Ice Storm: Life Without Services

Alfred wrote about the recent ice storm here in Southern New Hampshire. It really does make the world look pretty, but there’s another side to it as well. I was home with the kids yesterday, so I knew that around noon the power flickered, and then went out. It came up briefly here and there throughout the afternoon, and around 3:00pm it came on for about 90 minutes (just enough time to send some EMails!), but around 4:30pm it went out for good. It’s 9:30am the day after, and it’s still not on.

Now, the temperature is around freezing (32F / 0C), but my house is only 11 years old, and was constructed to the latest (at the time) insulation standards; the term "super-insulated" means that it will keep things comfortable for a LONG time. My house is one of nearly 200 built in the same development around a decade ago. Unfortunately, some things weren’t built as intelligently as they should have been. The 200 homes have phone service fed from a single junction box (about 1/2 mile from my home), and that junction box has only a back-up battery to keep things going during minor power glitches. Which means that around 6:00pm our phones went dead.

If history is followed, somewhere today we’ll lose water service as well. SOMEone in the neighborhood knows the tale that you should keep a slight trickle of water going if you lose power in the winter, to keep the pipes from freezing. What s/he doesn’t realize is that with our super-insulated homes, pipes will take over a week to freeze (assuming constant sub-zero for that long!). Also, the local water company pump-house needs power to provide water, so it doesn’t take long for the water supply to be exhausted (at which point the trickling water trick won’t work anymore!)

The last time we had a storm this bad (back in ’96), the home was dark for three days. I hope things are better this time.



re: Ice Storm: Life Without Services @ Tuesday, January 16, 2007 10:19 AM

Good luck! Let me know if you want to borrow my generator.


re: Ice Storm: Life Without Services @ Tuesday, January 16, 2007 10:55 AM

How about just a long extension cord?




About Mr. I

After 17 years as a PC Software Engineer I gave it all up in 2000 to become a High School Computer Teacher
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