Sunday, November 4, 2012
It's tons of fun, until it isn't. I live in a heavily wooded area. I already know I'm the first house on an electric grid. Or the last. Either way, as a neighbor, I'm stuck in the middle. My neighbor to the right? We both have electric or not. And to the left? For Hurricane Irene, my power was on within 12 hours. The left neighbor--8 DAYS.
I'm at the seven day mark. The latest email from the power company says Wednesday. That's ten days. The problem? It also says the three hardest hit areas won't be restored for another week or longer. It's the "or longer" that's a problem. And it's the fact that I am in one of those three hardest hit areas.
Hardest hit is relative. I'm hard hit in the no power zones. I'm hard hit in the trees hanging on wires and blocking roads. Many people had their homes swallowed by the ocean. Over one hundred homes burned to the ground when a fire started as things were really getting bad. The fire in one home destroyed one hundred more.
I've been bitchin' and moanin' every chance I get but here's the deal. No electricity. Ok, that sucks. Now let's break it down.
No hot water. Thankfully, I have a gas cooktop and three large pasta pots. That solves the shower issue.
No heat. Unfortunately, we had an unseasonable dip in temperature. The house is quite cold. Sleeping isn't a problem. I have a down comforter worthy of an igloo. The rest of the day is. New appreciation for Femara flashes. Lucky to hit the supermarket as they unloaded the Duraflames and some real wood.
No microwave, no oven, no toaster. If it can't be cooked in a pot or over an open flame, it's not happening. Soup. Tuna. Peanut butter. Pasta. Cheerios. I have that milk that doesn't require refrigeration. Only have three containers left. Have coolers filled with ice. Another stroke of luck. Happened to be in the store when there were about a dozen bags of ice left in the freezer. Except, the ice is melting and now, I'm not so lucky.
D Batteries? Who the hell knew. I'm waltzing around thinking all of the lanterns and flashlights take C's. Big mistake. I need the D's. The C's aren't big enough. I've got plenty of C's. Yes, my breast cancer buddies, there is some sort of twisted, dark humor in there.
The big problem is gasoline. The gas stations with power have no gasoline and the stations with gasoline have no power to pump the stuff out of the ground. I had a full tank in advance of the storm. Running around looking for batteries and ice and that needle fell rather quickly.. Okay, okay... and using the car for heat and as a charging device accounted for at least a quarter of a tank.
Joking aside, the gas lines are miles long. There are separate lines for those with containers to fuel their generators. The gas stations now require police. I understand the National Guard will be deployed to monitor the gas stations. And, I kid you not when I say knives are being pulled and apparently guns were fired earlier today over gasoline. Mass transit is not operating at anything resembling normal and even the NYC subway system is still a mess. Two tunnels are STILL closed as they have not yet finished pumping the water from those tunnels.
There are simply too many people in too small an area all suffering cabin fever. People are getting ornery. It's gasoline anarchy. And it's not expected to lighten up before mid-week..... IF I can believe the line of BS coming from the mouths of the politicians. Surely I can't be the only one who sees this as a ploy. Election Day is Tuesday. Things will be more "normal" the day AFTER the elections. U'mmm yeah.... and I have the word "idiot" tattooed on my forehead. I'm guessing the gasoline anarchy will continue into next weekend.
I could do the nomad thing. Enough people have power but I'm a creature of habit. I'd rather deal with the inconveniences and discomfort in my own home as long as I'm safe and it's just an inconvenience. The temperature in the house is at 50 degrees. If it falls too far below that, I may have to rethink my position and deal with moving out of my comfort zone and inconveniencing some of those whose power has been restored.
Oh... and I have to monitor the weather. Apparently, there is a nor'easter headed this way. Wednesday night. High winds. Heavy rain. A storm that would easily cause power outages. If you were part of this mess and your power is back, don't get too comfortable. Could be right back on the merry go round. I'll reserve the horse next to mine.