Thursday, June 11, 2009


A line of thunderstorms raced through the East Coast on Tuesday, causing damage everywhere. A good bit of Maryland was without electricity overnight. (I don't know about the rest of the states, but I imagine that similar problems of downed wires and trees existed all over.)

Naturally, my husband's I-POD worked fine.
I was at work. He was at home with the 9-year-old.
He sent me a message about the electricity being out at home -- where were the flashlights?

Unfortunately, I couldn't see his e-mail, because there was no electricity at work, either. (It's a half-hour drive from home.) Plus, I was having the same problem at work -- where were the flashlights? There used to be rechargeable flashlights at every Information desk, charging away to be ready for emergencies. Except, we had discovered that they gradually died, making them unavailable once we did have an emergency.

Maintenance had installed emergency lights in the librarian's office, which has no windows and is dark as pitch when the lights go out. What a nice surprise when they went on.
ADM said that we couldn't close. Wait for an hour or so to see what happens. Well, what happened is that we discovered that the emergency lights are only good for a half hour. By the time we were allowed to leave, the office was pitch black, again.

Did the customers leave when the computers died?
They simply sat at their computer and waited. (laying claim to the one they had been using) I kept seeing lights over by the computers, so I went to see what was going on. They had their cell phones open, shining cell phone light onto their dead computer.

Finally most gave up and left. Except for three middle school boys and one lady. The three boys wandered around the library, waiting for the rain (hail/ wind/ storm!) to stop, because they had to walk home. They finally settled in over in a corner by some windows -- watching something on a Blackberry or I-Phone or something. The lady settled down at a table doing the same thing -- watching a movie on her Blackberry or I-Phone or something.

It's amazing how quiet a library gets when there are no computers running/ no electrical things running at all. (except for the library staff chatting over by the check-out desk and the murmur of the two movies running on those phones.)

Gradually the light through the windows died and it reached 7 pm. Ah. Officially we could close. We turned off every switch that might possibly have been on when the electricity stopped.
I drove home to discover I had to detour around a sparking fallen wire near home.

When was electricty restored?
2 am at my workplace, according to staff members who live a few blocks away.
And not until 7:30 in the morning at our house.

We had expected to get a good night's sleep, since there was "nothing to do" at home.
How-ever --
the 9-year-old kept waking us up.
She couldn't get asleep. It was too quiet. It was too dark.

How did the storms affect your area?


Karen Packard Rhodes said...

They didn't get down here to Florida. But I have some hurricane stories I could tell you . . .


Wendie O said...

Hi Karen -- good to hear from you. You're in Florida now?

Hurricanes, yes.
I have relatives in Florida and they've been hit with hurricanes. In fact, I have a story making the rounds about one of their adventures.