We have to have weather, whether or not. Right?

Or … Adapting to winter on the Coast of the North Atlantic

Wind is the story here. And wildly fluctuating temperatures.

In the previous post, I mentioned that the weather gods were sending us rain and wind for Christmas. It was the forecast of high winds that had me worried. That “gift” was delivered with enthusiasm! Oh, it rained alight!! The rain gutters sounded as if someone had turned in a tap on full force. Temperatures were mild, well above freezing. The wind blew roof shingles off houses, toppled trees and knocked out the electricity to tens of thousands.

We had a simple, old-fashioned county Christmas dinner, ourselves. (Luckily, the turkey had JUST come when the power went out). For us the outage added an element of atmosphere and was restored after about 6 hours – much to the relief of my millennial sons. Others were not so fortunate – some folks made due without power for three more days. Which really was a challenge because the storm was followed by super cold temperatures – in the -20C area with windchill around -27C.

Our annual Christmas hike was postponed till Boxing Day – and let me tell you, it was “some cold”!!

I do not envy those folks who had to cope with freezing houses, not knowing when their power would be back. Those cold temps lasted into the New Year.

And then.

The temps warmed up. Up, up,up! And carried with them another rain/wind storm. This was the storm that brought snow to a Florida and flooded Boston. It was massive! Not so much rain for us, but wind gusts in excess of 120km/hr. Well warned, we were all better prepared. The Power Corp brought in extra help and spread them throughout the land in anticipation. Lobster fishermen moved their boats and secured them as best they could. Hubby stashed everything that could blow around into the garage. I filled my bathtub with water, bought new flashlights and batteries, pulled out our hand-cranked radio and stocked up with snacks (#stormchips!!๐Ÿ˜‰). I even made a pot of coffee and stored it the thermos before going to bed. How’s that for planning ahead?!

The next morning, we still had power! In fact, we didn’t lose power the in this storm at all. Lucky, again. Because more than half of all homes in the province did. The winds and tidal surge did the damage. The Halifax waterfront boardwalk was flooded and torn apart. Flights were cancelled. Bridges shut. Ferries ties up.

Our beach was “breached”.

Boats were toppled off their cradles, twisting masts.

And, dramatically, an entire wall of scaffolding blew off the Lunenburg Academy. This beauty is undergoing much needed renovations. However, questions abound about the wisdom of wrapping a large building, which is perched on a hill facing the North Atlantic, in plastic for the winter. But, no one was hurt and no serious damage was done to the building. So, that’s a question for another day.

Again, the system was followed with a deep freeze which lasted for about a week.

As I write this, we are experiencing yet another “wind/rain” event. It is worth noting that it is +15C and the rain is falling in sheets. The radio is reporting widespread power outages and flooding. Again. And, you guessed it, the forecast is for falling temps. The ground is frozen and is, therefore, unable to absorb all this water. Because temperatures are due to drop quickly, forecasters are warning about a “flash freeze”. That can’t be good!

I’m delighted to report that we, here, have sustained no damage or inconvenience from any of these storms really, except for a dark Christmas dinner. We have been in this area for more that 27 years, and have experienced more power outages in the past two than all the previous years put together. This brings me to the question of the season….

How do we adapt to, what seems to be, the new normal?

My husband and I are planning to build a new house in the summer. (Downsizing. Haha! Yeah, sure!). As we consider heating systems, we are hoping to build for the future. Whatever that brings. And what should we do for back up, when the power goes out – as it obviously, inevitably will.

In our present home we have radiant in-floor heat powered by a geo-thermal system. Which is great, but expensive and invasive to install. It would require some sort of back up, if we were to stay. The thought for the new house is in- floor heat powered by solar panels. With a power wall as back up.

We are still researching. Any thoughts?

WPC – weathered

30 thoughts on “Weathered

  1. sustainabilitea January 13, 2018 / 7:30 pm

    Those poor people (and poor boats)!! I don’t have any useful ideas on the floors, but I’d love to have heated floors some day, unless we’re living somewhere mostly warm. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • JanetRimmington January 13, 2018 / 7:41 pm

      The floors are concrete – warm in winter, cool in summer. I looooove them!! ๐Ÿ˜ But I expect a heated floor is the least of your needs. ๐ŸŒด

      • sustainabilitea January 13, 2018 / 7:43 pm

        It won’t be when I’m visiting Arizona in a few days, but here in NE Illinois, they would be greatly welcomed right now.

      • JanetRimmington January 13, 2018 / 10:28 pm

        Oh yes!! They are just the ticket for Illinois!!

  2. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread January 13, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    When we downsized, we put in a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater. It is extremely efficient as it only uses fuel when you turn the hot water on. It does run on electric. There is one downside, besides if the power goes out, which is you don’t have hot water immediately. I would do it again. We also bought a generator for about $1,000. We spoke to the electricians about one that came on automatically when the power went out, but it was out of our budget since the electrical work had already been done. If I was building again, I’d definitely get one installed as part of the initial electrical plan. Good luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • JanetRimmington January 15, 2018 / 2:57 am

      Thanks Judy!! We are researching Rinnai ….. ๐Ÿ˜

  3. Joanne Sisco January 13, 2018 / 9:18 pm

    The East Coast seems to get battered every winter, but this one has been a doozy – and it’s still only early January!!

