Deja Vu All Over Again

Unbeknown to me, even as I posted the previous post on Ice Storm '98, my home had no electricity. On January 9, we had a very strong wind storm throughout our region, and we lost power at 10 AM that morning.

The power did come back on, a little more than 48 hours later.

While the power was off, we lived in a home with kerosene lights and candles for light, and no heat. Since the last ice storm, we installed a copper coil in the woodstove to preheat water for our hot water system. Alas, without electricity to power the pump that keeps the water moving in that coil, we dare not have a fire in the stove.

It got down to 53 degrees in the house. That's pretty chilly. I even wore a nightgown and socks to bed.

Robert would have taken the coil out of the stove earlier, but the power company kept assuring us that the electricity was coming back on in a few hours. It never seemed worthwhile to undertake messy alterations to the stove that would have to be reversed with such a short time to wait. Those few hours would pass, however, the power would not come back on, and they would move the expected power-on time forward about 12 hours.

I found myself watching the homes as I drove home Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Who had power? Who didn 't? I also was much less patient with the situation than I was 10 years ago. The lack of heat and water made our home much less pleasant.

We are galvanized to get a better emergency plan together. We need to convert our generator to burn propane and install it permanently beside our electrical entrance, which is wired for a generator. And we need to not flush the toilet until after we have drawn off whatever fresh water we can for drinking and cooking.


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