Saturday, November 5, 2011

Storm Alfred, There's No Business, Like Snow Business

Well this has certainly been one of the most frustrating weeks that I can remember, and it’s not over for a lot of people.  My heart goes out to those of you who haven’t gotten their power restored.  Mine was restored on Thursday, just three hours after I got my new generator.  My neighbors on either side of me are now the proud owners of a new generator too!  They will sit in the garage eagerly awaiting the next natural disaster.  We mistakenly believed the Connecticut Light and Power projections of 99% of all customers would have their power back on by 11:59 PM Sunday.  So who is going to be the 1% left?  Maybe it will be the 1% that “Occupy Wall Street” is protesting.  Would serve them right.  Speaking of that, as I drove past the Northeast Utilities Headquarters, there was one protester, three if you count his two toddlers, holding up an Occupy CL&P sign.  I didn’t know whether to laugh, or cry, or call DCF, because the two kids were playing at a dangerous intersection in the cold.  I think that most people just wanted to Occupy Their Own Dwelling that was warm, dry and powered. 

Like it or not, we are inextricably tied to electricity.  You can long for the good old days, but how great did we feel after a few days of darkness and no hot water? How much fun would be to go to the well, pump a bucket of water and then set it over a fire for a few hours to warm up?  Not much.  My idea of “roughing it” is the Holiday Inn.  Not having a computer was a drag for me, but being able to use my phone to keep in touch using Facebook and Twitter was invaluable.  Who has power? What streets were closed? What gas stations were open?  It did wonders keeping up my morale.

It seems that everyone knew this storm was coming except for the President of CL&P.  Perhaps next time, if he is still president, he should consult the weathermen/women on TV.  They were positively wetting their pants about this storm.  “Massive outages!”  “This is the big one!”  “In all of my years in this business, I have never seen...” This time they got it right.  I hope they dried out their drawers.  Jeff Butler, the president of CL&P said this storm was unprecedented.  I beg to differ.  The precedent or practice run was Irene, which also knocked out power for most Connecticut residents.  And it was only two months ago.  Perhaps a little reshuffle in the management area might be appropriate at this time. 

The storm did reaffirm my faith in my fellow man.  I was pumping gas into a can and a total stranger walked up to me and gave me a new plastic bag to hold the dirty can so it wouldn’t damage the upholstery in my car.  My neighbor let me borrow their borrowed generator so I could pump out my quickly filling basement.  My niece and nephew let us come over and get a hot shower and a hot meal.  People waited patiently on line at the donut shop. 

I read that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I must have turned on the bathroom light a hundred times this week and the light still didn’t go on.  You can draw your own conclusions. 


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