    Glad to hear you have weathered it unscathed. As you said, so many didn’t.

    • JanetRimmington January 17, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      Thanks. You are quite right. Winter hasnโ€™t even started yet in these parts!!

  4. the eternal traveller January 13, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    A new home is an exciting thought and what an opportunity to really have what you want. Like Judy, we have the same hot water system. It’s great and very efficient. If we ever build again, we’ll be going completely solar – power, hot water etc.

    • JanetRimmington January 14, 2018 / 12:04 am

      Thanks!! Interesting. Do you mean solar hot water or solar voltaic?

      • the eternal traveller January 14, 2018 / 12:11 am

        Solar hot water. We do have sunshine for most to the year, so it’s very economical.

      • JanetRimmington January 14, 2018 / 12:13 am

        Thank you!! Itโ€™s very helpful. ๐Ÿ˜

      • the eternal traveller January 14, 2018 / 12:11 am

        But we would look into going off grid and doing solar power too.

      • JanetRimmington January 14, 2018 / 12:17 am

        Off grid would be ideal, I agree. We are weighing the pros and cons. I feel like the more independent of the grid the better. It seems as though that might be the way of the future.

      • the eternal traveller January 14, 2018 / 12:24 am

        I don’t what costs are like where you are, but here the power companies are charging more and delivering less. All the government bodies say they’re going to address the problem but nothing ever happens. Independence would be a good thing.

      • JanetRimmington January 14, 2018 / 12:37 am

        Here we have just one power company. Soooo … they have a monopoly. Which is never good. I want to be sure that whatever back up system we have will kick in immediately without assistance. Just in case the power goes out while we are away. We are considering a power wall. They are very new. Have you heard anything about them?

      • the eternal traveller January 14, 2018 / 12:38 am

        No, I haven’t heard of that but it sounds like a great idea.

      • JanetRimmington January 14, 2018 / 12:39 am

        Iโ€™ll let you know. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Osyth January 14, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    That is weather on steroids – sheโ€™s a gal, that Mother Nature ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ. As ever I loved your take on the theme …. the story illustrated with your stunning pictures made for a happy interlude (helped by the fact that the weather is dry here ๐Ÿ˜‰)

    • JanetRimmington January 17, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      Thanks!!! I can send you some rain if youโ€™d like ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Osyth January 18, 2018 / 8:15 am

        Was, no longer is so Iโ€™ll pass thanks โ˜”๏ธ ๐ŸŒง ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. BuntyMcC January 15, 2018 / 8:45 am

    I seem to have deleted you from my feed some time back- glad to find you again. And glad youโ€™ve survived all the weather events relatively unscathed. We (weโ€™ve moved into a condo in Charlottetown) have ducked everything so far but are completely dependent on district heating and the grid. I hope you find the right combo of features to incorporate into a new home.

    • JanetRimmington January 17, 2018 / 11:00 pm

      Me too!! Iโ€™m glad you are back!! We were in Charlottetown in early September, and notice some very nice new condo buildings on the waterfront. They looked very snazzy! Iโ€™m picturing you in one of those.
      Stay tuned. I feel sure there will be more to come on the new home-building adventure…..

      • BuntyMcC January 18, 2018 / 8:34 pm

        Nope, not on the waterfront but only a 10 minute walk from it on a quiet street with a quaint mixture of multi-coloured single-family and multi-family housing from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. Build on….

      • JanetRimmington January 19, 2018 / 2:36 am

        Ah ha! Charlottetown is a lovely city. I fall a little bit more in love with it every time I visit. Congratulations on your new home!!

  7. Mama Weather was not kind to your area, Janet, but you were very fortunate! Your ‘dark dinner’ looked rather lovely actually. I’ll be interested to hear your plans for the new house as time goes by. Happy New Year! Cheers.

    • JanetRimmington January 17, 2018 / 11:05 pm

      Hi Elen!! The Dark Dinner was actually really nice. As was the game of monopoly that followed. The 20-somethingโ€™s gave thanks to whom ever was listening once the power flicked back in. Iโ€™m sure there will be more on the home-building adventure. Stay tuned!! ๐Ÿ˜

  8. Julie@frogpondfarm January 18, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    Courtesy of the Weather Gods .. a dark Christmas dinner! Gosh .. Oh dear! As for the wind and rain, it can be so destructive. I nail bite every time storms are forecast. We had one two weeks ago that shook the old villa. What a shame the scaffolding blew down and not a great start to the NY for the boat owners .. Solar sounds like the go!

  9. Sartenada March 13, 2018 / 10:10 am

    Many years ago, one blogger from Lunenburg commented my posts. I remember the tall ship Bluenose II . Awesome photos in this post. Thank You.

    • JanetRimmington March 13, 2018 / 12:10 pm

      Interesting! Yes, Bluenose is a much beloved feature of the town. Sheโ€™s a pretty girl, for sure. Thanks so much for dropping in. ๐Ÿ˜

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