Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hashtag Chiberia

Dining room ceilings across Chicago protest the
Narnian winter.
First it looked like this.

Frustrating. Water drip, drip, dripping through bubbling paint on the dining room ceiling.

I poked holes in the puffed out layer of paint, and yellow water streamed out. We positioned buckets under the leaks, and pressed on the separated paint layers to push the remaining water out.

But releasing the water did not solve the problem, and a few days later, we heard a loud PHHHHHLLLUUMMMPHHHHH. Mr. Peevie and I ran out to the dining room to see layers of plaster and insulation coating the table and floor. 

It was quite impressive. For a little while the hole looked like this: 

But Mr. Peevie kept looking at that uncollapsed corner and saying, "I think this is gonna go, too. Stay away from this corner, guys. It's gonna go." 

I admit I made fun of him for his pessimism--and then about a half hour later--PHHHHHLLLUUMMMPHHHHH! Down it came. Sometimes pessimism is another word for "I told you so."

Fortunately, Mr. Peevie did not listen to my Pollyanna outlook, and he had prepped for the second collapse by putting down tarps and bins, which caught a lot of the debris. We have made the first-ever claim against our homeowners' insurance policy since we bought our first house about twenty years ago.

We went through a similar experience with the water dripping through the dining room ceiling five years ago-- And guess what?

The last time Chicago recorded a high temperature below zero was Jan. 15, 2009 -- exactly five years ago. 

"The bitter temperatures follow several days of snowfall," the article reports. Almost twelve inches of snow fell at O'Hare that week--and almost nine of them in one day, breaking the record from 2005.

Apparently, this phenomenon is caused by ice dams that form on the edge of the roof, forcing melting snow back under the shingles, where it creeps in and leaks out inside the house. And it's not just happening at the Peevie homestead, either. It's happening all over Chiberia.

Five years ago, though, the winter was less Narnian than this interminable, tenacious, entrenched season that continues to break records. When I started writing this post, we had marked 75.5 inches of snow so far this season. then later that day we received another batch. To date, our snowfall totals have exceeded 80 inches--80.6 to be exact-- which obliterates the '69-'70 record (77 inches) and wags a warning finger at the '77-'78 second place record (82.3 inches).

I don't think we're going to hit the all-time snowfall record of 89.7 inches in 1978-79, which is a little bit sad since we've come so far. All we'd need would be another 9.2 inches of snow. 

Come on, snow gods! Sock it to us! Let's crush that record!

(BTW, in light of my previous post, the source for these snowy stats is the NBC-5 weather blog.)

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