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I Just Went 8 Days Without Power

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posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 04:59 PM
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A major storm hit my little town here in W.va. last friday at about 7:30pm with hurricane-force winds.

Me, my wife, and our three kids were stopping by Gino's to pick up pizza's that we ordered, when all of a sudden, the sky turned black as soot. We were in line at the drive-thru and I said that this wasn't a 'normal' storm. I knew it was something else. All of a sudden, a big burst or puff of wind hit our vehicle and shook it pretty hard. I swear it felt like it shoved us back an inch or two and the dirt and dust that was hitting us, sounded like something getting sand-blasted--if you've ever heard that. I immediately peeled out and went across the street because there is a Lowes there---so I headed for the loading bay around back.

The loading bay is a ramp that goes down into the ground about 9-11 feet, so I backed all the way down to the doors, and not a second too soon. We watched in horror as the trees bent over and touched the ground, repeatedly! There was stuff flying everywhere. My kids were crying and my wife was freaking out and I was calming them down the best that I could. It didn't last very long, but it was pretty scary. As the sky got brighter, and everything calmed down, we pulled away and drove through carnage.

The town that we just drove through, minutes before, was a disaster area. There were huge trees lying on top of cars and houses. Telephone poles were snapped off like toothpicks, while the transformers dangled by wires. Cars and trucks, flipped over. As we got on the highway to head back to our home about 12 miles away, the leaves were over ankle deep on the roads all the way. It truly looked like a bomb went off. We were worried about what we would find when we got there.

As we try to get to our house, we had to turn around and go back because huge oak trees that lined the road were twisted and snapped off like twigs and lying in the road. We tried another way and it was worse--tress down everywhere. So I tried the back way, and after a little work, and maneuvering around many obstacles, we were able to get home. There were what seemed like thousands of limbs in our yard but nothing too bad. Our porch swing-glider was intact and where we left it.

I cringed at the thought of the trampoline in the back yard, but as I went around to look, to my amazement, it was right where we left it too! We got lucky, but so many didn't. There were no warnings on the radio or nothing. All we knew was that the power was out and would be for a while. We checked on neighbors(even though I don't like them) and of course, my mom and dad(they live down below us). I went in the house and dug out flash lights and dug out the candles. We lit some and just sat there in shock.

The next morning, we put batteries in a jambox and scanned to see if we could hear some news, but there wasn't too many talking about it in depth. They just said that 95% of the state was without power. Then, the day heated up. We opened all windows and doors but it didn't seem like it was helping. The next 8 days was some of the hottest on record--95%-100+%. Sitting in hot temperatures for long periods of time will make you very cranky. I can attest to that. We were putting cold, wet rags on ours, and the kids' heads to keep us cool. We would take cold showers but ten minutes later you couldn't tell that you took one. It was a bad situation.

Day in, day out, we just hung in there, hoping that the power would come back on, because the second that it did, the air conditioners were coming on with a quickness. At night, we sat around and talked with our 12yo daughter and 3yo and 2yo little boys. I got out my flat-top guitar and played silently in the background. My 3yo had his nose stuck in the Nintedo DS. We had plenty of food, canned stuff and all that, so we were OK in that department. We also had water.

I went out to try and get some ice and propane bottles for my camping stove(because the ones I had in my building were missing) and what I saw enraged me. I've never seen people act the way they were acting. They were pushing little old ladies out of the way to get water. It was mass stupidity. Thousands of people were lining up to fill up there car tanks and gas cans(that's the 1st thing you do when it storms dont'cha know). Lines were miles long. People were fighting and arguing. I went home because I feared for their safety had one of them crossed me.

The next day I went out and it was worse. I live by a huge lake and it was full of campers from other places. They were using up all of our resources. I went to a store to get propane bottles and this lady had about 50 of them in a buggy. I asked the clerk were more were and he told me that that lady got the last of them. She immediately looked to the ground. I calmly walked out with a fake smile on my face, known around here as the 'Insto-matic grin'. People were going crazy everywhere I looked, me knowing that most of them was NOT from here. All traffic laws were thrown out the _ It was dangerous.

I finally found me a couple bottles of propane and made my way back home. All I needed it for was to make coffee, and trust me, none of those people wanna see me without my morning coffee or they would see CRrraaaaaZy! I have a propane wallmount hooked up to a hundred pound tank for back up in case the power goes off when it's cold, but I didn't want to unhook it and all that. I was sweating enough. People stopped by to see me daily to check and see how we were doing, with stories of how crazy people were acting.

As far as ice goes, there was none to be found. It was a thing of the past, like so many things that we take for granted every, single day. There was no FEMA or anything else for the first several days. Wait, I think FEMA did actually go to the Greenbrier the 2nd day, Tiger Woods was there playing golf. He must've needed water. It didn't help his game any from what I've heard.

To make a looonger story a little shorter, our power finally came on friday morn in the A.M.. I woke everybody with a loud WOOOoo HHHOOoo! OHHH GOOody! Isaid as I cranked the air on. I sat there and watched TV like it was the first time ever! We finally slept without being sticky-wet nastiness. I was relieved. But I immediately felt bad for all who still have not gotten power. I want them to get it soo bad.

