09 September 2011

The Great Power Outage of 2001

**This post will probably be super boring for most of you, but I just wanted to get it down for history's sake**
Yesterday I was walking home from getting Big Sister from school and a neighbor asked if we had any power. It was on when I left, but off when we got home. If you haven't heard the news here's the story. In short some guy was doing maintenance on a plant in Arizona and something happened which caused a chain reaction to occur. This knocked out power to all of San Diego, Imperial, and some of Orange counties, as well as parts of Mexico and Arizona. Serious stuff. By one guy. I was fine with the outage until I started to hear that it was at T-Bone's work, and at my dad's house too. Then I started to realize that this this was big. Something huge had happened. I kept trying to get online on my cell phone to find some news, but it wouldn't connect. I couldn't call out or get calls. The only thing I could do was text. I'm glad I had that or I would have felt really lost!

Luckily our heat wave this week has been waning so we kept our windows closed and it didn't get too hot in our apartment. I can't imagine this happening two days ago when it was 97 degrees and 55% humidity. We were able to open our windows in the evening and the air was a pleasant, cool temperature. We took a walk to the grocery store to get a few things--luckily I had grocery shopped a couple days before--like bread and bagels. Everyone there was nice and calm and just waiting their turn in the long lines. It was nice to see how people in my community reacted. I heard about block parties and group barbeques, San Diego is a good place to live. We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips and fruit for dinner. Yum! Not enough to satisfy my pregnant belly but it was good enough for what we had. We were preparing to not have power for at least 24 hours, school is cancelled today and we weren't sure whether T-Bone would go to work or not. AFter dinner we sat on the porch where the moonlight was the brightest and just took in the evening. We listened to the news on our solar powered hand crank radio--which we put batteries in. And I've come to the conclusion that we need a camping stove. I need to know I can cook something. We had tons of food but it was canned or otherwise needed cooking. Emergency wise we are pretty much set--we have our 72 hour kits with spare clothes and emergency water and food. But we don't have a way to last those first 24 hours. A camping stove would really have come in handy last night.

Luckily we were blessed to have our power back on at 10 o'clock! The neighbors were cheering and jeering too since that meant they had to go to work. But we were all grateful to have our conveniences restored to us.

I always forget how much I rely on electricity. We have an electric stove and oven, the garbage disposal is electric, obviously lights, tv and computer (but I can live without those things for a few hours). I was hungry. I had planned fish tacos for dinner and was really looking forward to eating them. I can only eat bread and fruit and cereal for so long--plus it just doesn't fill me up! Pregnancy makes me a insatiable monster when it comes to food. I can eat a whole meal and half an hour later be starving. I managed to eat enough food so I could sleep and did so like normal.

The kids were a little freaked out. I made the mistake of telling Big Sister that it was going to be really dark last night since there wasn't going to be any street lights or anything. She was getting a little scared, but went to bed just fine. Mr. Smiley on the other hand has developed a fear of the dark in the last few weeks. Yay. He would freak out if it got too dark or if we turned off the flash lights. He wanted to carry one around all night, but since we didn't know how long we'd be without power we wanted to ration the battery life we had. So we kept him up until he was good and tired. I tried laying down with him in the living room but he wasn't having it. Then I saw a friend mention something about glow sticks in her daughter's room on her Facebook page. I gave him a green stick and sent him to bed. It worked like a charm! He was so happy to have his own "green yight" and I was glad he went to bed without much of a fuss.

Power was slowly restored through the night and by 4 am all of San Diego had power. SDGE worked really hard to get us all up and running. I'm glad to have my power back on!


Shellybythesea said...

My friend and I walked down to the beach at the end of my street. We watched the locals shoot off fireworks all over the shore and pier. The police were busy that night in other areas so we virtually had free range at the beach with the moonlight and fire sparklers that lit up the sky. It was great!!!

Julie said...

Wow. Amazing how many people it took to fix one person's mistake. I bet he was SO stressed.
Glad you had a "tester" night for your emergency preparedness and that it wasn't much more than that.