This past Thursday night and Friday morning we were pummeled with a crazy ice storm that switched to heavy snow midway through. It ravaged the region dropping trees and parts of trees everywhere a tree could be dropped- with a strong tendency to aim for roadways and utility lines.
In the game of “Fight the Power” it set a new regional high score. Over 60,000 people ended up juiceless. Refrigerator bacteria clapped their hands as the no flow of electrons is still going on for some 4 days later.
Our small part of the story started around 5am Friday when I noticed our internet, and subsequently our phone was out. So I took the dog for the usual morning lap. Upon return we noticed a few trees down across the lines just down the block. One of those lines had adopted a nice glowing look. And by 7:45am our power was off.
Since we were lacking internet and phone I didn’t know that the place of employment was without power as well, so I reported to work as usual. Me and about 5 other people. And 3 vans worth of copy repair machine guys.
I’m not sure what they were going to get done as work was out of power as well. This was REALLY weird to me as the building is designed for 2000 people and with the main power out, it gets switched to back up lighting and Wi-Fi and phones still being able to work. But no air handling. Which makes things eerily quiet.
Since I obviously going to be bothered I found a window seat, poured a cup of cold brew coffee, and set about getting some work done for a couple of hours.
After that got old and cold, I bailed and went home. Before doing that I checked our estimated power on status: Sunday, 10pm.
So I packed the freezer and fridge contents, a few sets of clothes, and the dog and headed for a place that still did have power and heat- Darn Yarn Needles and Thread. It’s my wife’s place of employment, and we figured we’d hole up there for a while. Well, at least 2 of the 3 of us thought that through. The dog has fur and wasn’t too disturbed by the lack of light or heat at the house. He was just happy to take a car ride.
Fortunately for me, there was space in the loft with a railing that would be adequate for Hammockville. Hammockville is a nomadic town with a low population count that springs up occasionally when sleeping in a bed isn’t a solid option. I’ve populated Hammockville 9 times since early July. Always a great place to visit. Although, this time the setup was less than ideal from a geometric standpoint. The railings are low and didn’t allow me to get a nice deep U shape for the hang (well, more gentle parabola, but you get the picture). This made it less stable than usual. No biggie, just a note.
So we spent Friday night, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday in the shop. Saturday I disappeared during business hours and headed to THICK Bikes (for some holiday shopping) and The Wheel Mill for some rad riding- after stopping at Target and buying some underpants as I’d packed everything else…
By Sunday morning I was itching for an outdoor ride so I headed home to wait for the power to return. I hopped on the fixed gear Cross x Check and roamed around the county for a few hours surveying the damage.
When I got home close to dark I took a nice hot shower (we have a gas water heater- HOORAY!). It was around 5:30 so I did what I usually do in a currently hopeless situation that I have no control over- I took a nap.
And then, around 7:30:
I heard the furnace fan kick on. Hooray! I called the other 2/3 of the household population and messaged a neighbor to let them know we could return to our first world status.
Knowing at this point that the food was not here to be cooked I ducked out to refuel the Toaster and grab some grub. In the gas station/ convenience complex that rhymes with “heats” I saw a couple of utility trucks in the lot. When I went inside I saw 3 guys standing by the MTO area awaiting their food. I felt compelled to ask them about the truck and thank them for doing their job. Seriously, I know I take the convenience of electricity and heat on demand for granted. I really appreciate these luxuries. Especially when we had been without for 60 hours. And I felt the least I could do was talk to a random group of guys who were doing their best to get these utilities back on line for us in the midst of a natural disaster.
So I figured I could thank them for their service. We both had to wait for our food anyways.
I came to find out they were from Raystown Lake Area, a fantastic outdoor destination, and had been putting in 13-16 hour days. They said our situation was bad, but nearly as bad as what they saw after Irene and a crazy snow system pummeled New Jersey last year.
Their food came up first, and got around to saying our goodbyes and asking them about their specific day. They said they had a couple of more jobs to go and just finished a job in town.
It turns out, they were the guys that restored power to our house.
A big thanks to the people who do their job in spite of the weather so we can have heat, water, and electric on a regular basis!