What a week!

The news has been all about the weather this week (and Telecom’s short-lived, ill-advised rugby campaign).

Check it:

First snowfall in decades, they say. I reckon the stuff I saw was more hail than anything else, but apparently in town and out south it was much more snowflakey. Still, EXCITING! Everyone in the office rushed to the windows on Monday afternoon, mesmerised by the sight. “It’s snowing, if you’re interested!” Yes, yes, they were. I sit right by the glass side, luckily, so I had prime position. I got to watch as the white stuff collected on the windowsill, then melted away again.

The bitter blast lasted until Wednesday, when the polar chill started to lift. Good thing too, because our electricity went out at about 7.30pm. Luckily, we’d eaten, but I’d just started cooking lunch for the next couple of days. We had no luck getting through to Vector, so ended up going to bed at 9pm.

By the morning, there was no change. Never have I been so glad that our hot water runs on gas!!! (It’s amazing how little you can do in in winter without power. No light, no computer, no TV, no reading. We really need to get a torch; I have a few candles around the place, but they were barely bright enough to navigate the house with.)

It’s relatively easy to get through to Vector at 6.30am. Not so easy, apparently, for the linesman to arrive within the 75 minutes, or even the 90 minutes that I waited before I had to leave for work. Tweeting Vector during the day didn’t help; they responded, but only as far as to ask me whether I’d called the call centre.

T handled it when he got home; apparently the guy showed up at 9am, and didn’t bother to call. I kind of figured I would be contacted a) in the event of lateness and b) certainly if said staffer came by and nobody was home. I thought wrong, clearly.

The timing could have been worse, though. After all, our fridge was desperately in need of a defrost. And it’s so iced up (and it’s cold enough being August and all) that even at 20-plus hours of blackout, none of our food went bad. We escaped pretty lightly.

What’s the longest power outage you’ve ever had?

11 thoughts on “What a week!

  • Reply Stephanie August 18, 2011 at 23:07

    I grew up in New England, where power outages due to storms are quite common. I don’t remember anything too much longer than a few hours, but we also have teams of people trained to respond accordingly to power outages and to fix them ASAP. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had gone more than a full day without power and I just don’t remember.

    Hope that all is well in New Zealand though. Snow really really sucks unless it’s a regular thing, and snow causes lots of damage in the northern US every year.

  • Reply unknowntheartist August 19, 2011 at 01:10

    Worst power outage we had was for 24 hours when the QLD floods hit in January this year. Our building runs on electricity for the lift and intercom doors so we had to trudge up and down in the dark through 5 flights of stairs if we wanted to get out of the building to get any convenience stores that still had any food left. Hopefully, your outtage doesn’t happen again, right in the middle of a cold snap. Be sure to bundle up!

  • Reply Red August 19, 2011 at 03:02

    Oh, man! I’m so glad you brought this up! I wanted to post about it on the blog, and I still might. Tennessee had a bad hail storm in April. A week later, we had another windy storm. Our tree in the backyard split in two and took our power line with it. IT TOOK THEM AN ENTIRE WEEK TO TURN OUR POWER BACK ON!

    Talk about added expenses. All of our groceries went bad. We ate out every day because they couldn’t give us a date for the crew to come out (It was the worst power outage in our utility’s history, so they were really busy.), and we kept hoping it would be that day. The first night, when we thought for sure they’d get to us quickly, we stayed in a hotel. After that, my parents let us use their house – 30 min. away from our home, school, and work – while they went camping. That was probably the most frustrating and stressful week of my life!

  • Reply Sense August 19, 2011 at 03:16

    I loved the ‘snow’! Yeah, it wasn’t real snow, more like sleet-y-slush. The stuff bounced off of the ground and promptly melted! And it didn’t swirl around and fall slowly, it poured snow.

    Worst power outage was probably the ice storm of Christmas ’98. We were without power for 7 days, starting on Christmas Eve. Worst Christmas EVER. I had just busted my lip open and sprained an ankle very badly after slipping on the ice in our backyard and was in extreme pain. My mom, dad, sister, and I all slept in our living room next to the wood firestove each night, and had no water (we have well water…so no electricity = no pump = no water). We were stuck on our dead end road without any way out (roads too slippery, even for dad’s 4×4 truck and we are of course the last to get plowed). Brutal.

    But this is just what happens when you live in the country. My sister and I were trained to fill the bathtub with water as soon as we heard a storm rolling in. And luckily dad had chopped a lot of wood that year so we were well stocked for heat. We went full-pioneer, cooking canned soup on the wood stove top, heating snow, etc.

    We had lots more outages like this but this one was the worst because of the Christmas factor.

  • Reply Geek in Heels August 19, 2011 at 06:59

    I read about the unexpected snow in another NZ blogger’s site, and I had to laugh, because I always forget that there are billions of people out there who never experience the four seasons that I have lived with my entire life. I hope you stay warm!

    • Reply UE August 19, 2011 at 08:18

      Hahahahahaha I actually burst out laughing at this post too! (in a cute way of course). We start getting snow in October and it doesn’t leave us until May of some years. We get loads of it, it’s annoying and damn cold. It warms my heart to see people get very excited about sleet.

  • Reply Randomthoughts August 19, 2011 at 06:59

    5 days when I was 10. When you’re 10 and staying at your bf’s house because she has a wood-burning fireplace all is right in the world 🙂 During that same storm, my grandmother who was living in the countryside, went 3 weeks without power and her basement flooded when some pipes burst (she wasn’t there at the time and since her emergency flood pump ran on electricity…)

  • Reply Kara E August 19, 2011 at 07:05

    I think the longest I’ve gone without power was 7 1/2 hours! A transformer blew or something like that, and it was awful! We had just bought a whole bunch of food for a barbecue we were hosting the next day and we were terrified that it was all going to go bad! Luckily, about a 1/2 hour after we went out and bought ice to keep everything cold, the power came back on. Whew!

  • Reply UE August 19, 2011 at 08:21

    The preparedness of some countries to adverse weather conditions still sometimes surprises me (example: England in last year’s winter). Living far north in Canada, I can’t say that we’ve experienced power outages as long as you have, but we’re also more ready for snowstorms. Rain and wind, however, can take a toll on electricity. I’d say the power goes out once a summer for maybe an hour or two in varying parts of the city. Stay warm!!

  • Reply fabulouslyfrugirl August 19, 2011 at 09:32

    Hope you stay warm!

    I live in Canada, so snow is nothing new, but I can imagine being in another country that never gets snow, and how exciting that must be! 🙂

    We had a 2-3 day power outtage in the middle of summer a few years back. It was actually really neat because everything shut down and people just relaxed outdoors. At least, that’s how I remember it. If it was in the winter – I’m sure it would be much less pleasant!

  • Reply The Asian Pear August 19, 2011 at 15:29

    About 24 hours. In the summer of 05 (or was it 04)?
    Thi was when the whole entire eastern seaboard lost electricity… All of Ontario, Quebec, and western US states too. We were lucky because my area is deemed a high priority zone I guess as we have a hospital nearby. I know my other friends had to wait as long as 4 days.

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