Hello folks! It feels weird to be back on the grid after losing power for two days because of Tropical Storm Isaias. I’m in Connecticut, and although we don’t normally get hit with hurricanes or tropical storms too often, we sometimes get the tail end of the storms as they travel up the east coast. We got hit with Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 but haven’t had anything too major since.
The big storm everyone in New England remembers, though, is the October snowstorm—Snowotober—in 2011. A huge snowstorm hit the region and dumped snow on trees that still had leaves on them, and a ton of the trees and branches caused damage and widespread power outages. My neighborhood was out of power for 11 days. ELEVEN. I was a senior in high school, and my mom and I would just hang out outside because we couldn’t do anything or go anywhere. My dad’s work had power so he was able to go in and charge all of our things. Halfway through the outage, we got a small generator and were able to hook up the fridge and a few other things. The state had to pull in power crews from other states to restore the power, and some nice men from Michigan came into my neighborhood and put our power back on. So after that storm, we got a bigger generator that we haven’t had to use…yet.
So when we heard that Isaias was coming up the east coast, we just thought we’d get some wind and rain and we’d be fine. I’m completely inland—I’m not on the shoreline—so we honestly didn’t think much of it, because most of the time, the storms kind of fade away or go completely into the Atlantic by the time they get to New England.
It got wicked windy and we got some rain but not too much. The wind was incredibly loud, though. The power flickered twice between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. before completely going out right as we were going to eat dinner. My dad got the generator hooked up to the fridge, downstairs freezer, electricity, and air conditioning. We still had TV and internet that night, so we still felt sort of civilized. My dad and I had to get up at 2:30 a.m. to refill the generator.
Our TV and internet went out over night so we were basically off the grid; even data on our phones couldn’t load anything. My dad and I couldn’t work, so it was a day of hanging around the house. My mom and I picked up the fallen branches on our front lawn; nothing major, just some broken branches. We didn’t have any damage to our property.
I sat out on our back porch and read. I was about hundred pages into Know My Name by Chanel Miller and finished it that afternoon. It was so good and so beautifully written. I also went in the pool, because why not?
We normally watch TV at night after dinner/before bed, so we had to resort to DVDs to pass the time. My dad had something from Netflix—because we’re like the only people who still use it for DVDs—and my mom and I watched half of The Peanuts Movie. It was fun to go through our DVDs and find ones I didn’t eve know we had, like Cars, Toy Story 3, and Finding Nemo. Plus Moneyball, of course.
Once it got dark out—and it got dark pretty quickly since we didn’t have any street lights—my mom and I went for a walk. We could hear other generators going in the neighborhood, and it was kind of spooky to be in complete/almost darkness.
My dad and I were up at 1:00 a.m. to refill the generator after it shut off. (We were running it through the night but would shut it off periodically during the day; we’d keep it on just long enough for the fridge and then turn it off so it wasn’t running 24/7.)
Still no power. I read out on the porch again; I read about half of The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, and it’s really good so far. And I also spent some time in the pool.
My mom and I went for another walk that night, and we heard a few more generators. We were getting notifications from news apps throughout the day, saying that the power company was hoping to get everyone back on by Tuesday—a week after the storm hit. So we were thinking we had to be in it for the long haul.
My dad got me up at 2:00 a.m. to refill the generator, and when we went outside, I saw that the street lights were on. POWER! He shut the generator off, unhooked it from the house, and flipped all of the breakers. It was such a relief, and although the generator had turned into white noise, it was nice to be able to sleep without having to listen to it.
We had assumed we wouldn’t have power yet, but I was able to work yesterday. I had missed some stuff, but I had no power, no internet, nothing. I think only one other person in my department lost power, and we both had it back on by Friday.
Boy was it nice to be back on the grid. My family and I were safe during the outage, and we’re very grateful to have the generator. Parts of town still don’t have power; there were a bunch of street closures Wednesday and Thursday due to downed trees and power lines. We definitely got hit harder than we thought we would have.
So yeah, if we all thought 2020 was bad, it got worse this week. Eh, you’ve got a pandemic going on, why not add widespread power outages?