Little things we take for granted a lot, like power, cold air, lights, computer, etc., etc.. But it's also sickening how we've all become so dependant to these things. This has opened mine, and my family's eyes on some things like how we need to be better prepared and most importantly, become more independant. I mean, I like TV a little, and a lot of the other things, but, in a way, I would love to go back to the old ways and leave all of that behind. I can easily go into the woods and get something to eat the same as I can go to one of the many streams and get water. A lot of people here don't depend on nobody but themselves. We know the government is a joke, really. That is, unless you are one of the 1% at the Greenbrier. I think we all need to do an assessment and become more independant so we don't end up like all those crazy, panicy nuts running amuck and fighting over the last loaf of bread.




posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:06 PM
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We had a storm come through Ky that almost knocked out power, we had major power surges and thought I was going to loose electric so I got my small coleman propane tank with burner attachment just in case I had to finish outside. I love storms, so I was in and out trying to see a tornado....I didn't see one


I agree we have got to comfortable.


+23 more 
posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:13 PM
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So basically you went camping for a week?



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by Fylgje
 


I am very glad you and yours got through it all and have your power back.

All along during this time you always had your most precious valuables in life...your wife and children.

Some people are so blessed!...



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:18 PM
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Look at it like a test run for if SHTF, now you know what to excepect from your fellow man, and what to have on hand at the house just in case.

imagine in Katrina type scenarios where people went months or more with out power in some areas.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by Fylgje
 


Wow! I didn't realize that WV had city slickers.
The tourists I can see, but the residents?

All in all, ya did a great job keeping you and your families act together. Use it as a lesson to teach your children as they probably won't remember much of it as they get older.

I remember the days of no A/C and I am not that old. My family just didn't think it was necessary. It wasn't until the kids left that the folks got cable, A/C, riding mower, internet,,,etc.

Maybe you should make this a annual tradition...just to remind the kids that life goes on.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:27 PM
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Very well written report! Enjoyed the read but not what you had to deal with. It's quite selfish to buy out resources like that lady did knowing others would be in need as well. If I ran a store and something like this happened, everything would be one per customer, period.

Welcome back!

So I take it you never got that Pizza?



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:27 PM
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Originally posted by jheated5
So basically you went camping for a week?



mmmmNo. It wasn't easy like you make it out to be. I'm prepared when I go camping, nor do I sit in hundred degree temps all day, every day when I camp. A close friend of my wifes actually had next week off and was planning on going camping. I asked if she was still going and she said F no! And she doesn't ever cuss. lol

@Benrl
Yeah, I will be better prepared from here on out. I got guns and ammo and all that, but now we just need to work on the little things.
edit on 7-7-2012 by Fylgje because: (no reason given)


@TDawgRex
There are city slickers everywhere this time of year. I live close to a tourist destination, unfortunately. But anyways, People can't miss something they never really had, but once we get used to something, we take it for granted every time.

@Sek82
They started 'limits' at stores a few days after the fact. A lot of greedy people out there who cares for noone other than themselves.
edit on 7-7-2012 by Fylgje because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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You get used to the heat. How do you think we survive down in Mexico the last few month when it i s38C at 7pm and never drops below 27. Air con is a blessing for sure, but it is by no means an essential to survival.

Further I do agree with you how sickening it is that we have become so reliant on these things. I have said for many years people consider us civilised now, compared to our father of 150 years ago. But yet they new how to live without all the trapping of society we have today. and yet the majority of us in the western world, can;t even start light a fire, let alone build a house, farm a field, and keep warm in the winter.

Sad really!



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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Thanks for sharing your story, OP.

I have to admit, though, one thing I found confusing: You were battling others to get a tank of propane. Wouldn't it have been possible to dig a little pit in the ground and put charcoal briquets or wood in it, and a bit of wire fencing or the grating from your oven, and heat up water for coffee that way? The water would have already been lukewarm, heating it would be possible with a small fire or about 5 briquets.

I speak from experience. As a single mother, there were times when my power and gas were shut off. I found that I got exceptionally creative in order to meet some basic needs.

We get those types of strong straight-line winds ("derechos") out here a lot. It is impossible to predict which thunderstorms will produce them, and they come on quite suddenly. They are scary. Glad your family got through it with no injuries or damage to your house.

Your story perfectly illustrates how easy it would be to get Americans to turn on each other like frightened animals. Take away the power in the height of either hot or cold season (preferably hot, it makes people crankier), cut off the roads and the supplies, and watch them go insane.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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We went through the same thing in April 2011 when the tornadoes hit our area hard.

Since then, our family pooled its resources and purchased a freezer and a generator. My Mom, my hubby and I, my daughter and family have decided that we will congregate at one home and bring our must save food there.
We also purchased a gas grill and several propane tanks, as well as lots of batteries, lamps and oil lamps. We learned a lot from that experience. We have a gas fireplace at one house that puts out enough heat in the winter to keep us from freezing. We have fans in case it is too hot. We now keep 10 gallons of gas on hand too.

