Last Tuesday was a crappy day here in New Brunswick. Icy precipitation pelleted the region for hours, followed by heavy rain. By Wednesday morning over 130,00 homes had lost their electricity in the aftermath of the storm. Here in NB we are a hardy bunch. Most of us are prepared to survive without electricity for a few hours. However this wasn’t our typical power outage. The hours stretched to days for many people. Yes, days! In the middle of winter. Fortunately the temperature was fairly mild with temperatures hovering just above freezing.
This is a picture of the power outages in New Brunswick on Wednesday morning, a total of more than 130,000 customers. My house is right in the middle of the power disruptions but miraculously we didn’t lose power. Some of my neighbors were in darkness but our lights only flickered ominously a few times.
All three of my children lost Power. One of them lives 1 km from me and he lost his for 24 hours. My son in Salisbury got his power back on Saturday morning at 4:00 am, and my daughter in Adamsville was thankful to get electricity back after 88 hours. My father in Hopewell Cape is still waiting for his electricity to be restored. There are houses in my neighborhood that have remained in darkness until a few hours ago.
You might wonder how people survive a power outage in winter months. A lot of my family members and friends have resorted to what they call Winter Camping with wood stoves and gas generators. For them it is merely an inconvenience. Some people aren’t so lucky. They have had to leave their homes because of the lack of heat. My coworker’s husband had surgery this week and they have been staying in a hotel because they have no heat or running water at their house. I know a lot of people who lost all the food in their fridges and freezers. Two people have died because of carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper use of gas generators and several others have become sick.
As I write this there are still over 42,000 customers without electricity in New Brunswick. Crews are working long hours to get the power restored but it could still be several days for some of them. Hats off the men and women who are out there working on the power lines.
There have been so many wonderful stories about people helping people this week. I shall share a few of those stories in a separate blog post. Tonight as I prepare to turn off my lights I am thankful that I am safe and warm in my house. I have food, I can safely refrigerate my food and I have the means to cook it. I have hot and cold running water. I can flush my toilet as many times as I want. I can connect to the world via WiFi. I can watch TV or enjoy a book beside my reading lamp. It’s amazing the things we take for granted.
Stay warm, my friends.