HFTP, Part 4: Still Dark

(Monday evening)
Kyle joined us at my parents house, and we stayed until mid-afternoon. We decided to head back home so as to prepare for the evening again, assuming we didn’t still have power. We didn’t of course, and so started to gather lights, put charged battery packs back into lanterns, etc. And just for fun, it turns out our landline was also now out. We were going backwards in time, instead of making progress!

We fed the girls, then emptied out the rest of the refrigerator since things were CLEARLY trash now, after 36 hours without power. We decided to run back out for food, having seen a few fast food restaurants open… considering I hadn’t eaten much during either of the past 2 days. After running around several areas of town, we finally found an open restaurant (McAllister’s) and an open grocery store (Meijer). McAllister’s was out of half of the items on their menu, but we ate nonetheless, and it was wonderful.

When we were pulling into the Meijer lot (with plans to stock up on canned goods, etc that could be heated on the grill, as well as shelf-stable items that didn’t need heated), we saw the Home City Ice truck. Jackpot! Every other store we had passed, when they had been open earlier in the day apparently, had put “no ice” signs out. Ice Watch 2008 included entrepreneurs (or jerks?) selling small bags of ice out of trucks for upwards of $10 each. We obviously were too late to salvage anything (other than the aforementioned meat bag, now safely in a working freezer), but we wanted to have some things on hand to get us through the next several days if necessary.

The store was a disaster, since it was one of VERY few places open. Still, we left with food – some good choices like almonds, canned goods, etc …. and a few frivolous purchases like Nutty Bars! – and 4 GIANT bags of ice. It felt silly, but the authorities at Duke were pretty much saying it would “definitely” be several days for power to be restored to residential areas, since priority was of course on hospitals, emergency personnel, and then schools. 700,000 homes were still without power.

Interestingly, the national weather station along with several local weather stations have released information on yesterday’s winds. In Butler county (where we live, and always the worst of wind issues due to it being a flat bunch of nothing), sustained winds averaged 59 miles per hour throughout the course of the day, and gusts (as well as small periods of sustained winds) were very frequent, measuring up to 84 miles per hour. This is the equivalent of a severe tropical storm sitting on our heads all day, and small Category 1 or Category 2 hurricanes intermittently, sans the rain of course. I know that’s not much for some areas, but the Midwest just isn’t prepared for Hurricanes, no matter what the category! 😉

We filled our coolers with ice, snacks and drinks for the rest of the week. We made plans to check in on bank accounts, etc at internet cafes or Kyle’s work. We have lots of fully charged light, and actually feel prepared for the rest of the week o’ darkness, albeit not at all excited. We have ready-to-eat formula on hand for the girls. We even have a list of things to do while in the darkness each evening

I told Kyle as we were going to bed, that Murphy’s law would have it that we should have electricity by now. I figure since we are actually prepared, we should have power in no time!