For those of you who are unaware, a massive blizzard hit the east coast on Friday and continued over the weekend. I’ve been MIA due to no power and being generally displaced from life.
As the storm grew closer, our work took precautions and closed our office for Friday, as the storm was expected to progress rapidly throughout the work day. We were all really thankful for our unofficial 3 day weekend and Carl and I hunkered down to brave through it.
We made sure to stock up on food and anything else we might need that we wouldn’t be able to go get. We both laughed off the storm and joked about how we basically got a free day off and would probably get an inch or two. It didn’t even look intimidating.
Wow, were we wrong.
The winds started first. Then came the big, fat flakes. Before we knew it, our power was flickering and we were hoping it would just hold out a bit longer until the storm passed through. We ended up losing our power at about 8:00PM on Friday night.
Because it was cold and the only source of heat was the gas fireplace, we cuddled up on the couch with Ruby for a warm night sleep. Except I couldn’t sleep. Wind was whipping around outside and we could hear cracks and noises all around us. It was nerve wracking. I love huddling down in a good storm, but this was a whole other level. I was flat out frightened.
When we awoke the next morning, everything was white. Our windows were barely allowing visibility, but I was able to see just how much snow we really got. I was astounded. I thought I saw what looked like a tree laying our power line – thankfully I was wrong.
We fought to stay off our cell phones to preserve battery life. We played games, talked, and tried to fight off boredom. It really does go to show you how spoiled we really are. There was a tiny bit of hot water left, so we were able to take very brief showers.
When the flakes seemed to finally stop falling so rapidly, we decided it was time to go out and shovel. We bundled up and grabbed shovels since we don’t have a snow blower (seriously…must get one before next winter).
I had Carl’s keys in my hands when he told me I didn’t need them because the garage side door was open. My first steps out in the snow were short lived, because I turned around and Carl said, “Babe, we’re locked out.”
Cue hysterics. The fire was still on inside with the dog in there. We don’t have a hide-a-key and even if we did, it would have been buried under feet of snow. My parents were snowed in the next town over. In layman’s terms, we were fucked.
Thank god the garage was really open. Carl had his tools in there and was able to break into the house so we could get back inside. I honestly don’t know what we would have done if he couldn’t get it open…it’s not like a locksmith would have been to come help us.
We shoveled enough to give the Jeep a good path out and then quit. The snow was falling faster than we could shovel, so it proved fruitless pretty quickly.
As time went on, we kept reading more and more about evacuations for people on the coast. We’re less than a mile from the beach, so this included us. I kept getting nervous calls from my mom, so just before dark and after the road ban was lifted on Saturday, we piled in the car to my parents house where they had a generator.
The drive over absolutely terrified me. We were in 4 wheel drive the entire time and the roads were completely isolated. It was like driving through a ghost town.
The more we got away from the coast, we realized how little we were affected compared to others.
Trees were dangling over the roads, barely supported by power lines. Some were obstructing the streets. We had to find lots of alternate routes and each time we came to a tree, we had to decide if the car could fit under it.
We saw trees in people’s houses. Wrecked homes. By the time we got to my parents house, I was in tears just grateful that they were safe. Their home has so many trees around that it really is amazing and fortunate that nothing broke through the house.
The generator worked for most of the day but we did need to turn it off to let it rest. The majority of the house was dark except for the kitchen and living room. We were able to cook regardless using the gas stove by lighting it with a match. Carl even made coffee using boiling water and grounds.
Carl and my Dad made a trip over to the house on Sunday to check on things and make sure no pipes had burst. I was really nervous that something had happened over there, especially because of the flood warning.
The house was fine thankfully. The boys had found gas and some supplies like milk and eggs. We spent time reading, playing board games, and enjoying some wine. Eventually, we settled in for another powerless night.
Monday, we were still without power and the roads were still very bad. The storm had been over for a while and there was still a noticeable lack of crews working on things. The highway to work was icy and one lane. We opted to stay home again because we didn’t feel safe to travel.
We did take a trip over to the house where I was able to document some of the damage. Further down our street at the ocean, sand was everywhere and there were pieces of sidewalk that had broken off into the street. My heart broke but I was so glad the damage seemed to relatively minimal.
Monday night around 7pm, I took a chance and called our home phone. I knew if our answering machine picked up, we had power. Every time I had called, it went straight to a Verizon recorded message. Imagine my surprise when I heard my own voice on the machine! We had power back!
Desperate to be home, we loaded up the car and prayed it wasn’t a false alarm. We crossed over into our to town and the difference was already apparent. Street lamps were on. Lamp posts were lit. The town looked normal again.
I felt terrible that my parents still didn’t have power and the plan was for them to come over today. Thankfully, the phone rang at about 9pm and it was from my parent’s landline – they had gotten their power back too. It felt so good to be back home.
Total days without power: 3
$$ of food thrown out from the fridge: $100+
Doors broken: 1
All in all, the storm was bad. We got slammed. It gave me a deep newfound appreciation for what people in much larger disasters experienced, like Katrina or Sandy. I am so happy we are all safe & sound and back home.
Now, where the hell is summer? Because I am all set with snow.