Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 5, 2010 The Perfect Storm

Not perfect by any stretch of my imagination. On Friday afternoon, Pittsburgh was experiencing full blizzard conditions. Nor'easter. At 8pm, our power went out. Using a cell phone, we called the power company. ETA 12:30am. VOIP phone service means no power, no phones, either.

1:00am. Called again, this time no ETA. Our gas fireplace is keeping us relatively warm after closing off the upstairs. We fried eggs on our gas stove burners that we could light using a gas match. OK. Fine. Surely, the power would be back on Saturday, and the outside thermometer read 30ish. Not too terrible. I couldn't sleep on the sofa and listen to soulmate snore so I got up to peer out the window. The silence was deafening and the view was surreal—that of a nuclear winter. The only life were two deer in the yard bobbing their heads into the 15 inches of snow. What the hell could they possibly be eating? Annoyed, I go back to sleep to the soothing snoring rhythm. Forget it.

I nap, waiting. Napping. Waiting. Up to pee. Still reasonably warm. Waiting. 7am. The light of day lessens the bleakness of the 24 inches of snow. Still snowing. No power and no plow, we are officially snowed in.

Sat. 10am. Enter the neighborhood army of snow blowers. Soulmate praises the size of his because it is the only one actually working. Size. Hummpf. 11am. The power company declares a state of emergency. Still no ETA. Still no plow. But we can drive in the driveway! I can boil water, so I make hot chocolate and wait.

2pm. Nothing. My cell phone battery is waning. I think about my overstocked freezer and put my refrigerated food into a box outside on the deck.

4pm. No power, no ETA, no plow. The snow stopped. We call the power company to hear about 300,000 customers without power. Crap. We eat tuna fish and leftover cold rice/beans. Down to one English muffin. Darkness envelops our makeshift sleeping/living area. Another night and the outside temp will plummet to 5 degrees. I think about our water pipes. Crap. I make the executive decision to abandon ship and after several tries, we get a reservation. 8pm. It is no longer warm enough inside; I put on another layer and lay down on the rollaway mattress that is now in front of the fireplace. I nap anticipating packing up in 10 long hours.

Sunday 2am. I wake to beeping. The security system finally gave up hope and died. We stagger upstairs and snuggle underneath 3 layers of bedding. 7:30am. Still no power, no ETA.

That's it. With water pipes drained, fireplace off, we head north on icy roads to a hotel.

Long story shorter. Tuesday 9:00am. Home sweet home. Power was restored on Monday night. Another nor'easter is on the way into Wed. to add another foot of snow.
Round two. Stay tuned.

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