01 September 2011

Hurricane Irene - local power outages

Can somebody tell me what is wrong with the following statement:
Anyone still without power will be able to log onto CL&P’s website today and find out when the electricity is projected to be restored to their area of the state.
A direct quote from CL&P President Jeff Butler. Fine advice, but completely impractical, when one can't access anything electrical or electronic at all.

     For a perspective on how extensive the power loss damage has been, Governor Dannel Malloy said ""There are more people working on energy issues in this state than on any time in our history, on an event that was almost twice as severe as [Hurricane] Gloria".
     For a perspective on what could have happened to us in Connecicut, a glimpse of the picture on the left, taken by my friend Dave Howe, who was in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There is a dog in the picture looking for dead bodies under the debris. In contrast, we are mostly without lights and cable tv and running water for a few days. In short, we have been inconvenienced !

     Nevertheless, on a personal level, people are distraught and frustrated. East Haddam's First Selectman, Mark Walter, on the East Haddam PATCH news site, is noted as saying:
"Now in the fourth full day without electricity, and most [people] without cell phone service or Internet access [or even land lines - I might add], residents’ nerves here are fraying. They’re anxious", Walter said, "because they’re not able to connect with others in the world, and [people are] getting little information about when the power will come back."
     Waxing philosophical, the power/cable/internet outage frustrations - to me - show how many people run lives that are not reality based, but television-channel-changing time based. Pretty damned sad.
     Lest you think I'm being too churlish, I, too remain without power from the grid.
     I find it troubling and disturbing when folks who opt to live in rural, forested areas, get angry at officials - government or industry - because they never properly prepared themselves for emergencies borne from what are actually relatively short-lasting disasters.
     When living in the country, it makes sense to have a pantry full of food, most canned, some frozen. You ought to have plently to eat, even if the power goes out for a week. It is better planning to have a gas stove than an electric one, since the cooking burners can still be lit with a match.
     For that matter, if an emergency generator is on hand - an item that typically costs less than a laptop computer or an I-Phone, - then you have electricity to run essentials, like the fridge, freezer and a water pump. [And yes, I do have a generator, which has been working since late Sunday afternoon]
     You don't need a lot of lighting, and you definitely don't need immediate television or internet access during the disaster. You won't have it anyway.
     Personally, I DO miss a flush toilet, a bath or shower to soak in or under. As for my not having an operating water pump [hence no flushing toilet], I have only myself to blame for not hooking up the generator to a reverse power switch in the house. So after being hit with one of the most tempestuous wind storms to hit the area in decades, I'm not about to complain after only four days, when things have yet been restored to "normal" from the passing of Hurricane Irene.
     Most anyone who knows me is aware that I generally don't usually have a problem yelling at officials. But under the circumstances, I find it is a bit much - presumptious, self-centered, short-sighted and stupid, actually - to scream at politicians or corporate execs for one's own failure to prepare in advance. In this situation, the execs and the politicians deserve a break.
     Folks who fail to plan for emergencies should, instead, be yelling at themselves.

Posted from a location more than 20 miles from home.

UPDATE: At approximately 2000 hours, in zone 5 GMT, the section of town I live in regained electrical grid power connections. I was able to watch it light up as I drove home from work

1 comment:

  1. Wr were prepared as much as you can be prior to the storm. We have food and a gas stove and was using pool water for everything but drinking (I'm refering to Wills wonderful blog post above). You guys from OK remember the ice storm of '96 that snapped 1800 poles and you were out of power for 3 weeks in January? We are fortunate here because the weather has been nice. Were on Day 6, but thank goodness the town is doing what they can by offering showers and three meals a day. If one good thin can be said of this is that I've read four books since! Thanks you all for the warm thoughts. I think it's still going to be awhile but we are doing just fine. :)