The ice storm, its my first in 28 years, over 613, 000 people impacted by the lose of electricity including me. Some won't get power back until after Christmas.
My Story, 26 hours with no electricity, no heat and no ability to prepare meals.
1½ hour before the blackout: December 22nd, 2013
I had just managed to drag my sick body out of bed. I hadn’t eaten or drank anything substantial except for a few cashews and two 500 ml bottles of water. A search for sustenance yielded some leftovers-slice of bread, cheese and some pineapples, not the ideal but enough to fill the hole as I had no strength to cook (had I known what was coming I would have cooked!).
Power outage, no lights, no heat, it’s a blackout. I’ve experienced brief power outages, no biggie, so I think. I play computer games and versions of solitaire – FreeCell, Spider and the original.
I am tired of the games and getting worried as my apartment is getting cold, still no lights, and no heat.
I called the Super, she says, “it’s a total blackout and not sure when things will be back on.” Translation, with parts of Toronto, Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga without lights or heat chances of a quick resolve is not likely to happen. I sit in prayer first thanking the Lord for keeping the temperature low so that it is not murderously freezing, and then asking that he maintain the current temperature or make it warmer.
The apartment is really cold now. I get up and put on a pants and went to the bathroom, the oil lamp had burnt itself out. I continue my prayer that the temperature remains steady so we can abide while they repair. I slid back under the covers.
Received a text from my youngest daughter warning about conditions outside, “I hope you don’t have to go out, it’s an ice rink out there! I answered, “No I am sick, plus no electricity, no heat, power outage.” At this point my stomach is fed up being ignored and began a litany of noises that soon provoked me into rising. I drank another bottle of water, had a few more cashews nuts and set off to satisfy my curiosity about outside. Sure enough everything is covered in ice; the walkway, the railings, the sidewalk, the trees, and the streets are slick with it. Fascinated I took some photos.
I am back in bed. Youngest daughter texts back, “must be all this ice, I can see an ice forest from out my window, must have taken down a power line.” I text back, “yeah, sick, freezing, no electricity, no heat, no food, weeee fun.” Did you catch the sarcasm? Radio announced, “The blackout is expected to last 72 hours, Toronto Hydro is working hard to restore power, and the mayor may declare it a state of emergency. If you do not have to go out please do not, do not drive, do not stand under trees as they are breaking and you may not always get a warning or be fast enough to get out of the way.” Wow I thought, ’72 hours’ means till Christmas.’ Notice I didn't touch the rest that’s another discussion for another time.
There is still no electricity, no heat, and am coughing up a lung and blowing my brains out in a tissue. I asked my eldest to deliver my Godson’s cake, you know she was not happy with me, not that I blamed her; she was exhausted and not enamored with me at that moment but she delivered. I am grateful. Birthday party by candle light, yeah, to bad I got to miss it. I don’t think anyone would appreciate me coughing up a lung or two on them so I stay home.
It’s been 15½ hours without electricity or heat. My daughter brings me two slices of cold bread, some tuna and a green tea bag in a 1.5 litre bottle of water. I thank her, made a tuna sandwich, break it in half and wrap the other half for later. The house is still cold but blessedly not any colder than before. I choke down the half a tuna sandwich, drink some water and wait for my green tea in room temperature water to draw.
Its pitch black and cold in my room, the obvious is still true, no electricity and no heat. I light the candle. The apartment is quiet. I peek in on my eldest who managed to get warm enough to fall asleep. My youngest texts, “any power yet? How’s my sister? You have soup or something? You can go to Tim Horton’s, just stay away from the trees and it’s all good.” I text back, too sick, no electricity, no heat, businesses cannot operate, everything is closed, got something to eat, going to bed.” I blow out the candle and laid there.
December 23rd 2013
There is a knock on my bedroom door; my eldest comes in excitedly not waiting for a response turning on the light to show me that the power is restored. She asks anxiously, “where is your mask, where is your mask,” I pointed to it, she hands it to me I put it on, she hooks me up to the machine with much relief in her voice, turns off the light and backs out the room. She’s been checking on me periodically, I know because every so often I would here my door open. The power is restored, the heat is on, my home is warm again, I can prepare meals again, I am not 100% but getting there. I am blessed. Thank God. As for outside well, a picture is word a thousand words, see for yourself.
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