Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Iced Power Lines

012709-05 Iced Power Lines
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Here is my original caption to this photo...

"Ice Storm 2009
We are expecting freezing rain all day and part of the night. The local TV and Radio stations are telling us to be ready for extended power outages and here is WHY!!!"

Shortly after this was taken and posted our power did indeed go out. And it remained out for 18 days!
013009-06 Down Power Pole in Jonesboro More
Here is a cut and paste of an email I sent to a relative describing the adventure then ensued...

We were here in our master bedroom with the four kids and two cats every night. The kids missed six days of school (in addition to two they had already missed for "snow"). After they went back to school, I'd spend the days visiting friends and doing laundry and such where I could find power. We bought a 5500 watt generator after the first few days. So we were able to have some light, the fridge and freezer and such. We have one small propane heater in our master bedroom. The rest of the house was in the thirties for the most part. We ate out and spent too much money. But we also did some cooking on our camp stove and on the bbq outside. After we got the generator we brought in the electric skillet and made pancakes one morning too. We had brought our stainless steel island in and put it at the other end of our bedroom.
012809-10 Ice Storm Uhaul Propane Line
I really can not complain about the length of time out. Our electric coop has about 28,000 members. At the peak of outage they had more than 25,000 without power. They had more than 4,000 poles down. They have had help from all over. They have about 900+ linemen working from sun up to sun down seven days a week. Our main complaint with the way it has been handled is their communication about estimates of when power would be restored. Its seems to me that there would be some kind of estimated schedule and map that they would be working from that they could share with the public. That way we could have made more educated decisions on how to handle things. Instead we would call each day and they would tell us the areas they WERE working in that day and say to call back tomorrow to see where they would be. There are still about 2,500 customers without power for our elec coop. (There are other rural coops just north of us that had it even worse. Some schools were out until today.)
013009-01 Roads Near our house 3 days later
Rob looked into having a whole house generator installed at some point. But for as often as it could be needed I just don't see us spending the money. But boy would that have been nice. I can sure see that lady being grateful on her husbands decision!

We were thankful that we had taken down a tree that sat at the front of our house. Every time significant winds would blow we could hear lots of creaking coming from the tree. Last summer we took it out. When we cut it down a large part of the center was hollowed out. Had that have been there, I'm sure we would have lost the front of our house.
012809-13 Ice Storm Mall Landscape Close Up
On Tuesday night (Jan 26th I think), after the power had gone out, we lay in bed and not more than five minutes would go by before we would hear a branch, tree or power pole snap. It was really odd. I'm so thankful we didn't have to worry about anything falling on the house.
012809-12 Ice Storm Mall Landscape
This past weekend we went to the Branson, MO area to visit my mom's sister and husband. Before we left I was talking to the neighbor across the road and asked if they would fill our generator for us while we were gone. She mentioned that she had talked to the elec company the day before and the indicated another 3-5 weeks were possible. I said to Rob, "I hope they were just trying to get her to leave them alone for a while and that is not true. I don't know how I'll deal with three more weeks like this past three." But when I went to buy the gas for the generator that morning there were trucks with poles working at the end of the street. I was ecstatic! I called Rob and then the neighbor. That night, while we were in MO, the neighbor called to tell us that she did indeed have power. So when we got home around 10:30 p.m. last night we too had power. We had switched off the 220 breakers in the box though. So the house was still very cold last night and we spent one more night with all the kids in our room. But today was a fully powered lovely day! Woo Hoo!

I spent the morning moving the cleaning the fridge and getting some of the kitchen items back into the kitchen. They I went grocery shopping and replaced all the condiments and etc that I had tossed. Its really nice to know that there is not one thing in my refrigerator that has an expired date on it :-) And what a lovely clean fridge it is.

Tomorrow I'll tackle the freezer side. I'll have more time. The kids had minimum day and parent teacher conferences today. My sons grades suffered some during the outage, so we'll have some catching up to do...

One thing that I thought was nice, the big kids school is on the same campus as the jr. and sr. high, so they would let the kids that still did not have power take a shower in the gym each morning.

It was one of those times that will be a memory for the family. But I'm sure glad its behind us.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Men

012309-01 My Men
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

I was going to go to bed, but my bed seems to be overloaded with the male species!