October 31, 2011

Many New Yorkers still without power

Although we got our power back on Sunday after a 30-hour blackout, much of the surrounding area remains unplugged. Local schools cancelled classes and most nearby businesses remain closed at this hour. We (the folks at my house) are apparently living within a small pocket of power that is surrounded by a continuing blackout.

Unaware of the problems we would face, my sister and I went food shopping today -- and found ourselves in a huge, dark grocery store. There were emergency lights around the perimeter that produced occasional pockets of weak light, and that was it. Luckily they had enough power to run two credit machines, so shopping was possible. But the aisles were totally dark. And no, we didn't have a flashlight.

It is so weird to food-shop in the dark. As we entered each aisle we could see a few feet ahead but then came the darkness in the middle. Shopping in the dark on Halloween. Eerie.

The perishable aisles were roped off -- no milk, no veggies, no cheese, no meat. All you could buy was boxes, bags and cans -- of of which were located in the dark and haunted aisles. Brrrrrr.

Nah, it was fun, but only if you could return from the dark store to a nice, heated, well-lit home. I feel for the people still in the dark. It's cold out there! For a lot of people, this emergency is not over. And for some it's a double blow: first Irene and now an October snow storm. So many homes were damaged by fallen trees in both storms. We saw downed trees everywhere today. Some roads were closed and there were a ton of road crews out cutting down tree limbs. It's a lot of work and I know the folks in the dark appreciate the effort of these workers.

You know what surprised me the most? When the power went out it took out the cell phones, too. I guess the local cell towers tanked. For some reason I thought they would work. Jeez. Information blackout plus actual darkness. It's the modern American nightmare.


Artichoke Annie said...

Kudos to a store that could stay open in the dark. I remember one time being in a department store when the power went out, they couldn't open the cash registers... I said can I just give you cash and get out of here?.......nope, the world came to a halt.

Hey, K. checklist..... stock bottled water, get a flashlight.........for starters.


writenow said...

I did order a flashlight from Amazon. Supposed to be so bright you can kill yourself with it. I'll work on the water.