Our power went out last wednesday at 6am. Somewhere around 4pm, our neighbor's tree came down. 60 year old oak tree, just tipped over under the weight of the ice. Came down into our back yard, taking out the electrical cables. Pulled the telephone poles on either side of it toward it. ~snap~ Yeah, that. It was like dominos, breaking two more poles down the line from us.
Power was out for 4 days, coming back Saturday night. PECO showed up around 10am Saturday. The tree contractor guys arrived shortly thereafter. Tree guys spent five hours taking down the tree. Brutal work in 25 degree weather. The lead guy wore no gloves. His hands were bright red, and bleeding from multiple wounds. "I've gotta feel my work. I can't feel it through gloves."
PECO was in a holding pattern until the tree was cut away from the wires. I talked with those guys. They looked exhausted. Sixteen hour shifts. In this weather. One problem was that they didn't own the poles. Verizon did. So they couldn't actually fix the poles. Verizon had to. The guy shook his head. "Yeah, right," he said. "Maybe in a month or two." "After the next storm," one of the other guys said. So, they straightened the poles to the best of their ability, tied them off to trees so they wouldn't fall over, and got the wiring fixed.
Ten hours of work between two teams of workers. Multiply that by 750,000 homes without power.
Yeah, being without power for 4 days sucked, especially trying to keep a couple tropical animals alive in sub-freezing temps. But kudos to the guys who worked crazy shifts to get people back up as fast as possible. As painful as the experience was, I'm cognizant of the sheer scope of the disaster, and I'm impressed with how hard they worked to get people back online.
Tomorrow night, seems there's a nor'easter coming through. Initial reports called for snow all day Thursday. Weather Underground forecasts "ice pellets." Fucking hell. Like we need 24 hours of ice pellets.
I'm hoping that the trees that were going to come down have already come down. I'm going to pretend that last week's ice storm couldn't have weakened other trees. Maybe if I pretend hard enough...