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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

Hurricane Irene: the follow up

Thanks to Hurricane Irene, I was without power from late Saturday night to sometime on Thursday.

I am very, very thankful that the damage from Irene was limited to several days without power and the consequences of no power. Yes, it was frustrating and trying and depressing to have no power; to not be able to have an alarm to get up for work, to dress for work in the dark and come home with just an hour or so of light; to have to declare a total loss of all the food in the freezer and fridge; to not be able to clean or wash because, you know, no electricity. I was using my iPhone to keep a little up to date on news and email and Twitter, but without being able to recharge it my online activities (i.e., keeping up on this blog and its comments) were limited.

Equally frustrating was the poor communication about the power outage — two prime examples to show how poor communication and transparency just adds to a problem. I received several calls from the power company while the power was out saying, “is your power back on yet? no?” and when I asked why they called asking that, was told that they couldn’t tell from the company whether or not my power was back. When, though, the power was restored, I didn’t get that call! Odd, right?

Also, in terms of numbers. The power company said they had a power outage map on their website and they (and news reports) used that to indicate their progress. Since I knew I didn’t have electricity, it was annoying to see my town sometimes on the list of those without power and sometimes  not. Yes, I did call them to let them know, and also let them know that some papers used that to report that my town had full power restoration while my street was still without power. Here’s a typical article from the local paper about the current power situation at the Jersey Shore.

I am very, very thankful that we had no flooding, no water in the basement, and no other significant issues. One coworker is flooded out and sleeping on someone’s couch; another had a four hour commute into work on Monday that normally takes less than an hour. Flooding, including waters that are still rising, have impacted many — property lost, homes lost, roads flooded, sinkholes appearing in roads. Other states are just as bad, if not worse.

Some links of the impact of Irene:

Author Kate Messner highlights the losses suffered by Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay, NY and West Hartford Library in Vermont at Books and Mud: Library Cleanup and Relief Effort Update and earlier posts, including how to donate to the impacted libraries.

Library Journal reports on libraries and Irene at UPDATED: Most Vermont Libraries Escaped Full Fury of Storm; New York, New Jersey Libraries Suffer Severe Flooding as Rivers Rise and Some Libraries Still Flooded After Irene and in Need of Help.

Killin’ Time Being Lazy experienced the same power issues (or, rather lack of power issues) as I did.

Lisa Yee had the good timing to be in NYC for Irene’s visit.

Wendie Old had some branches fall, but nothing worse, thank goodness.  I had a bunch of branches come down, but luckily nothing very big and nothing on anything but the yard.

Laura at Pinot & Prose was vacationing in Cape Cod for Irene.

Author Lena Roy reports eloquently on her lack of power post-Irene.

The Orange Room and the failure of the sump pump. Ouch!

If you blogged about your Irene experiences, please leave a link in the comments.

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Joanne Fritz says:

    Oh yes, I was also without power for days (until Wed morning, so we got it back a little sooner than you did). And we were more than frustrated with the power company’s lack of response. We kept calling and getting that robot voice saying “We are trying to assess the source of your outage.” Cripe! There were fallen trees all around our neighborhood! And they never called to tell us when it would be back, either.

    I blogged about our outage and the flooding in SE Pennsylvania here: http://mybrainonbooks.blogspot.com/2011/08/aftermath-of-irene.html But it was nowhere near as devastating as Vermont’s.

    Thanks for the links.

  2. Michelle says:

    I can say that states that are equipped for hurricanes don’t do it all that much better. Not that it likely helps you. When I first moved to FL we had a cat 3 hurricane that knocked our power out for 7 days (beofer the real rise of faebook and there was no twitter) so we were completely incommunicado and had no updates from the power company. I feel your pain on this, I really really do. I’m glad you’re safe and had no larger scale damage. Thankfully you’re back in buisness though, it was probably the most glorious experience to have those light turn on the first time!

  3. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    Joanne, thanks!

    Michelle, the paper said today that all NJ residents have their power back. Yay!

  4. adrienne says:

    Glad you’re safe and getting back to normal. That is an awfully long time to be without power, especially if you were working through it.

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