Monday, October 16, 2006

camping in

Holy moly, what a weekend!

Thursday evening the snow started, and it was heavy, wet "lake effect," which to some of you doesn't mean anything, but many of you know how bad that can be. It didn't start snowing where I live until nighttime, and we didn't lose power until halfway through the 11:00 news. We spent a very dark, chilly night in our house, during which Hubs and I got approximately 2 total hours of sleep. Between checking on Daughter every 15 minutes, peeking outside to see what the firemen were up to, listening to cars trying to get out of ditches, and hearing the rifle-shot sound of huge branches cracking under the weight of the snow, there wasn't much opportunity to sleep.

Friday morning we got up, made breakfast the old fashioned way (that is, with no microwave...goodness, how did our parents do it?!?), and thanked the heavens above that we have a gas stove and no basement. We were able to cook, and we didn't have to worry about a sump pump. It was chilly-willy outside (in the 40s) and chilly-willy inside (in the 50s) so we grabbed some perishibles and several changes of clothes and headed to my parents house. They have a generator and my Dad had the genius idea to wire the furnace for it a year or two ago. They also have a gas stove, so we knew we'd be comfortable there. The 45-minute ride took an hour and a half, as it was slow going on unplowed streets and we had to detour about 6 times to avoid gas leaks, fallen trees, and unpassable roads. There were few traffic lights working, and the thruway was closed so there were 18-wheelers everywhere. It was totally nuts. We would never have made it without the Jeep - yay Jeep!!

My parents' area got about 2 feet of snow, as I'm sure many of you saw on the news, and many more trees are destroyed out where they live. We saw roads where there were huge old trees literally hanging on the power lines between every pole, bowing the utility poles inward and causing traffic problems because the tops of the trees were in the street.

Current estimates are that everyone should have power back by this coming Sunday night. Ours apparently came back on quite quickly - we are thinking Friday afternoon, because our frozen stuff was still solid. My parents got power back yesterday afternoon. Many of our family and friends are still in the dark, there is not a generator to be had in the entire northeast part of the country, I'm pretty sure, and FEMA and the National Guard are here to work on cleanup. Many basements are totally flooded due to the melting snow (it is 60 degrees today) and no power for sump pumps. Others have lost hundreds of dollars worth of food in their freezers. Our family has been very lucky to have lost nothing except trees. My parents' yard is a total mess, but we seem to have only lost several big branches. We might lose one of our huge maples, but I haven't been out there to examine how bad it is. If the trunk is split low down, I think it's toast. None of us had anything fall on the roof, which is amazing.

Schools are closed for the week, as many are still without power, phones, heat, etc., and some of those that have power are being used as shelters for people in need. I have heard the school districts are providing hot meals and nursing care from the cafeteria workers and school nurses. That's nice to hear.

Overall, we consider ourselves to be blessed. No one got hurt, and we were warm and dry. Our only inconvenience right now is having to boil our water before consuming it, which is no big deal. I want to give a HUGE shout-out and big thanks to all the power companies that came up here to help restore power. I've never seen so many bucket trucks in my life. They are here from as far away as Alabama, and are working around the clock to get everyone back online. It's an awesome effort.

So we are good to go, and normal blogging should resume around here pretty soon. There's always more knitting and sewing to do...and it was lucky for me this weekend that my hobbies can be done by candlelight!


Teresa said...

I now feel so thankful that our power outages around here happened in the summer time. Of course then, we were worried about heat related deaths. Working grocery, I sold alot of ice, batteries, and lighters. We are way more prepared for an emergancy now, though. I am glad your family is doing well, and no one is hurt.

Karen said...

I'm so glad that you and your family are okay.

What are some ways that far away people can help?

Anne said...

Glad you are all alright. Sounds like a drama you could well have done without.

Jenn said...

Glad you're OK!

Ruth said...

I'm so glad that you and yours are o.k. ... I've been thinking of you ever since I saw the news.

I hope things return to normal very soon.