Winter Storm Frida

Winter Storm Frida came through like a wrecking ball to the Fredericksburg area on Monday. Our region made national news with the debacle on Interstate 95 and as of today some areas still remain without power and no estimates of when it will be back on.

On Sunday, we watched the forecast and the percentage of probability that we would get any amount of snow fall. The estimates we were seeing were only 4 – 6 inches of snow and our assumption was that there would be hardly any accumulation because the ground would be too warm to stick. We were definitely wrong.

Monday morning arrived and I awoke to a text message telling me that our Barn Manager, Kim, would be late because of the heavy snow and road conditions. I looked outside and saw that there was already several inches accumulated at the farm and snow was coming down heavy.

Nikyla and I headed out to start feeding the horses in heavy snowfall and wind. All around the farm we heard the sound of trees cracking and falling. Just as we were finishing up morning feed, the power went out and the generator didn’t kick on. We switched gears to get the generator on, not knowing how bad the situation really was off the farm and expecting to have the power back on within a few short hours.

After taking time out to fix the generator, make sure that it was functioning and we would have the ability to maintain water for everyone we checked on the horses that we left in the stalls to make sure they were drying and had enough food and water and started PM feed. Still expecting that the power would come back on quickly our communication with those off the farm was extremely limited with text messages not going through and data limited on our devices. It wasn’t until late that evening that we finally started to get the big picture on just how bad things were around the region.

The heavy snow fall, already saturated ground and heavy winds caused trees to be down all over the area. Trees down on power lines, roadways, houses and barns. Our family and friends were reporting damages to their fences and barns and lack of power. Thankfully the damage to the rescue farm was minimal as we just waited for the power to come back on. By Wednesday when the power had not been restored, we started making preparations for the next snow storm expected to come through the area on Thursday. Orange Madison was able to bring a feed delivery as we were dangerously close to running out of certain feeds.

Not taking for granted what we were forecasted with, we prepared for the worst case scenario this time and for the power to remain out through the weekend.

Thursday morning arrived and we continued preparations for Storm #2 as our first volunteers arrived just before lunch to help clean up and prepare for additional days without power and limited access to the farm. In the middle of our preparations, we pulled out our water tanks to clean and fill with water in case we lost our generator before the power came back on. Both water tanks that had been stored and not used were discovered with large cracks and holes that were beyond repair. As we met in the barn to decide what our plan was going to be we looked up to see stall lights on in one side of the barn. We had power!

It’s hard to believe that we went from temperatures of 69 degrees on Sunday to the near blizzard like conditions we had on Monday. There were definitely a lot of things that we learned from this experience. The first one is don’t take for granted that the weather could be warm and sunny one day and we would not end up with 13″ of snow the next day.

In preparations for the next storm, we are looking to acquire new 275 gallon water tanks to store water should we lose power and the generator. We are forever grateful to our trainer and neighbor Kim for helping to take care of our herd along with her own during this storm.