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Wasn't sure if I should put this in the How My Day Went .... thread or the local Weather Report thread, so I decided to just start a new one. I appologize ahead of time for the verbosity ...

So, heres what happened. Thursday night (12/11/08) a bad ice storm hit us here in New England (Most of NH, and northeast tier of MA). I live near the southern border of NH; out town touches the MA border. We got about an inch of ice coating every tree branch & twig, and all the electrical wires. At about 8AM on Friday morning, our neighbor hood lost power.I have town water so no problem there, and natural gas hot water tank, so no problem there, and gas furnace but forced hot water, so no electricity to pump hot water through radiators, thus no heat. Our house is very well insulated, so Mrs GE and I were going to stick it out a while and see what happened. I always keep a couple of standard desk phones around (no house current required) so we had phones, plus cell phones until batteries go dead (don't have a car charger). The last power outage here was 1998, when approx 98K folks in NH lost power, and we were out 2 1/2 days, and some folks 8-9 days. NH population is slightly over a million (2007 est 1.3M), so about 8%, or about 20% of households. Unfortunately, this new storm affected approx 380,000 ( !!!) folks.

Unfortunately, my 84 Year old Mother-in-law lives about 20 miles away, just across the MA border, and she called the first evening to tell us that they had no power also, and that she was COLD! We called my son in his new house a couple of towns over from us, and he had no power either. He has a fireplace and a wood stove, so he had some heat, but since he has a well, not town water, no power to the pump meant no water, which means no bathrooms! Not good. Sister-in-law in another nearby town in MA had the same problem. We decided it was time to start looking for other accomodations. Wifey and I started calling local hotels first, only to find that they either had no power or were already booked up. We started calling further and further south, using phone numbers from the wonder database on our Garmin GPS Points of Interest. Finally decided that if we were going that far south, might as well head to South Shore (S of Boston) where daughter and grandson live, and get a visit in with the baby. We finally got two ajoining rooms at a Sheraton near her in Braintree, MA. Oh yeah, since power was out everywhere in NH, including schools, Mrs GE was off work (she is a teachers Aide for SPED pre-schoolers).

After two days in the hotel, by checking with my MIL's neighbors, we discovered that their power was back on, so we left the hotel and moved back north. By calling our house, and no pickup by our answering machine, we knew we were still out in NH. Another 3 days, spent bunking in at the MIL's, running up to check on our house (at one point temp inside the house was 42*F). We finally got our power back on day 5. Lost most of the perishables from the fridge, but no leakage, and no frozen pipes. Tons of branches down in the back, but only a couple glanced off the house, and no damage. At the 5 day mark, NH folks without power still numbers over 250,000; many whole towns without power. State of emergency was declared, and power crews from all over NE started converging on NH in convoys. At the 10 day mark, they finally started school for wifey, on Monday, 12/22 (6 days shut down). Still 120,000 without power at that time. Today, (12/23) NH is down to under 5000 still out, and the hope is that they will be up by Christmas. My son ended up buying a 5500 watt generator, and finally got his power back on day 9.

Further dismay; when I finally got back online, I could see EC site. I thought maybe something up there, so I waited it out a couple of more days, then finally dropped a note to Colleen to see what's up. She told me everything was up a running!! I was having no trouble with any other site, just the one I need every day! Tried flushing all caches, and rebooting, but nothing. Rebooted modem and reouter, nothing. I tried another browser (firefox), still can't even find the site. Finally took the router out of the path (modem and router are separate boxes) and finally in. Still don't know what happened to router (some table got corrupted??) but running fine for now.

Compounding factors; last Friday (12/19) we had a snow storm that dropped 10-12 in on us. Sunday, 12/21 another 12 in of snow. Just as I was finishing snowblowing from the second snow, I sucked up a short branch still around from ice storm damage, and CRUNCH ... snowblower stopped working. Finally figured out that it is just a broken belt on the impeller, but can't get one for 3 days. Hopefully no more snow until then. Temps have been single digits at night. Another residual affect noted on the news today; because so many folks were displaced by this storm, most haven't been able to get Christmas shopping done. Local news is showing madhouse crowds at all malls as everyone is now trying to get ALL their shopping done. People reporting circle paring lots for over an hour, stalking people walking to their cars, to get a space.

BTW, through it all, Escape never faltered.
 

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What an ordeal!!!! Glad you are back with us and hope all is well now!
 

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Verbosity is good.

:D

That was some ordeal! I'm glad that you all made it through OK, but wow!!!
 

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Geez GE! You make me glad I didn't take that job up in Dartmouth 10-11 years ago! I really hate mucking about like that! I am glad you didn't have any frozen pipes. They can be a real bummer, especially if they leak into the house and trash that! I am speaking from experience. I grew up and lived in Cleveland, OH.
 
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