18 September 2008

Obligatory Power Outage Story Post

Sunday morning I drove north to my parents' home for a lunch party. It was supposed to be only family but as usual my mom lost control and it ended up being 37 people. While setting up the Heineken (in cans) my dad told me how it was going to get windy, and then windier.

It did indeed get windier and windier as the afternoon progressed. The bending trees and flying leaves provided exciting diversion during commercials in the Bengals game. Soon after halftime the cable went out. Since my parents have the Time Warner bundle, the phone and internet also went out.

Around 5 p.m. everyone left and I stuck around to help clean up. In the fifteen minutes between the time that everyone left and I was ready to leave, three trees fell down and blocked the road. No egress possible.

About an hour later the power went out. Me, my parents, and two unlucky guests who didn't make it out in time were stranded for the night. We amused ourselves with a game of Scrabble while daylight lasted and then just sat around. I had a radio headset with me so I was able to listen to WLW and give them periodic reports. We talked about how close we came to having 37 people, including a dozen kids, stranded in the house with us.

Later in the evening we heard a truck drive down the road, turn around, then drive back up. This was exciting because it meant the trees were cleared. Unfortunately, by that time a fourth tree had fallen across the driveway so we were still stranded. I told my parents they needed to call someone with a chainsaw to cut up the tree the next morning. They called the three Mexican brothers who came the next morning at 10:30 and cleared the tree.

I called work at 9 a.m. but the phone didn't work so I made the reasonable conclusion that the power and phone were out. I told my parents that they likely would not get power until late in the week and they needed to buy flashlights, batteries, candles and ice. So I took mom out and we bought all that stuff. The gas stations had lines and the restaurant parking lots were filled. On the way back I got a call from a co-worker who said the office manager was wondering where I was and sent two people to my apartment to make sure I was okay.

What? People are at the office? I realized that I mis-dialed earlier and dialed a nonexistent extension. I dropped off mom and went to work. It turned out that the office, like much of downtown (including my apartment), never lost power.

My folks' power came back on Monday evening, so they got a break there. Some people who live within a mile or so still don't have power. But they all have candles and flashlights ready for the next midwestern hurricane.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I was in Krogers with the kids when the lights went out. We were herded to the check-out lanes and counted multiple trees down on the way home. Our power was out and didn't come back until Tuesday between 4-5.