Several hours I posted on Sunday we were hit with winds that reached up to 65 mph. The winds were remnants of Hurricane Ike.
(That's what I get for talking about it in the previous post!)
The worst of the winds lasted for about 5 hours and were pretty bad, to say the least. Ted's sister and her husband are in the process of building a new home next door to us and most of the tar paper came off the roof.
I was folding laundry and had a load of school clothes in the washer at 6:10 pm Sunday, when the power went out. We knew it was due to the wind. What we didn't know, however, was that the power outage was far reaching.
Rumors have circulated and if you believe them, they say that 90% of AEP customers in Ohio lost power Sunday evening.
It was sort of fun for the first couple of hours. Ted's brother and sister in law came over and we sat on the back porch talking and watching branches blow around. Alex went and picked up a couple of trash cans. Sand from the building process next door blew into our faces. That's when we laughed and said it was time to go in. We got out the candles and flashlights and all sat inside and talked for a while, then realized that our quiet road was being heavily traveled. Apparently the main road that ours runs parallel to ours was blocked off due to trees and power lines being down, so traffic was being re-routed down our road. Tim and Patty didn't want to walk over to their house in the dark as we were concerned they might get injured from blowing debris. Ted drove them home, and as they left I mentioned that I thought the power would be off all night long. Alex (Mr. Cell Phone) said he would set the alarm on his cell phone and call them in the morning to make sure they were up. (Not even a windstorm could keep that kid from texting his friends...so he was relieved that no cell phone towers went down!)
We took showers by candlelight, made sure all the flashlights had fresh batteries and went to bed. I was hoping I was wrong about the power being out all night, but alas, I was not.
All the schools in the county were closed on Monday, mostly due to the fact that this is a fairly rural county and the school buses were not able to run hardly any of their routes because of downed trees and wires. The schools have generators, but didn't want to run them unless it was absolutely necessary, and if only a small fraction of the students would be there, it just wasn't worth it. So, one calamity day has now been used, and we have four more left for snow. After we use five, we have to make them up.
At this point we were extremely thankful that we had city water, even though we live right outside of town. It cost us a fortune to connect to the city lines when we built our home, but being without power made it worth every single penny! People who had wells had no water because the pumps ran on electricity. So not only did those folks not have power, they also had no water!
So by Monday night, when we hit the 24 hour mark, we were starting to get a little worried about the things in our refrigerator and deep freeze. Again we got through the night. By Tuesday morning, IT WAS NO LONGER FUN.
Ted has pretty bad sleep apnea and needs his cpap machine to sleep. Heck, we ALL need his cpap machine to sleep! When he doesn't use it, it's just like the Flintstones. Fred Flintstone would snore so loud and hard that the walls of the house would suck in, then burst out with each exhale. That's what it's like here. Between the extremely LOUD snoring and Pepina sleeping on me, making me hot, and worrying about the stuff we were going to be losing in the freezer and refrigerator, I got about 45 minutes of good sleep Monday night.
On Tuesday I called the power company. I was able to get through to a real person within about 10 minutes and she was so kind and helpful. She checked for notes about our area and found nothing. She apologized, but said that all she could tell me was that we would definitely have power by midnight on Monday, September 22. It wasn't her fault, so I didn't lose my temper with her at all. Besides, she was very apologetic about everything we were going through.
Tuesday night Ted said he would sleep on the couch and keep all the cats out there with him. I could close the bedroom door and get a good night's sleep. That really helped.
Wednesday around 2:10 pm, our power was restored!!
I called our insurance agent and asked him if there was anything in our policy about covering food loss in the event of a power outage. He checked and said that there was! We are covered up to $500! We just had to take pictures and inventory everything.
Last night we did the refrigerator. Since we had to throw everything out, it was the perfect time to take out all the shelves and drawers and scrub the whole thing out. Our fridge hasn't been this clean since we moved in! As soon as we finished, Ted went to the grocery store and got some turkey breast from the deli and a gallon of milk.
Tonight we emptied out the freezer. Oh my. We had no idea how much stuff we had in there. NOT A CLUE. Although it's empty right now, we did not scrub it out yet. We'll save that for tomorrow night.
As you can see, the freezer was pretty full. What a mess. I had no idea how much we actually had in there until we inventoried it. There were over 24 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tons of bags of frozen vegetables, and whole beef tenderloin in there, among everything else.
We were able to get through this situation fairly easily, although it was a little challenging at times. I absolutely can NOT imagine what people in coastal Texas are going through! They probably have no idea when they'll have their power restored. We dealt with winds....they dealt with winds, rain, and flooding. Their situation is a thousand times worse than what we've had and I feel so badly for them.
So, now you know why I haven't posted in a while. Either tonight or tomorrow I'll be checking all the blogs that I follow, getting caught up on what's going on with all of you!