Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Four days

My biggest concern last Thursday afternoon was whether or not I should brave the sleet and freezing rain to attend a farewell gathering for my co-workers at a bar in Troy. I eventually decided to heed the advice of Bob Kovachick, who suggested maybe it wasn’t the best night to go out.

Later that evening Kris and I were happily enjoying “30 Rock” when the power went out in the middle of the show (btw, watch the episode here on Hulu). The ice storm cometh. The power came back an hour later, but was cut off again in the middle of the night.

That night we could hear ice crackling and branches snapping outside the window. But since there was nothing I could do about it, I did my best to ignore it and go back to sleep.

The next thing I knew there was a cell phone ringing. It was 7 a.m. and work needed me to come in early. I looked out the window and saw branches down everywhere – including on top of my neighbors’ car.

Kris and I mainly communicated through text messages that day in order to conserve the battery on her phone.

We ultimately decided to flee town and spend the weekend with her parents. I picked Kris and the kids up after work and we headed north – although just getting out of Niskayuna was easier said than done. Seemingly at every turn we kept running into roads closed due to downed branches and power lines.

We eventually made it to Moira. While I was grateful to have heat and lights, after a couple of days I was very anxious to get back and see what was going on with our house and neighborhood.

On Sunday morning we spoke to one of our neighbors on the phone. She told us she had talked to one of the National Grid crewmen and that he told her we’d have our power back that day. So we headed home!

We were greeted by a dark, cold house. About 38 degrees cold. It turns out it was a different part of our street that went back online Sunday. There was still no juice for us.

But my mom had her power back. So we borrowed her generator and used it to fire up a couple of space heaters in the basement. That night we huddled by the fire until the basement was warm enough and then we all slept down there.

I had to wake up once in the middle of the night to put more gas in the generator. It was eerie to hear the crackling ice dropping off the trees all around in the now above freezing temperature.

The next morning, after coffee brewed on the camp stove, the kids went to school and I went to work (after first taking some time to survey the damage around the neighborhood and at my mom’s house). At about 12:30 p.m., four days after the lights went out, Kris called me to report we were back to normal.

It was so great to come home to a cozy, well-lit house and sleep in my own bed!

All total, power was knocked out to more than 200,000 homes and businesses in the Capital Region. As of tonight there are still about 40,000 in the dark. My hat goes off to the National Grid folks working around the clock to get everything back to normal.


PLANET3RRY said...

that's just CRAZY. Good thing you have all that Boy Scout Experience.

Is there an Ice Storm Badge?

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