Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Ike: How do I hate Thee? Let me count the ways.

You knocked my power out!!!

I live in Central Ohio, I don't understand why I (along with many other parts of Ohio) should be affected by a hurricane in the Gulf Coast area where it should be.

Let's play a little Ohio-gets-hit-by-remnants-of-giant-hurricane-called-Ike and all chaos ensues, shall we?

Sunday, Noon: It's a very pretty, sunny day, with a breeze. The Ohio FK girls came for a visit and we had fun (more on this later).

Sunday, 4PM-ish: The girls and I had been shopping at Easton, it was getting dark and very windy. One of the girls got a call from her FI in Cincy saying that they had lost power due to a wind storm, which was barrelling toward Columbus. Hmm... perhaps we should head back to my house before we either blow away, or get hit in the head with patio furniture, which is starting to blow around?

Sunday, 4.30ish: I call Mark to ask him about the impending storm, and the possibility of our power going out. It is very windy. Mark says, "Nah, the power won't go out. You'll be fine". He has planned to drive up to Cleveland to see a Browns game. Me: "Are you sure? What does the radar say?". H: "Eh, there's a wind advisory, but it's supposed to blow over by 9 tonight, you'll be FIIIIIIINE."

Sunday, 4.31PM: Mark calls me back. "Oh, I just went for Gas. The lights at the station were out, so I went back home and looks like the electricity is out".

Rhhheaaaaaally? I wonder who thought that was going to happen. Someone smart, I'm sure.

Mark still leaves for Cleveland. Lucky me.

Sunday, 5PMish: The girls and I make it to my house. I have to pull the emergency cord on the automatic garage door opener and lift the door manually so that I can get my car in the garage lest it gets hit by one of the limbs that are beginning to get knocked off trees and blown around. We get settled in the house with some delish wine to ride out the storm still sans electricity.

I wonder if the electric company has any recording up to give people info about the power outage?

Apparently, many people had the same thought because after dialing and re-dialing for about 5 mins, I finally get through without a busy signal and they only have a crappy generic recording saying something along the lines of, "we are aware of widespread power outages in your area. We hope to have all electricity restored by this evening.".

Sunday, 5.45PM-ish: *CRASH* ::cat runs out of the kitchen::
What the HELL was that?!?
Well, "that" happened to be our patio set and other chairs flying across the deck and landing upturned on the grass in a heap. Awesome. So me, and the very nice and helpful girls, proceeded to stack everything up against the fence in hopes that it would not fly around the backyard.

We continued to ride the storm out, me freaking out and anxious because I happen to hate storms of any kind, and the girls in a state of wonderment because of the crazy (as we later find out) 75+ mph wind gusts which are bowing all of the tree branches. We also entertain ourselves by watching some crazy neighbor boy skate boarding in the street in the middle of the windstorm. Bright parents.

Sunday, 8PM-ish: The wind has calmed down and the girls were hungry, so we venture out in search of an open restaurant. It is very eery out because it's pretty much a blackout in my town with a few spots of power here and there. Probably 80-90% of the traffic lights are out and a lot of people seem to be driving around looking for an open supermarket or restaurant. There are very few places open, and of the 2 drive-thrus that are, they are CRAZY-packed. We head back up to Easton (where we had been earlier) and end up getting some food there.

I call the electric company again. They state that about 300,000 customers are without power. It will be at least 24-48 hours before power is restored and it may take up to 7 days to get everything back up.

Sunday, 9.30PM-ish: It's now very dark at the house and I'm very alone. The girls both have gone home at this point. I'm at home with the animals with candles lit, but it's not fun because I don't like being home at night by myself, let alone being at home at night by myself with nooooo electricity when it's pitch black outside from lack of street lights. It was grand.

Monday, 1.30AM-ish: The lights are back! Yayyy! I get out of bed, turn on all of the lights and blow out the candles! ::happy dance::

Monday, 1.35AM-ish: The lights are back out again. WTH?! I light the candles... again.

Monday, 2AM-ish: Mark finally gets home. I am not a happy trophy wife.

Monday, 9AM-ish: We wake up. The lights are still out. Eventually we venture out and search for a place where we can get some food that isn't a looooong wait. We end up at Panera at Easton. After eating, we decide to shop a bit. A few stores are open, but many seemed to be closed and do not have electricity.

Monday, 11.30ish: I call AEP again. They have updated their outgoing message to say that they are diligently working to get our electric back up. No time frame specified.

We go back home and Mark spends the afternoon cleaning up the disaster area that is our yard. We should have taken before pics, but didn't. We do have a giant stack of branches and several lawn bags at our curb now. I tried to call the city to find out if they wanted us to do something special with the storm aftermath, but no one picked up. I guess they don't have electricity either.

We spend the rest of the afternoon and evening without power. All of our perishables are now perished.

Tuesday, 7AM: I'm back at work today. Apparently they have some super-stealth underground power or something because unfortunately enough, they never lost it.

I call the power company and they no longer have any outgoing recording up. This can't be good.

42 hours later, we still have no power.

I am not a happy camper, but I know that things could be worse.

Here's some local coverage of said storm.

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