Toque time

power outage map

There are a lot of things I love about living in a rural environment. One of the downsides is that power outages can be a significant problem. We decided as soon as we moved here to invest in a generator, and it’s been a blessing. A power outage hits, we turn on the generator and flip a switch, and hurrah, we have power.

It’s limited—the generator can’t power everything—but it does allow us to run essentials like the fridge and the gas stove that provides heat and the water system and a few lights. (We can run the cooking stove with or without power, as it’s gas and can be lit manually.) A couple of extension cords and we can run our computers; and assuming that cable doesn’t go out too, we remain connected. (This is critical for Peri, who works online shifts, and important for my work as well.)

So it’s not too bad. My office, in a renovated carport, isn’t terribly well insulated, so it gets pretty cold. I’m currently wrapped in a blankie and wearing a toque and finally beginning to warm up.

But although living in a rural environment might mean a few extra power outages, living in a rural environment with a generator means that when a major storm hits, we actually do better than people in cities. We lost power just after 7 this morning. But I suspect we’re happier than many today: the news reports about 56,000 people without power all along the coast, and the map is showing a whole bunch of outages in the Lower Mainland. (I’m particularly happy to have made it home yesterday before the storm hit—I hope our friends who are supposed to come home today from a ski trip manage to make it.)

All because we’ve been hit by a major windstorm, one that has exceeded predictions, and at 8 am the weather forecaster said gusts might peak at 120 kph. The current forecast is that we’ll have power back by 4 pm.

Power outages, trees down, ferry cancellations… a chilly office is not so much to worry about.

10 thoughts on “Toque time

  1. You need a propane fireplace in your office! We heard something that sounded like an explosion just before the power went out, I’m too nervous to go out & check though!

    1. Yikes! I’m going to venture out to see if the store is open and will take cash. I’ll let you know if I see anything interesting en route!

  2. I ventured out after the storm & discovered that a 2′ diameter tree came down on the lot between us. Luckily it came down where it did, no damage to structures, but wow, the strength of mother nature!

    *ps – I didn’t get any notifications which I checked. Maybe a glitch with the power being out & running off the genset?

    1. We took a look round our property and realized that one of our big trees has almost come down. That is to say, it started, but got hung up on another tree. It’s an arbutus, about 60’+ high I think. So I guess we’ll have to call someone to take it out—it’s fairly well lodged, but still, don’t want it to finish falling when one of us or the dog happens to be underneath if it gets notional about not waiting for another windstorm.

      That’s 2 trees we’ve lost this winter. Sheesh.

      Notifications for…?

  3. Is the main storm over now? We keep having heavy winds here, and it knocks down even more limbs. It only took 25+ hours of manual labor to clean up what we have from the cherry tree that came down last month. That isn’t to even mention the fence and gutters that need to be repaired. May your losses be minor…..

    1. The storm seems to be over, Forcy—and with relatively little damage here. (Different story in Campbell River, I hear.) Mostly we just have small bits and pieces, the biggest I’ve spotted (other than the leaning tree) is a branch about 10 feet long. Hopefully your winds will fade out soon.

      (The challenge, of course, is dealing with a whole tree. I keep thinking I should DO something with it. Creative. Artistic. I could Learn to Carve! But since I don’t have a lot of spare time and we don’t have a wood fireplace, generally we seem to trade the wood off for part payment against the work of dealing with it.)

  4. Sorry that you’re losing an arbutus, they are so beautiful.

    *I checked the box “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” which it didn’t do…. I tell ya, all this ‘puter stuff is just smoke & mirrors! ;-)

    1. Yes, it’s sad to lose any tree…. and so many of the arbutuses seem to be suffering these days.

      Hm. Another friend said they got something weird with notifications, I’ll ask Peri to look into it (me being clueless about these things).

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