds blowing, I figure it's best if we stay home and enjoy the day with the kids (and, even though my driveway was plowed earlier this morning, it is covered with this white mix of what actually look like icy "snow pellets", so I don't know if I could safely make it up to the road in my car). Hopefully it will change back to snow later today so we can take the kids outside to play.
However, it is expected that there will be ice build-up (from the sleet and freezing rain) on trees and power lines. This could result in downed power lines and power outages.
Since many of us obtain our water for our houses from private wells, if there is a power outage, we lose the ability to pump additional water from the well. While this is not exactly a favorite topic of mine, no water means that once we use up the reserve water already pumped from the well, we then are unable to wash our hands or flush out toilets.
But, there is a solution! Fill a bathtub with water this morning. Water from the tub can then be used to wash your hands. And, by filling a bucket with water from the tub, you can pour that water into the toilet and the toilet will flush. No mess. It's as easy as that.
This won't help you keep warm if the power goes out, but I figure that's what the fireplace is for. Maybe next year we'll buy a generator...
The "sleet drift" outside my front door this morning.
UPDATE: While we ended up with only about 4 inches of snow/sleet mixture on the ground by the time the storm was done, by 4:00 pm, this "sleet drift" grew to 4 feet high. I would have taken another picture, but it was frozen to the front door, and I wasn't going to take my camera outdoors in this weather!