The Great Blackout of 2003
I live in Michigan very close to Detroit and if you haven't watched the news or you live under a rock we had a huge, huge power outage. And today our water is finally clean.
The power outage started about 3pm or so Thursday (August 14, 2003). I was at work, I'm a dog groomer and needless to say it's hard to groom dogs with no electricity and no water. So we shut down. I then went home...at least I tried too. My manager and I spent an hour or so in traffic trying to get to my house which is a mile from where we work. Finally home, I lent my fiance's bike to her so she could get the rest of the way home (I didn't have enough gas to get to her house in that traffic). My fiance, meanwhile was in Missiouri unaware that I was in the worst blackout of the united states (so they say). So I called him up, after 5 tries I finally got him on my cell phone and then I called my mom after a few tries. So I went home, started filling things up with water, grabbing all the candles...excuse me tea-lights I could find (we have no real candles in our house), I found two flashlights and then I called my mom from the lanline and talked to her for a long time.
I was reminded of the Simpsons:
"No TV and air make Homer go...something something."
"Don't mind if I do!!!!"
Ever see the episode where Bart is young and Homer makes him a clown bed so he can "Laugh himself to sleep"? Well remember how Bart couldn't sleep and kept rocking back and forth? Yeah that was me that night. I slept downstairs with my contacts on, my dogs out of their kennels, every candle lit, a huge Mag flashlight in my hand, and my Mother-in-laws laptop playing a DVD. Needless to say I didn't get a whole lot of rest that night.
Friday, the next day, my co-worker calls me up and says "Can you watch my dog and the dog I'm babysitting so I can go to Chicago to visit my husband with my baby so we can have power?" "Sure." I say. Then she asks if I can work for her on saturday. "Uh no can do I gotta pick up my fiance at the airport." I say. "Well that's okay I'll just tell them you can and then you can work it out. I'll bring my dogs over now okay?" Says she. "Sure, but I can't work." Then we hang up. She brings the dogs over, one is a germanshepherd (very cool dog) and one is a pomeranian (a very little dog). So I set up all the kennels in my house for my two 100 newfoundlands, this 70 pound shepherd and the 5 pound pom. I have no air, but I have water. She also brought a radio for me.
All that day I sat on the couch and listened to talk radio (which I hate). I got bored a few times and cleaned out cabinets and rooms. And I got more and more angry at the world. Mad at my fiance for being away from me while this happened, mad at the dogs for being dogs, mad at the people on the radio who where asking dumb questions. I was hot and pissed off. I find out I dont have to go into work b/c nothing is working and shops are ordered to stay closed. So another day of hot sodas, dry crackers and some wierd cheese I found in the back of the fridge. At 7 while I was on the phone with my mom the power came back on, I screamed that the power was on and quickly my mom and I hung up. I then turned on the tv (of course that's the first thing) and then I put my bearded dragon in his cage with his basking light on, the poor guy was very cold. I then turned on a fan b/c the one channel I got (channel 7 news) said not to turn your AC on so we didn't get a power surge or something. I then tried the faucet. No water came out of it at all. I then cursed the sky.
So I went in search of water, my dogs needed water as did I. A woman cannot live on soda and crackers alone you know. I was intending on driving to my work (again a mile from my house) when on the way I realized that they did not have power. The stop lights near the place were not working, but the Walgreens across the street had power and some cars outside, so I ran in there and bought a 6 pack of lemon flavored water, 4 diet vanilla pepsis, a box of popcicles, noxema facial pads, dove body wipes and an ice cold diet vanilla coke. The total was over $20, but I paid and went home with my goodies. At last I could make myself smell better.
I went home and to the bathroom, it was then that I realized I could not flush a toliet without water. So that bathroom was closed off. Luckly I live in a fairly large house and have other bathrooms to use, and use I did.
On top of all of this I have broncitius, I was taking antibiotics with my Allegra D and my One a Day vitamin, so I had to train myself not to try and get a glass of water from the tap.
Saturday was interesting. I was excited to pick my fiance up at the airport. So I woke up early and called work to make sure I didn't have to go in. My manager said no it was okay they were just telling people to make appointments for Monday anyway. So I sat around the house again. His plane was suppose to come in at 2pm. He called me and said that flight had been canceled but he was getting on a flight that would reach Detroit around 4pm. Okay great more time to kill. So I talked to my mom for a bit and then tried to faucet, water came pouring out! Again I screamed and we hung up. I was watching tv and they kept saying don't drink the water unless you boil it for at least 5 minutes. So I boiled some water and made some soup with it. That tasted fine. Then I decided to get ready to pick up my fiance. I brushed my teeth...guess what water I used? Yup I used the tap water, I didn't think it would hurt anything, boy was I wrong. My stomach grumbled and growled at me for two days. Sunday night it finally got to feeling better.
Well I finally picked my finace up at 5 pm b/c the plane was late due to thunderstorms in the area. Nice huh? Lets kick Michigan while they are down! The airport had power but no AC, so there were a lot of hot and angry people there.
Then my fiance left to go up north in Michigan. He had to check on some realestate. So AGAIN I'm home alone with four dogs, but at least I have air! Before he left he bought me some distilled water and some bottled water for me to drink. So I had Air, Water and I could watch the news or DVDs. I wasn't that bad off. But I still wasn't feeling too good and the stress made my broncitus even worse.
Sunday I went to work at 8 am and took calls from people who, even though we were suppose to conserve the tainted water we had now for Fire Department use, wanted to know if they could get their dogs washed. Everyone I talked to was very considerate and understanding about the water issue. It turned out the day before we had a few very rude customers one who stated "You should boil water so you can wash my dog in it." and another said "I'll come and drink a gallon of your water to show you its safe." I mean come on people why in the world does your dog need to be groomed that badly!! Is it the president of some small country we don't know about and it is going to give a speech the next day?!
Anyway that Sunday wasn't too bad all I did was sit close to the air vents and relish in the chills that crept up and down my spine from the cool air.
Today, Monday, I worked from 7:30 am until 4pm because these people's dogs just had to be washed! I then came home and found out the water is safe to drink and I took a long shower, something I hadn't done since Wed. morning. Now I'm online in my cool house with my driping wet hair and cleanly shaven legs. I wont take air and water for granted any time soon.
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