However, it did draw our family closer than it had ever been with no TV, no computers, no work because everything was closed. We spent a lot of quality time together. So it was tough but not a true loss. We also learned a lot about how to handle the SHTF, because it will happen again and the people here were just as crazed as the ones you encountered.

Fortunately, I have a large gas tank and drove hours to a town that was outside the crazed area and bought supplies. And then filled up before coming back.

That's what I recommend if people can and have enough gas, drive to an area that is not affected, where people are still sane for supplies.

I was very happy but at the same time a little sad when the power came back and electronics once again dominated our lives. My grandson screamed electricity when he awoke and saw a TV on.

Glad you all came out of it ok.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:40 PM
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Brilliant move backing the car into the loading dock. A lot of people don't know what to do if they are caught in such a situation, good thinking! S+F



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by FissionSurplus
Thanks for sharing your story, OP.

I have to admit, though, one thing I found confusing: You were battling others to get a tank of propane. Wouldn't it have been possible to dig a little pit in the ground and put charcoal briquets or wood in it, and a bit of wire fencing or the grating from your oven, and heat up water for coffee that way? The water would have already been lukewarm, heating it would be possible with a small fire or about 5 briquets.

I speak from experience. As a single mother, there were times when my power and gas were shut off. I found that I got exceptionally creative in order to meet some basic needs.

We get those types of strong straight-line winds ("derechos") out here a lot. It is impossible to predict which thunderstorms will produce them, and they come on quite suddenly. They are scary. Glad your family got through it with no injuries or damage to your house.

Your story perfectly illustrates how easy it would be to get Americans to turn on each other like frightened animals. Take away the power in the height of either hot or cold season (preferably hot, it makes people crankier), cut off the roads and the supplies, and watch them go insane.



I could have easily done that, but I thought I was going for the 'easy way' with getting propane bottles, which I usually have a few of. And besides, it's been record heat here and it is so dry, even though the storm produced a little rain, I would still be afraid to start a fire outside. And you are right about how easy it would be to get the vast to turn on each other. That's why if a major event happens, I will wait several months before I gop out so all the stupid people kill each other first.

@Valentine Wiggin
Thank you.

@Grandmakdw
You are obviously a smart person. We are all supposed to learn and grow from every experience. I wish a lot more people were like you .
edit on 7-7-2012 by Fylgje because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:45 PM
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We experienced the same storm here in N Indiana - we were
one of the very few that didn't loose electric. We live among
old growth trees and many of them were down, we spent
the week cutting trees and cleaning up everything around
here that the storm destroyed. I have been without power
up to 2 weeks on 2 different occasions so I know how happy
you were when it came back on. Thanks for sharing your
story with us!



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by Fylgje
 


It is sad that people have to deal with these natural disasters and the suffering that comes with them, but at the same time it's wonderful that nature can so easily remind us of the truly important things in life.


Yeah, I will be better prepared from here on out. I got guns and ammo and all that, but now we just need to work on the little things.


Its just like I tell my gun ho friends who spend all their money on guns and ammo in case of a SHTF scenario be it natural or Man made, It's one thing to be prepared to protect your lives and the lives of your loved ones, but if you and your loved ones are dieing of dehydration and starvation or exposure to the elements the guns and bullets do you no good. You can't eat them, you can't drink them, and they don't keep you from suffering the elements. Sometimes the little things are bigger than once thought.
edit on 7-7-2012 by Agarta because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:51 PM
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You're right, Agarta. BTW, I love all things inner-earth so I like your user name.

I'll tell you all another thing that's going on is people are bringing those little generators here by the hundreds and selling them for a lot more than they usually do. I also heard from a reliable source the same thing was going on with ice. Cons have moved on our area and are praying on the desperate. I just don't get people.
edit on 7-7-2012 by Fylgje because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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And besides, it's been record heat here and it is so dry, even though the storm produced a little rain, I would still be afraid to start a fire outside.
reply to post by Fylgje
 


Hence digging a deep enough hole that the fire never escapes beyond its confines.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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Originally posted by FissionSurplus



And besides, it's been record heat here and it is so dry, even though the storm produced a little rain, I would still be afraid to start a fire outside.
reply to post by Fylgje
 


Hence digging a deep enough hole that the fire never escapes beyond its confines.


There can still be hot, airborn ash that can ignite dry leaves. I've seen it happen. All it takes is a little wind and sometimes not even that. There's forest all around me. If worse came to worse, I would do it though.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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I noticed when we had those storms in 2011 that the radio wasn't what it used to be.

It used to be REAL people played REAL music and talked but now - here locally - most of it seems canned.

Used to - 1980 and before at least - a real person would come on if there was a problem and talk a lot and tell folks what was going on. Locals might call in if they could or get on CBS and say what was messed up where and you'd here it all reported on the local radio.

Now good luck. You get canned music and lots of ads in the middle of a tornado.



posted on Jul, 7 2012 @ 06:06 PM
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How could you not be prepared without electricity in your house? Was there not enough food in your cupboards for a week? Not enough water? You needed propane? I guess our versions of camping differ, while yours isn't exactly roughing it....... I would welcome a power outage it would get the rest of my family to stop watching tv/computer and get them out to tell some good scary stories by a campfire while eating hotdogs and beans....





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