Ad 2:
2002-02-11 15:29:46 (UTC)

Surviving the Wind Storm

Last Thursday John and I went to Albany and Corvallis. We
went to the bank, did a little grocery shopping, went to the
library and did a few other errands. We came home about 3
p.m., put everything away, and were both reading when the
lights began to flicker and then went out. We looked out
the window and realized we were in the middle of a freak
windstorm. It lasted perhaps 30 minutes. We heard later
that the wind was up to 70 mph. Our house and trees are
fine (but we found we lost several large trees at the
country house including my favorite hawthorn tree but that
house wasn't damaged either.) The electric, however stayed
out until late Saturday.

The next two days weren't much fun. The only heat we had
came from the fireplace. We moved the van out of the garage
and put the barbecue in there. It has a burner which came in
very handy. I used it in the morning to make omelets and
Gavin made toast using the barbecue. I boiled water and made
coffee and put in the thermos. I heated more water to put
in another thermos to use for hot cocoa, tea, instant
oatmeal and instant soup. John was off work until Saturday.
He called from work and told me that the power was out
there. He was due to work the next day too but they sent
him home after a couple of hours. It may take a few more
days before they get electric at the mill. They were going
to close the freeway and run a temporary line across it but
they changed their minds as there are still thousands of
people without electric.

We saw the utility people out fixing a pole late Saturday
afternoon and running wire along the highway but thought
that they were just getting it ready for when they finished
fixing the wires from the substation. Apparently not! We
noticed shortly after they finished that the neighbors had
electric and then realized we did too! Yes! One of the
first things we did was put the heat on. Then we began with
the essentials--the laundry and cooking! That night I made
blueberry muffins and a double batch of chocolate chip

One of the good things when the power was out was that there
wasn't much to do in the daytime so I finished all three
blocks of the Folk Art block of the month. We also have a
battery operated radio so I was able to keep track of the
news and listen to music. The phones worked and, because we
live in town, we still had water. If we were out in the
country, of course, we wouldn't have as the well pumps need
electric. John used the generator to keep the freezer and
garage refrigerator going.

Interestingly, Owen, who's at Oregon State University only
30 miles away, only had a blip in his electric and that was
it. The two gas stations at the freeway lost their roofs
and I heard that a tree fell on the cars belonging to the
high school principal and vice principal in the high school
parking lot. Only one house was damaged in our town and it
wasn't badly damaged.

We are hopefully back to normal. It's supposed to get down
to the mid 20s tonight so I hope the utility crews are able
to get the rest of those without power back up before then.
I don't know how long it'll take for the mill to get
electric. John still has six personal leave days plus five
weeks vacation so it shouldn't be too bad.

Oh and one more thing! John got down all the quilts I'd
made, gave half to the boys to split and put the rest on our
bed. I hope I never again hear him say "why are you making
all those quilts?" Now he knows! We were all toasty warm
at night because of them!