For December 2006
December 16th, 2006
The Big Storm
We just got the power back after 23 hours of being off the grid... a hugh windstorm has left around a million and a half folks without power, here in the Pacific Northwest. We are in Olympia, Washington, so we were some of those folks without power. It was a very scary storm, with winds supposedly gusting between 75 and 113 miles per hour at times. Rain, hail, and lots of downed trees...some of which squashed people not far from us. One guy died when his trailer was crushed, other people when trees came down like hammers on their cars. I guess it is the worst storm here in 30 years, some would say ever.
It is so very nice to have heat and light again. When these sorts of things happen, it really reminds me of how we are all in a 'techno trap', that if the infrastructure breaks down, we are basically screwed. I mean, for some people, it will be days, even weeks, before they get power back...and in the mean time, I can assure you that every store for miles around is empty of things like candles, batteries, propane, and even many food items. Huge run on that stuff, the moment the storm hit. Some asshats were profiteering by selling, for example, gallon cans of gas for 10 bucks each. And yes, the gas prices suddenly rose. In Washington, there are no anti-gouging laws.
I fear for the many without power, and feel damn lucky that we just happened to get our power back so soon.
We are all just a lightning-detonated powerstation away from the cold and the dark. Without our precious electrons flowing, we are reduced to candles in cold rooms, to the level of the Amish...or the third world.
Take not for granted the gluttonous bounty we enjoy. It can be lost in an instant.
By Jennifer Diane Reitz
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