“In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known.” – Thomas Pickering

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Big Snow

It doesn’t have a name like “Irene”, but the Big Snow of October, 2011 deserves one and I can’t put it on this blog and keep it family-friendly. The Big Snow actually happened while we were away on a couple of days of vacation in New Mexico. We came home the day after the Big Snow, and had no problems with flights or getting to the house.

But, we came home to a massive power failure. By the time we got home the electricity had been off for almost 24 hours. There was 15 or so inches of snow on the ground. Trees were down everywhere.

The first action Lynne took once we got home, to her credit, was to locate the fire extinguishers. I guess she knew that we’d be turning our kitchen into the equivalent of a bomb factory within minutes. I found the two butane camp burners we have, and I managed to create a small butane explosion within a few minutes, singeing the hair on my hands. And, I carefully filled the oil lamps which could be turned over with the swish of a dog tail.

Still, we managed to successfully cook some spaghetti for dinner and lived through it.

We picked up the dogs on Monday morning and did some minimal shopping. Most shops were without electricity and closed. I learned that there are three things that sell out immediately: D-cell batteries (for flashlights and lamps, I assume), matches, and jugs of water. There may be others, but those are the ones we needed and had trouble finding.

Luckily, from our preparations for Irene, we still had about 15 gallons of fresh water stored and had located lamps, lanterns and flashlights as well as candles. The only thing we had used up was the Gentleman Jack.

Water is an issue. We need water to occasionally flush the toilets, and for drinking, cooking and cleanup. We did manage to buy about 8 gallons of fresh water and we are melting snow into buckets, so we should be good for a few days.

It is cold in the house, but we have a nice fire going continuously in the wood stove and we have a kettle of water on top of it for hot water. Sleeping under a double layer of covers and next to a dog and cat helps us keep warm at night.

Of course, living without electricity is a pain. We have to manually open the garage doors, there is no heat, no light, etc. And, we had to buy a percolator for coffee as well as ground coffee (we usually grind beans).

Thanks to those of you who have inquired about us. We are surviving. It took a while this morning, but I did make it to work where it is warm, I can recharge the mobile appliances, and I even was able to take a nice hot shower (poor Lynne.)

We are expected to have electricity between Wednesday and Friday. We can see the down line on the street below the house (but, that might not be the only one.)

Lynne has photos on her site.

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Posted under: New JerseyStuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 11/01/2011 at 10:38 AM
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