Archive - Oct 31, 2011

October Storm Update

It's not that bad in Woodbridge, really.

I am sitting at the town library. I'm not normally here at this time of the day, so I can't say if it is more or less crowded than on a typical afternoon. I'm not hearing a lot of discussions about being without power, heat or water, however, the clientele does seem a little more unkempt than usual.

A walk around the library reveals many unattended cellphones plugged into outlets to recharge. Yeah, its the sort of community where people feel comfortable leaving their cellphones unattended. The library PCs all have signs on them saying the Internet is down, and are unoccupied. Yet the library WiFi seems to be working out.

Beyond the walls of the library, the town seems to be doing okay. The reports were that about half the town lost power. By yesterday evening, it was reportedly down to 35% and the expectation had been that everyone would have power back by this evening. As of mid afternoon, we were still without power, and there was no sign of anyone working near our house.

Sunday, after the snow, it was really quite beautiful outside; white snow on green, yellow, and red leaves, the sky bright blue with a little pinkish tint around the edges in the early morning. We went to church and then spent a lot of time in the yard. Some of it was simple logistics. We've been packing snow in ziplock bags and putting them in the fridge to keep our food cold. I spent a bit of time, removing the smaller branches from a large branch that came down in our driveway. The large branch is still there, and will need a chain saw and a bit of work to remove it, but we cleared things enough so that I could get my car out.

We cooked brisket on the grill last night, wanting to make sure it didn't spoil and go to waste. One of our neighbors came over with a salad and a bottle of wine and we had a nice candle lit dinner. Another neighbor stayed at home, but we brought her some of the warm brisket afterwards.

Then, as darkness settled in, we headed off to the town emergency shelter. This was mostly just to get out, but it was also nice to find some more people to chat with, this time in a warm, well lit room. Fiona even got a little time to watch a little television.

I loaded up a couple of jugs of water to take back to the house.

There was no school this morning. Kim works in Hartford, and I work in Middletown. Both cities were hit much worse than Woodbridge and there is no power where I work. It was a disappointment because the bathroom near my office has a nice shower and I would have enjoyed a shower at the office.

So, instead, Kim, Fiona, and I went to breakfast in town and then headed to the public library. I've been working here pretty much all day. Kim worked here with what she needed to do online. Fiona ran into a friend and the two of them headed off together. Kim later went over the the friend's house when she needed to make some phone calls.

I've slowly been hearing news from other parts of the state. There is a line from about Ridgefield to Woodstock, which most of the communities north of the line, have over 80% without power. Things haven't changed an awful lot on this map over the past 24 hours. I'm hearing stories of fights breaking out at supermarkets and gas stations. People are sounding depressed.

But like I said when I started this blog post, things aren't really that bad here in Woodbridge. It may be worse in other parts of Connecticut, but even in other parts of the state it isn't really all that bad. The people who are seeking places to stay warm tonight, or perhaps even get a shower maybe can get a glimpse of what life is like for those for whom a warm bed and a shower isn't something taken for granted.