Battening Down the Hatches

Last week we had a super intense storm, which blew in and out very suddenly, with lots of wind, thunder and lightening. As I was securing our deck while the wind kicked up–bringing chairs and lighter plants inside, putting more solid things down low–a lightening bolt flashed and struck a power line in our alley. There was a loud crack and the area of the power line where the lightening bolt struck crackled for a good 20 seconds. Strangely enough, the power didn’t go completely out. Our building and immediate neighborhood ended up with an immediate low-level power outage that shut down major appliances and tech older than a year or two, but we had dim lights and radio, so it’s all good, but thousands of homes and businesses throughout Chicagoland were without power and a tornado was reported on the Northside of the city.

Tuesday we found out just how many people in Chicago were without power:

Tuesday afternoon we were told by ComEd that our power wouldn’t be back on until Saturday by 3:00pm. No way! Peace Corps mode kicked in and I assessed the situation. We still had dim lights and the condo radio system worked, so I could continue with projects and listen to a book on CD. Not ideal, but workable. I had a late afternoon WebEx workshop on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to attend, though, and no computer charge at home and thanks to COVID, no coffee shop to run to for a reboot. Luckily, my Chicago family was there for me and I was able to catch up with the most awesome Vinni and Frana–and recharge my phone and computer and participate in my webinar.

I also caught up with my fellow EC58 PCV Jen D who during this pandemic painted a beautiful painting that she sent to me late last month–25 or so years after she promised me a piece of her awesome artwork!!! I have never been given a work of art by an artist before, so this was especially cool! I’ll post a picture and update this post tomorrow.

Moving on with my story, I arrived home and heated up leftovers from the freezer on one of our gas stove’s burners. At around 7:30PM, 3 power trucks arrived. Woo hoo!! So hopeful! They spent less than an hour using cool tools to troubleshoot the problem and at one point, all of the power in the neighborhood went out. No more dim lights or power for new technology, but since the workers had started to fix the problem, we assumed they would fix the problem before they left. Nope. Instead, they left for the night! Their 16 hour shift was up. As a result we had no power, no lights and no FANS for the night. It was very eerie with no lights on in our neighborhood, but also quiet and peaceful. We brought out our flashlights and candles and we were set for the night.

And it was all good–except for the no fans part…

Within 12 hours, a lone power truck and 2 tree service trucks arrived, but didn’t really do much. However, by 9AM, Tuesday night’s work crew was back, looking like they were ready to take care of business. Which they did. I won’t  mention whether they darted off to the next job or not, but I know I was so grateful that we didn’t have to wait until Saturday!!!! 36 hours without power, however, is definitely a wake up call of what we take for granted. I’m glad we were able to secure things before the winds blew in to town and so we didn’t lose much.

I’ve spent a lot of this summer vacation working on projects and ‘cleaning out the cobwebs’ binge. It has been 5 years since I have had this kind of dedicated time to work on projects like this and I am taking full advantage of the time–although I sure had other projects in mind when this summer started! It feels like I am putting things in order, tying everything down and making sure things are secure before the storm of the 2020-21 school year storms in.

Because it is going to be a wild ride.

Stay safe everyone!

3 thoughts on “Battening Down the Hatches

  1. Pingback: Holy Moly! | Searching for EMWA

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