Sunday, February 14, 2021 is the start of a truly massive event.
By midday Monday we were in the three day long power black out. We had snippets of power during those three days. We had a short outage early in the day, then by noon we were really out of power. We had brief spurts of power getting shorter and shorter until by evening no more. From noon to evening when the spurts stopped we had maybe 30 minutes of “on” time – each new burst of power shorter than the previous, from 15, to 10, to 6 minutes, shorter until the last burst was maybe 40 or 50 seconds. Then we were dark (this was evening, after sunset). The house cooled off quickly because the short bursts were not enough for the heat to even kick in by the end of the day, and because the multiple hour stretches of no power let the temperature drop. By sunset, the temperature was in continuous decline.
Tuesday offered just a few of the shorts bursts, all under five minutes, and none activating the heating cycle of our heating / cooling system. The refrigerator did get warmer, trying to meet the room temperature halfway. We had a visit with Diana’s sister at her home, but they had lost power too and their house was getting colder, too. We left during daylight because the really cold temperatures after sundown would turn the melting snow and ice of the daylight into dark ice.
Wednesday we unbundled from our pile of blankets, but the power was solid out. So much for the Rolling Blackouts the politicians said we’d experience. We went well over 24 hours straight of no power. Our battery banks for keeping the phones alive were effectively empty. Finally, late Wednesday we had a few minutes of power. We even got some heat, but not much before the power was off again. We piled several layers of blankets over ourselves for sleep once again.
Thursday very early, power came back on, probably shortly after midnight. It ran for a good bit then stopped. But before morning the power returned, perhaps by 2:00 or 3:00 AM. We actually got heat and warmed up to the target 68 Degrees Fahrenheit – the temperature that CPS asked us to use to conserve power. Of course we’d been conserving power completely for nearly three days by that point, well two and a half at least. I was ready to not be completely cold while wearing outdoor heavy coats inside my house.
68 does seem cold still somehow, though. And we are still likely to experience Rolling Restarts through Sunday. But we’ll have much warmer days than we’ve been having. No more single digit Fahrenheit temperatures. I do worry about the still 500,000+ people that are without power yet.