Saturday, September 1, 2012

Left in the Dark by Isaac

Power is out. Tuesday night the transformer on our back fence line kind of exploded just as Isaac was really kicking into gear, and we've been dark ever since.

It's more an annoyance than a problem, but still, it's annoying. 650,000 people lost power. The electric company supposedly has 10,000 people called in from all over the country to help restore service, but it's not a fast process. The people on the other side of the street got their power back a couple of hours ago, but it may be several more days before we can turn on a light on our side. And yet, every time I walk into a room, my hand flips the light switch.

Thursday we found a Winn-Dixie supermarket open, selling ice. They also had an electric outlet on the side of their building, and we were among those who took advantage to charge the phone.

The library is closed, but their wi-fi is on and we pulled into the parking lot to download the mail and answer the most important, mostly just telling people we're all fine.

The difference between the hurricane here and on the islands is that when the power goes out, we still have running water. We're on a municipal system. On the island most people get their water from the cistern under their house, and with no electricity, the pump doesn't work. You have to pull up buckets of water just to flush the toilet. This is WAY better. Add in the fact that we have gas for cooking and water heating, and it's pretty damn civilized. I'm not complaining. I can take a shower, and as warm as it's been Friday and today that is a good thing.

We found a P.J.'s Coffee in a small area of Old Metairie that got its power back, and we're all hanging out there. Tori and I were here earlier in the day and it was all very civilized, people sharing the outlets and power strips. Yesterday we charged all the gizmos – phones, computers, games etc. – at the laundromat so this is definitely better.

We also have plenty to read, so we're set. Just before the storm the eight boxes of stuff, mostly books, we shipped from St. Croix, arrived. And yesterday the postman arrived bearing two other boxes that included the kitchen stuff we brought along, among other things. Most survived intact. One that didn't, our big countertop oven, was horribly mangled, but it requires electricity to run so we're not mourning too much today.

Max has been out of school since last Friday. It's supposed to reopen Tuesday – but of course that will depend on the power getting back on. And Millie's work can't reopen for a few more days.

It seems to get dark really early when you can't turn on a light to fight off the gloom. We've got candles and some flashlights, but we don't have the lanterns we used to back on the island. But no whining here! Isaac was a pest, but not a monster like Katrina or Hugo or even Omar (which wasn't bad. So for now. we'll take what we've got. We're all fine. Hope you are too.

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