Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So. There was a nor'easter over the weekend. An early nor'easter with snow. So many trees still had leaves that it caused massive amounts of damage across the entire northeast from Pennsylvania up to ~New Hampshire, possibly Maine. Connecticut had unprecedented damage and power loss, such that my entire campus had no power all the way through Monday night. The first power outages hit my house around 6:30 pm Saturday, so I relocated, and then the dorm I was in, along with the rest of the campus and city, lost power just after midnight. On the bright side, I finished both episodes of Buffy that I was watching each time the power went out, because the videos had finished streaming before internet went down. And then I shut my laptop off and was using that to charge cell phones.

Sunday, some of us went driving around the main roads of town looking for hot food. It turns out that there was a pizza place with brick ovens open, plus a Price Chopper. We bought enough pizza for dinner for 13 people, which amounted to 4 large pizzas. I went back to my dorm after that because I wanted to, and ended up hanging out with some folks in the program house upstairs (we share a building) once the sun went down. We had four guitars, some percussion, a flute (mine) and voices, so we sang for hours. I started out on flute, but once I obtained tea (someone had a portable gas stove, which I think was technically against the rules, but I'm not complaining, since it warmed us all up) I switched to voice. I was a bit uncomfortable that all of the songs were Christian ones about Jesus, but I could get into some of the spirit of the songs, so I basically picked either wordless harmonies or prayers in Hebrew to sing behind it. (Since I haven't talked about it on this blog yet: I was raised non-religious, and am converting to Judaism; I have very little experience with Christ-centered worship, although I've been to Protestant and Protestant-style (UU) services before. Also, my program house is Interfaith House; upstairs is Light House, which is the Christian house.)

I went to sleep in my own bed on Sunday night, bundled up. I had two pairs of thick socks, leg warmers, long johns, pants, a thermal shirt, a sweatshirt, a bathrobe, gloves, and a hat on, in addition to sleeping under three blankets plus two throw blankets wrapped around my feet and shoulders. This was surprisingly (to me) uncomfortable, although pretty warm. I woke up in time to go to the Continental Breakfast the student center was serving at 9am, and then headed to Hirise, which is an 8-floor apartment building housing mostly juniors and the majority of my friends. I finally knocked on doors after I got bored reading my lit book, and then proceeded to play card games for about four hours--one game of hearts, and then a game of bridge in which two of us were just learning how to play. After that, two of my friends proposed taking my car to one of their parents' house in southern Maine. As power was starting to be restored but not actually working yet, I was happy to oblige, and an hour or so later, four of us were on our way to Maine.

Thankfully, I wasn't driving. I really shouldn't have been on the floor for so long playing games, because my knee and hip were already really hurting by the time we finished, and then I made it worse by going on a 4-hour car ride. Vicodin helped some, but I was badly enough off that it didn't do nearly enough and I was still heavily favoring the leg. The house we went to had three showers, though, and one of them had a bench-like thing inside it, so that I was able to sit down while washing my legs. The shower also relaxed the muscles that were hurt, so I felt a little better afterward (in addition to feeling much cleaner, since I'd been living in my clothing for ~48 hours at that point).

Today, we received the notices from the uni that classes will resume tomorrow despite faculty, staff, and some students still having no power and/or being hours away from campus, so we drove back in the late afternoon, and arrived around 8pm. I took vicodin when I first started getting uncomfortable on the ride, and actually made it all the way back without being in pain. I'm a bit achy tonight, but I'm not in any major discomfort, so that's good. I'm also staying in Hirise again, so I'm even warm. My dorm still has no power at all, and I'm pretty sure almost everyone has ditched the building by now. I know Public Safety is patrolling and checking, but it's too cold and dark to stay there. At least Hirise had emergency lights in the halls the entire time the power was out; the houses just had an hour or so of lighting before the lights went out completely. Another good thing: some traffic lights were back on when we got back to campus. There were lots of accidents because of the lack of lights and some people not treating intersections as four-way stops. This included an intersection of a major two-lane highway that I had to cross either on foot or by car to get to the rest of campus, so I'm extremely glad to see that light, at least, back on. That intersection? Has frequent accidents even with the lights.

So that's most of my blackout story. Who else was affected? How was it?

ETA: Also? Cell phones lost charge really really quickly due to poor to no reception because cell towers were down as well. OTOH, texting and voice mail were the main sources of information to the community at large. I personally couldn't get enough reception to listen to the more detailed voice mail, so the limited word texts telling me to "see email for more information" were extremely frustrating--because guess what else? Internet was down too! Even if we had the power to check it.

1 comment:

  1. The house where I rent is still without power--97% of that town is still out. But also a tree fell on the house and brought the power lines with it. I came to my dad's house though (he's closer to campus, so they restored power here by Sunday night). He's in the hospital though, which is enough stress, I think.

    I'm glad you've got somewhere to stay. A lot of my classmates are staying in apartments with no power--how they're not freezing, I don't know. (Saturday I got dressed to go sledding and then got in bed. None of this "I had to sleep with a sweatshirt" business. I sleep with a sweatshirt every night.)

    Anyway, keep taking care.