Friday morning, around 3am. My wife wakes me up.
"Chuck, the power went out."
Half awake. Figure it's a momentary blackout caused by all the crappy weather we had the night before. Nope. Lights are flickering on and off - then they die completely.
The Ice Storm of 2008 hit us right in the face.
I've been through this before - my neighborhood was clobbered in the Blizzard of '87, to the point where the only two entities that had power were my day job and my night job with radio station WWWD (I'll cover 3WD in another post). We lost power on Sunday and did not get it back until Thursday afternoon. I made my family stay with their relatives while I stayed in the house throughout the chilly week.
This has been no different.
We lost power Friday morning. I still came in to work, as there was power there and we were scheduled to have a holiday party that evening. The party was cancelled (the venue did not have power, nor did most of my co-workers).
I've been checking National Grid's storm page any chance I can get near a computer with internet access. Last time I looked, Albany County still had 33,000 houses without power, and the earliest estimate of power returning to us would be Wednesday.
For the past two days, I've had my wife and her father-in-law stay at a motel, while I stayed at home and made sure no crackheads looking for copper pipe to steal come busting through our house. I've taken breathers at the local shopping mall, sitting through "The Day The Earth Stood Still" (it was a warm theater, that's the only benefit that film had for me).
My whole neighborhood looks like a tornado tore through it. Tree branches ripped off their stumps. Downed power lines. The freezing rain making thin trees bend like they were bowing to the King of Nature. It's just horrible out.
I even went into my day job office this morning, if for no other reason than to shower up at the building's fitness center, charge up my cell phone, and check my e-mail.
I'm okay, and I check on my family every so often to make sure they're comfortable.
I've been through a storm like this 21 years ago. I wonder if this means that in 2029, I'll have to go through this all again. If that's the case, remind me that in 2028 I have to move to Florida.