Shortly after I posted my blog on Saturday, the power went out. Obviously, the ice had downed the power lines, so it got dark in a hurry. The power had been blinking on and off all afternoon so we figured hey, it’ll be out for a little while, and hopefully it will be back on by bedtime. We meant bedtime Saturday. We didn’t get power until bedtime Sunday. 28 1/2 hours without electricity is a long 28 1/2 hours, believe me.
It could have been worse. We’re on city water, so we still had water pressure, and we have a natural gas range, so we could cook food and boil water (lots of water) for hot beverages. Our house is only 10 years old, so we have good insulation and no drafts. We only lost 12 degrees in temperature over time, and foodwise all we lost was a carton of vanilla ice cream. We ended up putting our food in coolers and setting it out in our uninsulated shed which was just as cold as the outdoors (27 degrees). Carl and Mary managed to scrape and salt the ice off the paved portion of the driveway Sunday afternoon, so when we get our next batch of bad weather (allegedly Wednesday night/Thursday morning) we won’t have to deal with ice under whatever we get.
We didn’t realize how bad the power outage was until we listened to the news. I can get the local TV stations on my weather radio, and they said that 100,000 people in our utility’s service area were without power, and more than 1000 poles were down. 500 miles of lines and cables were downed or damaged, and they were saying that it could be Friday before everyone had power restored. For some reason, they singled out Benton County as the worst to restore, and that freaked Carl and I out to the point that we called my brother Keith to see if we could somehow get his generator. It’s kind of an old generator – it belonged to my Dad originally – and my sweetheart younger-older brother tried to get it to work. He managed to get the motor started, but there was something wrong with another part of the machine, so that option was a no-go. (Just to let you know how nice my brother is, he even offered to bring it here if he could get it working. What a great guy!) Anyway. So Carl and I decided that, first thing in the morning, if the power still wasn’t on Carl was going to go generator hunting. We laid out a plan of which shops to hit and when, and I also made a short list of other items needed (milk, batteries, etc) and we went to bed. About 20 minutes later, I felt Carl stir and he said “The power’s back on!” He walked around the house to make sure everything was running and that the air coming from the furnace was warm, and all was well. We slept until about 4:45 – Hannah caught a cold over the weekend and was coughing, so we got her some medicine and sent both girls to their own beds. (We’d had them huddled up together on our futon.) Hannah went back to sleep, but about an hour later Mary came in and laid in bed with me to watch TV. Naturally, the girls and I don’t have school today, but good ol’ slave-to-his-job Carl went in to work. Devoted, ain’t he?
So now everything’s pretty much back to normal. I have some cleanup to do: putting storm stuff away, sweeping up all the dog hair (he spent the weekend inside with us) and folding the laundry that I managed to get washed before the power went out. Over all, I’d have to say that even though it wasn’t a nice weekend, it wasn’t bad, either.
I mean, it could have been a LOT worse.