Well. That was unexpected.

An unusually early winter storm with a greater potential for power outages due to the number of trees with leaves still on them at this time of year.  OK – that makes sense.  Not once did a report anywhere indicate MASSIVE damage to trees and EXTENSIVE power outages!  We really were not prepared for this one.  Irene was just practice.

These photos are nothing.  Many of the trees I passed were much worse – every single “section” of branches snapped off at the top of the trunk, like you’d do with a bunch of broccoli.  The damage to trees from this storm was much more extensive than Irene, and the accompanying damage to power lines was also worse.  We lost power for five days after Irene.  This storm had us out for a week!  It was a very chilly week.

Ways this storm was worse:  Because I hadn’t expected a power outage that lasted this long I had not planned my grocery shopping accordingly, and ended up with more spoiled food that I could not get to in time.  Also, the convenient neighbor with the generator who helped us out after Irene has moved, so I couldn’t keep my freezer chest going.  I still have hope for the freezer chest – it was packed pretty full, and more than halfway through the week all the important things were still frozen solid.  If I open it up today and still find the normal crop of ice crystals on the sides, I think I’ll be good.  Number one difference between this storm & Irene – temperature!  It’s obviously much colder outside in October than in August.  I have gas heat, but the furnace has an electric pilot!

Ways I was lucky: None of the trees on or near our lot suffered extensive damage. We may not have had the furnace running, but the house never dropped below 60, even at night.  I suppose it’s the advantage of a very small house.  A few extra blankets & sweatshirts, two pairs of handknit wool socks, and living in my winter hat all day – 63 degrees was actually not that uncomfortable by the time we got to the end of the week.  The human body will acclimate! We knew from Irene that we do not lose water, and our water heater does *not* have an electric pilot, so we continued to have running water and hot baths and showers.  We also have a gas stove, and although I could not use the oven, cooking meals and making coffee was not a problem.

The biggest way we were lucky:

Having had five days of practice just two months ago, Scarlett adapted to the “new normal” very quickly!  It took three days after Irene for her to stop asking for “TV on?”  This time it took one.  We got her a brand new package of markers, and she was pretty happy for most of the week.  We even got her to wear a hat for about a minute!

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2 thoughts on “Well. That was unexpected.

  1. Wow I had no idea the power outages were so bad! Glad you are back, that must have been awfully chilly! Those photos are amazing, can't believe there was that much snow so early in the year!

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  2. Yeah, we broke the record we set with Irene for power outages! I've heard that CT was hit worst in that regard – some people are still without power, and it's not supposed to be back to 100% until tomorrow night. And it wasn't even the amount of snow that was the real problem, it was the timing. Autumn was already a couple of weeks behind schedule, so most of the trees still had leaves on them – many of them still green! With that much more surface area to cling to, the wet snow was a much greater burned on the trees. The communities with underground lines had no outages.

    At least it was at the beginning of the month rather than the end, so I had money for batteries and candles!

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