End of the Drought

May 22nd, 2024

Started out May with this set up, the screen tent for storage — the smaller screens kept much of the rain out — in normal conditions. Night 2, or was it 3, all hell broke loose, with rain, and such strong winds that the guyed down screen tent hung in there until two poles broke and it took off, sailed across the site into the car. That was a 3 a.m., and no fun disassembling in the wind and rain, and then stuffed the tent part under the car to keep it from blowing away. Then the rain started and the vestibule flooded. The good news is I was able to cover up all the stuff that had stored in the screen tent and it stayed right there.

Lessons learned? Got some help to set up the tarp a few days later:

And dug a trench around the upward end of the vestibule to divert water! DOH!

Yesterday, we had the maiden voyage of the Aurora Borealis train between MSP & CHI, of course with an 11:35 a.m. stop in Red Wing — and the Empire Builder was almost 3 hours late, passing through at 11:05. Here’s almost all of our RW City Council Critters:

Headed back afterwards, and with the rain prediction, I made sure everything was under cover or battened down, and yes, it started raining… and raining… and raining. INTENSE rain. It went on and on and on, and it was clear the trenches were not going to keep the vestibule dry! Later, I get word that there’s a tornado warning, WARNING for Red Wing! And still it’s raining and raining… Internet not working enough to get the weather, but really, who needs to know more than “DON’T GO OUT, IT’S AWFUL OUT!” for hours and hours and hours, until after dark, when it finally let up. But lil’ bro sent this:

Vestibule is soaked, but everything up and off the ground, mats, rugs, and plastic covers drying out, recovering.

Today is a new day…

Thanks to Nukewatch for the heads up! As if the Prairie Island dry cask docket isn’t enough, the Draft EIS has been released for the Monticello relicensing/renewal. Here’s the Federal Register notice:

Federal Register Notice – Northern States Power Monticello Draft Environmental Impact Statement

and there’s a meeting on Thursday at the Monticello Community Center.

There’s a public meeting for comments on Thursday May 15, starting at 5 p.m. with an hour long info session, and then at 6 p.m. the comment period. Will they have good treats like Xcel usually does?? We shall see.

It’s at the Monticello Community Center, South Mississippi Room, 505 Walnut St., Monticello, MN 55362.

To look at the entire docket thus far, go here: https://adams.nrc.gov/wba/ and then to “Content Search” and search for docket “NRC-2023-0031.” Like this:

And this is what you’ll get:

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!!

And here’s why:

And from the MPCA:

Drying out the morning after, and then “entertaining,” so got ready for scattered showers (that thankfully didn’t happen). Got the Sherpa off the porch and consolidated everything and all is well:

Last rites for the screen tent, two poles bent/broken. Alan thinks it could be fixed but last time we were camp hosting it also went flying, 60+ mph winds at Myre-Big Island State Park, so I’m think it’s got to be culled from the rotation. It’s handy to cover the table in the sun and somewhat in light rain, but for torrential rainfall and WIND, forget it!

Office for a day… am I getting anything done? Naaaaaaah, computer isn’t able to connect in a meaningful way, so waiting for a sunny day:

But gotta get that table covered, and help arrived — THANKS Suzanne & Bill — and it’s done. Does that tarp make my table look fat??

A good thing about AB Camping (oh NOOO, Bruno died out on a camp!), Lone Wolf 902, Abel & Victoria, and Camping with Steve… oh, don’t forget about Mav, anyway, they’re all about the HOW-TO of putting up tarps. Note the stump accessory on the left!

Gotta be at least 50 birders every morning, and this afternoon, twelve vultures circling and two lunching in the front yard, and then a few getting into a tussle over the main course:

And no matter the weather, somebody loves camping:

Yes, it’s true, the DOE has proposed TEN new NIETC Corridors, and comments are open until June 24, 2024.

Phase 2 

Submit your comments and recommendations on the preliminary list by 5 p.m. ET on June 24, 2024.

It’s now in Phase 2:

Here’s the NIETC page to get caught up on their plan

And this with some narrative & specifics: NIETC Phase 2 Preliminary List Public Release Document and here’s an example of one:

Here’s a bizarre statement to justify that Colorado-New Mexico corridor — claim of a1,200% increase? Have they forgotten those 11,000MW of mothballed natural gas generation and the transmission that serves it?

Under scenarios with moderate load growth and high clean energy growth future scenarios, ERCOT will need an anticipated median increase of 9.8 GW of additional transfer capacity with the Plains region by
2035, a 1,200% increase relative to the 2020 system
(p. 35).

And paired with this, pages later, 31 pages later (p. 66), a scenic tour down Hwy 54?

And does this look familiar — have a Grain Belt anyone?

Yes, looks too much like the ol’ Grain Belt Transmission Line:

And this one looks too familiar too, shades of Plains & Eastern:

As if all these transmission projects in Minnesota weren’t enough… weren’t too much already?!??!