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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day Four

The above is the before photo.
This is the after photo.

We measured between 5-6 feet of new snow. Not unusual for us this time of year but the most we have ever received in one storm prior to this was between 4 - 5 feet. Not bad for 15 winters I'd say. This time however we got right at 6 feet of extremely heavy snow over two days. It was hard to measure because it was the most heavy snow I had seen and it kept compacting down. What I measured was a little over 5 1/2 feet but that could be wrong as like I said it kept compacting down.

We were fortunate that we received such little damage from it also. The small section of roof over the door to under the house had one cross member that shifted down under the weight about an inch. Jack it back up and a couple nails and it will be good as new. The vent stack on the side of the house had a bracket screw sheared off and I have already replaced it. It took longer to snow shoe to the other side of the house than fix the bracket.

Then late on day three when we finally uncovered the vehicles and got the three feet of snow/slush off them we found that the snow weight had cracked the window on our truck. As soon as the roads dry up where we can get out we will have that replaced. The nearest Safelite is in Pueblo about a two hour drive one way so it looks like that will have to wait until a couple other things can be done first.

It took four days to get the driveway cleared and the vehicles cleaned off, as well as finish up on the rest of the snow. Lots of heavy shovels of snow to get out but if we had to now we could get out. According to my calculations we received 320" of snow this snow season (so far) and we hope it is done. Our average is 264" and we should be pretty good for water shed now. The weather lady said usually 10" of snow equals 1" of water but this snow was so wet it was more like 5-6' of snow equals one inch of water.

Hope that is the last storm of the season and we will get back to normal soon. But ya never know for sure, we could get another storm or more up until mid June. I'd consider with the extreme weight of the snow that we did pretty good. We built strong and the only damage was easily fixed.


Anonymous said...

So every winter you get around 5-6ft? Curious cause were looking into buying property and its at 4600ft in Northern California. Do you guys ever get snowed in living at 9700ft? How do you prepare for the winter? We also have 3 kids and 4 dogs so curious to know when and what and how you prepare for the winter.I have so many questions but we`ll just start with those:)

Bruce said...

Anonymous: Not every year do we get a substantial snow storm. This last one which was hard to measure due to being so heavy and settling due to the shear weight was hard to measure and was the worst one we have seen in 15 years.
We get the snow off small roofs and the deck to avoid damage early.
Sometimes we don't get a heavy snow storm but usually every year we get one around 3-4'.
We use a snow thrower on the front of our small tractor except when it is very wet and clogs the chute frequently. We have our property cleared where we can maneuver well.
As to preparation, we keep a stock of food essentials on hand for us and the dogs. We also store extra drinking water in case the power goes out and the well won't work. There are certain areas that the snow thrower can't access so those we shovel out one shovel full at a time. Slow but if you are methodical it is done before you know it. We don't prepare actually, just deal with what comes along on a slow and steady pace.
I'm not familiar with N. California but here I have found that the sooner you can start clearing the snow the easier it is. To wait for the sun to come out turns it into heavy burdensome snow removal. Sometimes like the last storm it takes us days to chip away at the accumulation. We love it and find it is good exercise and healthy being outside so much. The equaling factor is the wind for us. I don't like to be out in blowing wind as wind driven snow stings your face and the wind chill is sometimes brutal. That does not happen often. Good luck with your new homestead and I'll bet the kids and dogs will love it the most. We spend lots of time each winter playing in the snow - brings out the kid in us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much:) Yes I can`t wait, the kids are getting super excited for a white xmas. I just saw your article in Mother Earth News so I am now a daily McElmurray reader.
Thanks a bunch from northern california

Bruce said...

Anonymous: I don't post every day, just to much to do around the old homestead to do that. I do post as often as I can however.
Kids and mountain living are a good match. Your kids will have a ball with the snow. It has turned us "oldsters" into kids too. If you go back in the blogs you will find some with us sledding and snow shoeing.
Several folks have told me they are having trouble with the Mother Earth News site so I will notify them. If you have a problem with this site please let me know.
Planning a new homestead is exciting for everyone. I can almost feel your enthusiasm as you go forth.