It’s been an interesting week. Last Tuesday and Wednesday we had a fierce windstorm with winds more than 60 miles per hour. For the first time ever since we moved here 5 years ago we lost power for more than a few hours. In fact we were out from early afternoon on the 8th until evening on the 9th.
Here’s what Consumers Energy says:
“Thank you for your patience as crews worked to safely restore power to Michigan.
This was the largest combined statewide power outage in Michigan history with more than 1 million outages.
Fierce, prolonged winds March 7-8 exceeding 60 mph resulted in more than 350,000 electric outages in Consumers Energy’s service territory, which includes all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. The storm also took down over 9,000 electric wires and broke more than 1,300 poles across the state.
From lineworkers to damage assessors, wire guards and customer service representatives, more than 3,400 people engaged in electric restoration activities. An additional 166 crews from utilities in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana worked alongside Consumers Energy and in-state contractor crews in this effort.”
Kind of Like Camping
Being out of electricity reminded me of camping, except we didn’t have our propane lantern. And it wasn’t raining. And we don’t usually camp without electric anyway. And my E book reader needed to be recharged.
We realized we could do as our ancestors did and go to bed when it got dark – about 6 pm, a bit early – or we could go out. My tablet battery was drained so we went out and sat in a Culvers booth with tablets plugged in, eating dinner and drinking decaf.
Thursday – Power Restored
Thursday was pleasant, a bit chilly indoors, tolerable with a throw and a cat, and we read while the light was good. The Consumers website estimated our power would be restored by Saturday. I was optimistic they might finish sooner because they have been much faster than estimated in past outages.
We could use our propane cook top because it is old enough we could light it with a match. In the evening I went to the library to recharge while Dave made supper. He texted me about 6 that the power was back on. Yay! Consumers restored our power 2 days before they estimated.
One lady I spoke to Friday said they still didn’t have power and the estimate was for Monday the 13th. She had a generator but those are noisy and not always energy efficient. I hope she and her neighbors got their power earlier than expected.
I thank the thousands of people who braved miserably cold windy weather to restore power across Michigan. Going dark for a day helped me appreciate modern conveniences, a warm house, lights in the dark, books to read, running water.
Our weather has yo-yo-ed from way to warm in the high 50s to really cold around 10 degrees. If the weather stays too warm for two weeks fruit trees may bud too early and then die when it turns cold again, which it will. The average temperature for mid-March here is high 20s to low 40s, cold enough to keep trees from premature flowering but warm enough to get maple sap moving and wake up the dormant plants.
The robins and red-winged black birds are back (many robins stay all winter) and our winter birds are chowing down on sunflower seed, going through both tube feeders every other day. Right now I’m watching a ground squirrel try to get the lid off our squirrel proof feeder. The wind blew the lid up and he got used to the easy pickings.
This week looks to settle down to normal. Last week I had something every day and this week we’re back to just a couple days with things on the calendar. Retirement is blissful!