Week Two- Sandy Abbott

We are hearing more about climate change as a motivation to retire to Asheville, Hendersonville, and Brevard.  The extreme weather patterns many Legacy members are fleeing rarely occur in our mountain region.  Western North Carolina has become an ideal place for “Climate Migrants,” as they have been labeled.  While our members have many reasons why they chose Legacy, we do have “Climate Migrants” that would say climate change is on the top of their list.

Sandy has lived in Silicon Valley, a collection of cities and towns south of San Francisco and hub of the California high tech industry for more than 40 years.  A San Francisco native, Sandy grew up in the Bay area with brief forays to Southern California for college and up to Oregon in the ‘70s.  Prior to retirement, Sandy was a CFO working for technology companies, so she has seen both the economic, as well as the environmental changes happen in her native state.

Sandy asked her sales counselor if Legacy has “access to enough power to run AC and lights 24-hours a day”—a question we had never been asked.  Sandy explained that rationing power is a true issue facing Californians that is disrupting their daily lives.  She shares, “There are days that we unexpectedly go without electricity and that is obviously unsettling.”  This raises a particular irony, since the power company is now “recommending that we don’t charge our Tesla’s overnight because of the demand on the power grid during a time of day when renewable energy (i.e. solar) is not available,” Sandy said.  She easily recites the reasons for so many power outages:

  • Decreases to hydroelectric power due to drought
  • Increased demand for air conditioning due to heat domes from rising temperatures
  • Wildfires that damage power infrastructure, as well as aging infrastructure that is not designed to handle the increased temperatures.

“I never knew how much I take for granted something as simple as electricity” she shares.  While choosing to uproot her life from California to North Carolina isn’t easy, Sandy looks forward to the peace and dependability our community and infrastructure will bring.

Climate Change is a series of weekly blog posts featuring Legacy Members.  Check back next week to hear about another member story!

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