Survived Arthur
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Thread: Survived Arthur

  1. #1
    Registered User KeithBC's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    Default Survived Arthur

    I'll put the bottom line at the top: we shouln't have sold the generator when we moved.

    On Saturday morning, by all indications, Post Tropical Storm Arthur dissipated as it came ashore. We had some heavy rain overnight and it was breezy, but nothing that you'd call a storm to worry about. With the power out, the weather was good enough to drive 25 minutes to the nearest Tim Hortons for breakfast. Power was back on when we got home. No big deal.

    Or so we thought.

    The storm redveloped on Saturday afternoon, with a meteorological phenomenon called a "sting jet". Translated, that is doozy of a wind that comes out of nowhere on the back side of a storm (not typically a tropical one) just when you figure you are in the clear. It blew with winds of 100-140 km/h for several hours.

    The power went off again and was off for 36 hours, and Internet remained off for another 10 hours or so after that.

    I dug out my battery-operated radio. Discovered that the batteries had leaked since the last itme I used it. I had to replace the batteries and sand the corrosion off the terminals before it would work. (There's a "note to self"...) Early in the storm, while it was still raining, I put buckets under the downspouts to collect rain water for dishwashing and flushing. I had prudently suggested to DW the day before that she should pick up some bottled water when she was getting groceries. Glad I thought of that.

    We had enough water, but just barely. That's where the generator would have come in handy. At our old place, I had it wired in so that we could run the well pump. Having running water makes a huge difference to the comfort level duting an extended power outage. We're planning another move soon, so there is no point in doing that wiring here, but for sure I'm doing it at the next place, and gettning another generator.

    We had plenty of books on hand for entertainment. It is surprising how little there is to do without power. No Internet is a big inconvenience! At our old place, our Internet came over the phone line, which is pretty reliable. With the generator running, I could go online and check for updates on the power situation. Here, Internet comes on a wireless connection. If the weather is bad, reception is poor. And if the tower is down (literally or figuratively), there is no Internet.

    The phone system died during the outage. That surprised me. I don't know if the phone company had no reserve power, if the wires were down (they survived the wind itself), of if there was a technical malfunction at the phone substation, but there was no dial tone. Talking to other people today, the phone problem was widespread. Cell phones continued to work. We have one low-tech phone that doesn't require electricity, but it didn't do us a lot of good.

    Important note, from talking to other volunteer firefighters: The emergency dispatch centre's phones were affected by the phone outage. So they could not receive 911 calls! A cell phone wouldn't have done much good had we needed emergency services.

    Lessons learned:

    - The big lesson learned is that, just because we are no longer on an island, we shouldn't get cocky and assume that emergencies are no big deal. It may take only a day and a half to get hydro back instead of a week, but it's still a pain in the butt to be without power. They say that some areas affected by this storm won't have power back before the weekend.
    - We need to keep bottled water on hand. The store may be sold out the day before the storm next time.
    - Battery operated emergency equipment, like radios, should be stored with the batteries removed.
    - We need to get a generator for the new house.
    - Mother nature can surprise you. I'd never even heard of a sting jet before today.

    Aside from one shade tree that came down, we had no damage at our place.

  2. #2
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Glad you made it safely through. I also keep spare batteries for the radio in my kit. Like you said, with no power there's little to do, and we tended to listen to the radio a lot. I wanted to be sure we wouldn't lose that connection.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

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  3. #3
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    We faired pretty good here on PEI. Don't think we really had ant major problems like NB or NS. Our power did go off and on all day then then for a few hours. I was wishing that I had filled the tub with water though. We are lucky--we are wired for a generator but luckily didn't need to use it. Glad that things went well for you. It was a pretty nasty day on Saturday. Glad that it wasn't any worse though.

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  5. #4
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~Yikes, surprise weather phenomenon can be very dangerous! Glad you're ok.
    My parents were visiting my brother's family on the NC coast when the storm came ashore there. I was quite worried but they didn't even lose power. And my parents were in their motor home!
    I'm not even 20% prepared for any kind of emergency apart from an evacuation. I can get us all out of here, with important documents and valuables in 5 minutes, less if life or death. But staying in-home without power? Nope. I should be though. I do feel slightly more prepared than some because we are now lucky enough to own a camper with all its self contained systems. The water tank/batteries/propane in it will last us 5-7 days. And we always have enough food on hand for weeks. But not at all prepared for loss of all communications. That would really freak me out!~

  6. #5
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    a stash of small bills in case ATM's are down or people are only taking cash.
    Some gas in the garage.
    Our power has gone out more than once after everything seems all over. Usually the wind or a few times an old transformer couldnt hang on. My fav. was a branch on the line. Took out 6 houses. No one is going to come over to fix that when whole areas are out.
    We have car chargers for the cell phones.
    So glad you were none the worse for the wear.

  7. #6
    Registered User scooby8themall's Avatar
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    We had heavy winds and heavy down pour rains , my garden took a beating , some of my friends north and west of me lost their power and had trees uprooted other then that we fared pretty well

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