Last Tuesday, Tropical Storm Isaias blew through Connecticut. It was an interesting afternoon–we didn’t get much rain, but as I worked in the shop, I heard the 70 mph winds knocking over trees in the woods. It didn’t take long for that wind to also knock over trees along the road, which is of course where the power lines run. I’m writing this at 6 AM on Monday, nearly a week later. Our power just came back five hours ago, waking my wife and me up as our bedroom light, its useless switch in the on position for six days, split the night like a Paul Simon lyric. Throughout most of this time, 100% of my town had no power from the grid. We don’t have Internet yet, but at least I didn’t have to gas up the generator to make coffee today.
Boy, am I late with some writing assignments…
This is the fifth multi-day outage I can remember in the past ten years. The worst was in October, 2011, when 8 in. of snow fell at least a month ahead of schedule. The oaks and beeches, two of our most common trees, retain their leaves well into November. Heavy, wet snow accumulated on the foliage of the trees outside my bedroom. Twelve-inch branches broke from our oaks, resounding like a .30-06 shot. Beeches that didn’t simply break bent over in arcs, their tops touching the ground. That time it took 11 days to get power back.
I grew up in a rural part of New Jersey (Yes, they exist, or did in the 1960s and 1970s). Like where I live now, the area was heavily wooded. I don’t remember a single multi-day outage in the 35 years I lived there.
Resilience and context get us through
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