The winds blew, twelve foot waves pounded the shore in the early evening Sunday. An amazing sight to watch from shore, and in the safety of our house. The wind blew shaking the thick fir, pine, and maple trees that shelters our home. And late Sunday night the power was knocked out to several islands, and the mainland.
So come Monday morning the power still out, the school now closed and my editor waiting for my current manuscript. I dug out the old landline, plugged it in and dialed hydro. And of course they’re experiencing a high volume of outages, thousands, but we’re expected to have power restored Tuesday at 4:00. With the storm still raging the ferry was cancelled, no one was coming on the island or leaving. Of course I can live with that, it’s only a day. So I used up what battery power was left on my two laptops. Cooked over our woodstove, hauled water from the rain barrels I’d set up in the fall, as the wind blew, the rain fell, and the kids on the island celebrated their day off from school.
It was fun really, playing little house on the prairie. And by the end of the day with no electro magnetic fields, and absolute quiet we all felt great.
Day two the kids still can’t go to school, and of course I can’t write, and the power people still can’t get here because of the thousands of others without power elsewhere. And we’re now scheduled for Wednesday. By this point we’re getting close to using every dish in the house and we’d really like a shower. Thankfully I have enough drinking water to last until Wednesday morning, and I’m one of the fortunate ones to have rain barrels filled with water I can use to heat up and wash with. Others aren’t so lucky, they’re collecting water from ditches to boil and wash up with.
With the woodstove cranked I send the kids out to chop more wood so we can cook, keep warm, and heat lots of water on the woodstove to clean up some the dishes, the kitchen, which takes hours.
Day three of course we slept great. But still no power and another call to hydro, and they apologize again, no power is expected until the 14th, which is Thursday. The candles are getting low, but we still have lots of wood, but hauling in water and boiling it first on a woodstove just to have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning is an exercise in patience and makes you really appreciate that high tech coffeepot. Then you hear the unmistakable whirr of an engine and everyone who’s outside gazes at the big beautiful oceanfront home not far from you, and you know that sound anywhere. A generator. And you look with power longing at that house who now has water, lights, electricity, and hot water. And you have none. But wait, late afternoon someone spots a hydro truck on the island, word gets out, and suddenly half the island has power. We wait but nothing happens for us. And then hydro unexpectedly leaves the island-- presuming powers been restored to us all.
Day four, still no power, everything in my deep freeze has unthawed the meat, the berries. And the fridge is warm. But hallelujah the school’s got power, and their up and running. So in the cold early morning, we haul water, heat up the woodstove, and get cleaned up. The rest of my small section of the island starts phoning hydro. And the first ones were told they must be mistaken, they have power it was restored yesterday. But after several calls, including mine we’re now told it’ll be another day as another storm has blown in and again the ferry shut down. With my hair slicked back, as clean as we can get I load the kids up in my vehicle, and dodge debris from the trees as I drive them to school. With my laptop packed up, I find a spot in the school to borrow their precious power and do some work.
But wait, early afternoon by some miracle Hydro was spotted back on the Island. Our wonderful ferry people found a way to shuttle a hydro truck over a special ferry. And late in the afternoon, while down at the small corner store on our island news spread when the Hydro guys popped in the store and announced power was now up and running. Of course I shouted from the till after paying for my groceries, “wait don’t let them leave until I race home and see if I have power.” And I along with others raced home, and hallelujah the power was back.
If a power outage hits you are you prepared?