Tuesday morning was normal – except that I’ve been sick for over a week and so had a late start at work. I didn’t know that that particular day was going to go on record as having a ‘historic’ storm. I knew it was windy outside – but what’s a little wind?
Then my boss called me in and asked me to cancel all the rest of the students for the day and to go home. The City of Spokane was sending all their employees home early, closing the schools early, and recommending everyone get into shelter. 70-80 MPH winds were expected.
The wind was crazy – dust was everywhere and there were already downed trees as I made my way home. I warily eyed the huge pine outside my front door and hoped that it would remain standing.
Still sick, I hunkered down under my blankets at home, after warming some water up for tea and lighting some candles. Shortly after, the lights went out. So much for having electricity. It is my first power outage in a city – in an apartment. Previously I always lived in the country – we had wood fireplaces and a generator – so power outages, while inconvenient, weren’t so bad.
I remember Ice Storm ’96 and being without power for 14 days. This storm created more damage and left more people without power than Ice Storm. An interesting record to break – more than half the residents of Spokane were without electricity by the time the storm was passed.
I ventured out later that night after the winds had died down. It was super strange to be driving down dark South Hill streets that normally have lights and to see where the power ended and began again. My goal was to pick up some items I needed – like ice to keep my food cool. Fred Meyer was my destination. I have never seen Freddy’s so dark. The parking lot was black and the lighting inside was dim. The store was running off generator power – and a limited amount. I met my Handsome Man in the parking lot – he had weathered the storm fine – and we went inside. Several of the frozen food aisles were roped off and the perishables were completely gone from the shelves – meat, dairy, cooled produce were all gone – moved to refrigerated trucks to keep them cool. Thankfully, they had ice and cold medicine.
It is now three days later – I am still without electricity, but so thankful that more lives weren’t lost in the storm – and there were lives lost. There are so many trees and powerlines still down. I feel for the families who have trees on their houses or cars, who’ve suffered the loss and damage from the storm. Even though I am without electricity and heat – I am really blessed. I have friends who have let me stay with them so I can keep warm and fed – and they even let me bring my cat!
I do miss being home – and hope that soon I will be in my own bed at night. Yet I am so thankful for all the hard working people out there who are busy cleaning up this mess and working to restore power to the dark parts of town – and the dark parts are many.
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO IS WORKING SO HARD TO CLEAN UP AND RESTORE POWER TO SPOKANE!!!!