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6 Days No Power, Now I'm Finally Back on Grid

November 5th, 2012 at 04:13 am

Good Lord. I finally got my power back last night after 6 pm. I saw two utility trucks from North Carolina (go, North Carolina!!) in front of my house at about 2:30 pm, and they worked there for several hours. They also had to repair downed lines at all of my surrounding neighbors' homes. Then, inexplicably, the trucks left the scene, and still no power!

I was crushed. Talk about dashed hopes. I suspect there were more needed repairs further down the street before they could turn the switch.

I must say, after freezing my butt off at indoor temps of 52 degrees, my frugal daytime temp settings at 59 and 63 degrees (night and day) seemed positively balmy.

As sooon as I got power back, I threw a load of laundry in, got a simple (but hot) supper going, washed dirty dishes and later took a hot shower. Small creature comforts really make a difference.

My life had been reduced this past week to daily ice runs to try to keep my frozen produce going, a few stops at mom's for a shower and also the local library to check on emails. Nighttime entertainment consisted on huddling under the covers with a flashlight and my shortwave radio, mostly listening to either news coverage of the devastation in New Jersey or the Dave Ramsey Show.

I estimate so far my losses are in the neighborhood of $200. I had to spend $100 for someone to cut up the fallen trees, which is a bargain rate, however, he didn't have the capacity to haul the wood away or chip it, so I am still left with all that wood! I lost probably $50 to $75 worth of food and I spent about $15 on bags of ice. I also am upset to have a small hole in my vinyl siding; something like a windblown tree branch much have punctured it, and I'm sure that will cost me several hundred to replace.

I also had a frightening experience with my car brakes. As I was leaving mom's after a nice hot dinner and a shower, I discovered I had NO brakes. I mean, pedal was to the floor and no pressure at all. Luckily, I was able to coast to a stop in a parking space, but I had to have the car towed to my mechanic and the bill for replacing the 2 brake lines and fuel line, which had rusted to the point of falling apart and crumbling, was $666. Ouch. Still, it could have been much worse; I could have had an accident or been stranded somewhere on the road.

Here are pics of just my house and my neighbors across the street and on either side of me, to give you an idea of how much damage there was in a very small area....


This is a limb from a white pine that fell across the road directly in front of my house. The tree was actually on my neighbor's across the road from me. The storm hit full force Monday night, yet it wasn't cleared til several days later becus there were so many other blocked roads.


This is a fully grown white pine that came up at its roots and fell across my neighbors' lawn to the south of me. They are senior citizens, and I felt sorry for them that they had to pay to have this taken care of, as well as part of another white pine on a shared property line.


This is a humongus white pine on my property that was sheared off at about 10 feet high by the sheer force of the wind! I'd been wanting to get rid of this tree for years becus of its proximity to my house and roof. It could have so easily hit my house but by the grace of God, it fell into my side and back yard.


Here's another shot of same tree, shot from my upstairs bathroom window. the white rope you see was my unsuccessful attempt to pull down a branch of a small dogwood tree that kept rubbing against the side of the house in the storm.


This is another shot of the same white pine tree; you can see the massive limbs blocking my Stairway to Heaven (to backyard).


This is part of another white pine that came down in my front yard. You can see the Guatemalan guys I hired to cut it up.

My dad returned to his home on the Jersey shore. He said he had only minor flooding in his basement and garage, even though the water mark on his garage was 18 inches high. he's a full 2 blocks from the Toms River, which feeds into Barnegat Bay, but despite all the water, his garage was protected becaus the waves carried so much debris and sand with them that it formed a kind of barrier against the garage and kept more water from infiltrating.

He still doesn't have heat, and expects not to have it for another week, but he has a small wood stove that keeps one room pretty warm. He lost all his food and I know they've started rationing gasoline down there so I hope he has enough to make it to his favorite diner for breakfast!

Anyway, today is a return to normal. I drive J. to work right about now and then i begin my new proofreading job. More later!

15 Responses to “6 Days No Power, Now I'm Finally Back on Grid”

  1. Campfrugal Says:

    So glad to have you back online. It looks like you had a lot of damage, but are safe. I have been praying for all the East Coast. Such a tragedy.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Glad you have power back! Take care.

  3. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Glad life is slowly getting back to normal for you. That has to feel good. So glad you werent going too fast when those brakes failed. YIKES.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Oh my gosh. Lots of scary things coming at you from all sides. Thank you for checking in, glad nothing terrible came of it!

  5. CB in the City Says:

    So glad you and your dad made it through all right! Good luck on your new job!

  6. PNW Mom Says:

    So glad you are safe! Thanks for checking in!

  7. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Well, my goodness, when it rains it does a whole lot more than just pour! Brrr. So glad you have some heat again. I know the wait felt long and cold, but I have been amazed at how fast electricity has been restored to the so much of the region overall....That is rather curious about how the sand and debris ended up protecting your Dad's place....Hope you will be able to find a good match for the siding....No fair that your brakes and fuel line chose this time to rust out!

  8. LuckyRobin Says:

    I'm so glad you have your power back and that you made it through safely. It seems odd to me how much beauty there is in your photos of destruction, the way the colors and the light play off the ripped apart trees. Maybe it's the way you frame a photograph. It's like seeing the horror of the storm, the starkness of ravaged trees, but having it muted by the greens and the orange and yellows of the fall leaves.

  9. Monkey Mama Says:

    Well, we are glad you are okay, and what horrible timing on the brakes, but glad it was not any worse.

  10. Ima saver Says:

    Glad you are ok and back on line!

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Glad to see you checking in safe and sound! (especially with the brake situation - yikes!)

  12. Looking Forward Says:

    So happy to hear you're safe and have power again.
    Thanks for posting your pictures. Mother Nature is nothing to mess around with!

  13. snafu Says:

    Glad you are safe from the terror of Sandy and fright of car losing brakes! Looking at the photos are downright scary and re enforce the fact that there was so much potential for life altering damage.

  14. Momma and the boys living on budget Says:

    Glad you made it through I am up in new england as well but more north.

  15. Amber Says:

    I am so glad you are safe and got your power up and running again. Here in Florida,gone through my share if hurricanes, I understand.

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