Jittery Legs

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I’m pretty much stuck in Dallas. Someone left a comment yesterday that said something like, it shouldn’t be a surprise since they have been predicting this ice storm for the past few days. And I agree that is true. What isn’t predictable, or at least wasn’t obvious to me, is the real lack of infrastructure to deal with this here. Nearly anywhere else in the country, this wouldn’t be any big deal.

All the roads are super hazardous. The George Bush Toll Road is worse than nearly any gravel road I’ve ever been on. No one has any snow shovels or salt. Nearly no sidewalks are cleared, so they are solid ice.

The power is out in Richardson and I recommended that Sue take her mom to a hotel. The temperature in her house was already into the 40’s and the power might not be turned on until tomorrow still. By the time we decided that, nearly all the hotels were full. We ended up driving up to Plano to a pretty nice place, the NYLO. It is ultra modern and kind of hip. Trying to get Sue’s mom from the car into the hotel was a chore. It was solid ice right up to where you could grab the handle. I don’t understand the liability risks these commercials properties are willing to assume here. In Kansas, it is a law that you need to clear the sidewalks on your property in a timely manner, something like 8 hours. Absolutely no one here is clearing anything. I don’t think there is anything here to use for it.

It is kind of lucky that this is a weekend, so people can just hunker down and sit it out. I really don’t know how many people are without electricity, but it might take a while to get it turned back on. The electric trucks aren’t moving any faster than anyone else around here, which is really slow.

Anyway, back to the title of the post. My legs are wasted today. I kind of twisted my knee getting out of the car yesterday on ice. Now, walking on ice, I feel super unstable, which is pretty normal I guess. I can’t believe how wasted my thighs and hamstrings from trying to stabilize myself on ice.

Walking Bromont this morning, he fell down twice while walking on grass with ice on it. I didn’t sink through, walked right on top of the ice on grass. It is so solid. It isn’t going to thaw here for a while.

The Kansas State Cyclocross Championships are tomorrow in Topeka, just 3 miles from my house. I was planning on being there. I really hadn’t planned to race, but you never know about that. Unless something around here goes a lot better, I doubt I’m going to be in Kansas for the race tomorrow.

This was the George Bush Toll Road last night driving up to Plano.

This was the George Bush Toll Road last night driving up to Plano.

This guy went out running about the last chance he could have.  The roads are 100 times worse now.

This guy went out running about the last chance he could have. The roads are 100 times worse now.

Bromont's legs are jittery too.  He is walking pretty timidly on the ice.

Bromont’s legs are jittery too. He is walking pretty timidly on the ice.

The Bar's Leaks  seemed to work on Melissa's heat core yesterday.  Repairs like this are always a little suspect for a while.

The Bar’s Leaks seemed to work on Melissa’s heat core yesterday. Repairs like this are always a little suspect for a while.

5 thoughts on “Jittery Legs

  1. steve

    living in dallas for 48 years, we only get ice storms of this severity about once every 5 or more years. we had one back in feb of 2011 but did not seem this bad. the last one comparable to this that I remember was in 1979. from a cost stand point, it is not feasible for southern cities to invest in the equipment that would be necessary to effectively and efficiently clear all the roads for ice events that come around every half dozen years or so.

     
  2. Chris Malone

    Steve,
    I enjoy your blog. Thanks.
    Re: the landlords and ice/snow, the reason they generally do not take that on as one of their maintenance duties is that they can get as stuck as anyone and not be able to make it to the property to clear, ergo, they would then liable for not having done it. While it is not in my leases, I try to help my tenants with their snow/ice clearing simply because I think it is the decent thing to do.
    Cheers,
    Chris

     
  3. Doug Punches

    That was me Steve. We don’t have a poor infrastructure in the DFW area; We don’t have ANY infrastructure. Hell, there”s a Lufthansa 777 frozen to the runway at DFW right now! The way they deal with it is to pour sand on the streets. All that does is make dust storm once the ice has melted. You should have been hear during Super-Bowl week! It was horrible. Anyway, I grew up in Ponca City, OK with similar weather to KC. It’s a small town, but we even snow plows and salt trucks. But in DFW’s defense, we didn’t have all the elevated roadways like we have here. Good Luck on the way home.

     
  4. Mark

    I concur with the above statement as well. Having lived in the DFW area all of my 52 years it is not, nor has ever been equipped to handle these heavy ice storms. A couple of years back when we had the heaviest snow fall in history there were some snow clearing equipment brought from further north to help out. However this area only has sand trucks and very few road clearing type equipment. Sorry you’re dealing with the frustration with the power outages in Richardson. We live in the southern sector of Dallas and fortunately our utilities are underground and our power has not been effected thank God. Hope the knee is okay and you get back on the bike soon. Sunday we are supposed to have temps back up in the 40° area so we will have some thawing.

     
  5. Nathan

    I keep a pair of YakTrax “walkers” in my car just for bad winter weather. Fit over any shoes and provide great traction on ice.

    I grew up in DFW, and it is more than a lack of infrastructure. Things are not built for winter weather, such as the numerous bridges and highway overpasses. A subtle example is the raised reflective bumps used to help mark lanes. A plow would remove these on the first pass. When I see these bumps anywhere else, they are recessed.

     

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