The day the lights went out…

How to describe the past three days?

Friday Morning 65 degrees in the house
A Cold Rain beating down on everything as I headed to work, I listened to the news. Around 10 am, the radio station in albany went dead. It was out for about 45 minutes, so I listened to some podcasts on the laptop as I baked. The wind was picking up, eventually reaching gusts of 75 mile per hour outside.

Soon there were falling and uprooted trees, branches and debris littering the roads. Then came the sleet. Out went the lights, it was 11:20 am. Here I was, between taking fresh muffins out of the oven and cleaning the dishes. Arg!
Eventually the radio came back to life. Power lines were down everywhere, more roads than I can count were closed. Reports of power lines burning through pavement and underground fires came to me over the radio, which still would stop transmitting for 15 to 30 seconds at a time every couple of minutes.

I kept working at the bakery for 2 and a half hours in the dark, bored out of my mind. Eventually K came in with the dogs and hung around waiting for news, since power was out at our house too. The people next door said that they had heard we wouldn’t be getting power back until Saturday morning, so I closed up the bakery early and set out on an emergency grocery hunt to prepare for the long cold night.

We picked up 10 Gallons of Bottled Water and a bunch of lipton noodle and rice packets, as well as some bread and nutella. Traffic in Saratoga was a huge mess and cars were lining up at closed gas stations in the hopes that they would open soon.

The wind chill was due to be below 0 overnight. Then we got the news.

~200,000 RESIDENCES WITHOUT POWER
(including us)

Friday Night 59 degrees in the house
Sleeping bags and blankets lined the couch. A bundle of candles were lit on the living room table and were pumping out quite a bit of light. We settled in, content to enjoy our little winter adventure. We were having fun. Bundled up in layers, we made some dinner and sat on the couch listening to the non-stop news coverage and some tv shows broadcast through our handy emergency radio. We played Trivial Pursuit to pass the time.

They were opening emergency shelters and warming stations all over the area and people were already starting to head in and get settled.
We slept well, all the animals huddled up with us in the bed overnight.

Saturday Morning 45 degrees in the house
We were wishing we had a woodstove. I was warm enough in bed, though the cold air was giving me a sore throat. But once we got up, we realized that this was only going to get worse. We tryed to get the cat into a boarding facility in Clifton Park, only to not be able to find her vaccination papers. No papers, no boarding. So we headed up to Visit my folks who were holed up in their RV. Their dogs were with them, but the cats had to stay at the house, huddled around the Kerosene heater in the living room.

I spent a good portion of the day killing nazi’s on the XBox 360 in the RV and helping dad pump buckets full of water for the toilets and for the horses. News eventually filtered out that we might not have power until wednesday. This was disconcerting to say the least. We went down and drained the pipes in both houses and shut off the water to avoid bursting any pipes. We also found out that even though we were in dire straights, Wilton had regained some power, so there were some hotels available. We seized this opportunity and drove through town to grab a room, booking it until Wednesday just in case. Again I have to mention that driving through the mayhem of downtown Saratoga and Wilton with no stop lights is an utter mess. I was honked at and flipped off everytime I came to a stop at an intersection, as others just blew through, ignoring the law and deeming their errands or destinations to be far more imortant than safety and civility.

Luckily the Residence Inn allows pets, so K and I and the dogs spent the night in relative warmth. There were quite a few weather refugees there with us and we were able to meet a few as they cleaned our room at 9 pm. It seems they didn't quite get around to it before we actually got up there even though we technically checked in at 3:30. The room was a mess when we got up there, dirty linens on an unmade bed, towels scattered about the room and floors, a Playboy in the nightstand with the bible and the book of mormon. If they’d had another room, we would have switched. Luckily the cleaning lady did a fantastic job and was very thorough. It took her nearly 45 minutes while we waited down in the lobby socializing.

Sunday Morning 33 degrees in the house
I spent the morning enjoying a warm shower, fox news sunday and visiting the RV while mom and dad headed in to take their own showers. I passed the time by killing more nazi's. We then went to a friends house while the folks watched the dogs. We had a good time and kind of escaped back into an almost normal routine for a bit. Coming back though, we recieved a call from home, finding out that one of the dogs (not sure which) ate some dark chocolate (toxic to dogs). Just wonderful.

Mom and Dad had to give the dogs both a tablespoon of Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting. One vomited, the other (the more likely culprit) would not vomit (odd for him). So we ended up rushing in, grabing him and driving around on curvy back roads on the way to the emergency clinic to try and induce vomiting. To no avail. We ended up paying $70 to find out everything would be ok and for some Pepcid AC for the dog.

Thankfully we got word at the hotel later that power had been restored and we could head on home. We figured that the hotel had already been payed for though, so we might as well stay the night and let the house warm back up. It was comfortable, but it was a hassle having the dogs on the 4th floor, as every time they had to go out we had to run all the way dowm the back stairs and back up again.

Monday Morning 65 degrees in the house
This morning we have spent our time throwing out EVERYTHING in our home fridge and much of the bakery fridge, as well as doing dishes and getting the house back into working order. I’m looking forward to my cozy couch again tonight and some fresh 24.

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~ by David on February 20, 2006.

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