atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4277: Posting from the emergency shelter!

Damn what a blow that was.

Yesterday I went to my uncle's place to drop off a spare key to the bunker, as demanded by my sister. While I was there, storms came through, and they knocked the power right the hell out. As my uncle and I were chatting, the lights went out, came on dim, went out, came on, went dim, went out, and all the while I was thinking, Yeah, this ain't gonna be good.

26.5 hours later, still no juice at the bunker.

When I got home, the power was already off and Mrs. Fungus said that it had gone out with a "bang". That's consistent with what I've seen before; usually the lines around the bunker don't get damaged, but the fuses blow because current backfeeds (sneak circuits) and it's too much current. These are big fuses, and they blow big.

We then proceeded to sit in the dark. We had a pizza delivered, and ate, and otherwise we chatted.

After the sun went down another wave went through, and this one was so bad they blew the tornado sirens...and so we proceeded to sit in the dark in the basement until the worst of the storm had passed. I turned the modem back on (UPS FTW) and used the Nook to look at the weather radar; it was mostly red and yellow.

We tried going to bed around 11-ish, but it was too warm to sleep. A while later I took a look around the bunker, outside, and realized it was cool enough to opened the windows and doors. Sadly, it was not even remotely enough. The bedroom got kind of cool, but it wasn't as cool as it would have been I could have stuck a fan in the window. (Well, I could have stuck a fan in the window. Fat lot of good it would have done, of course, without electricity.)

One miserably hot, sticky night later....

We woke up this morning no, that implies that we slept, which Mrs. Fungus did not. I barely did better than she; I fell into a kind of twilight state where I was sort-of asleep but not really getting any rest worth speaking of.

I had tried calling ComEd several times during the night, wasting talk time on listening to ComEd propaganda; starting at 6:30 AM I spent 45 minutes on that nonsense before giving up. I managed to sleep a little bit after having some leftover pizza; and when I woke up again and called ComEd I got through in less than five minutes.

Of course they didn't have any information for me. They didn't know when power would be restored; there was no ETA on a truck getting to the neighborhood.

Mrs. Fungus and I spent some more time talking and sweltering, and about mid-afternoon I called ComEd again to see if there was any news. There was not; so Mrs. Fungus said, "I am going to a hotel!" And I said, "And I'm going with you!"

Actually we made the determination before I called ComEd the second time--if they had no information, we'd go...and that's what we did. I turned our Internet access back on, and she looked up some nearby hotels; finally she picked one, we threw together overnight bags, and we got out.

We had breakfast/lunch/dinner in one meal, then went swimming in the hotel pool. We're no longer overheated and we're looking forward to a comfortable night in bed.

Mrs. Fungus had a friend of hers run by the house to check on it for us, and at 10 PM the bunker was still without power, which makes 26.5 hours without the juice.

I am very glad Mrs. Fungus insisted on bugging out.

On the plus side, the bunker has an "Ace in the Hole", so the basement should be okay until we get back there tomorrow. (I figure I can noodle out a way to recharge the battery if need be, but the sump's not filling too fast and the battery-backed pump ran one time the entire day.)

At 26.5 hours this is the second-longest power failure I've had to deal with personally. The first-longest is, of course, the power failure in Cedar Rapids in October of 1997, when it snowed, and the power was off for 2.5 days.

The thing that really kills me about this? The reason the bunker--and the surrounding houses--are out of power is because of those two fuses up on the pole that blew out. There's no lines down, no damage to the system, but because it's a mere 26 houses out, ComEd has higher-priority jobs to deal with.

Figure it this way: if they have a single failure that will restore service to 52 homes, and a second one that will restore service to 26, they will do the one that restores the largest number of homes first. In Cedar Rapids, I waited 2.5 days because my apartment was 'way out on the end of a stub.

So on our way out of town today, what did we happen to see?

Out on the east side of town where they're preparing to realign the main east-west road, they bulldozed out some trees, and apparently gouged out too much of the support structure of one big tree which fell on the lines carrying power into town.

...but instead of having to cut up the tree and restring the lines, they merely connected the new wires they had already installed over the past few weeks, which took a different path because they're going to realign how the road runs. That was convenient, and it got power back to the town a hell of a lot quicker than it would have been otherwise.

But of course, the bunker is still dark.

All in all, I'm glad we were able to cut out and get a hotel room, because this is a heck of a lot more comfortable than sweltering in the dark.

* * *

As for posting, naturally I'm doing this from Seiren, the vintage 2008 Dell Inspiron 1525 which hasn't been taken out of its travel case since 2012 at least. The battery has died, and for a minute it looked as if the thing wouldn't even boot--but it did, and here we are.

So I'm trying to get Diablo III to install. Whee!

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