Today’s ice storm caused me a bit of trouble. There was 1/4″ of ice on the car, so I had to scrape a lot of ice just to get into the car, then I had to let the car warm up for 15 minutes before I could drive it.
I got to work and pretty soon we lost most of our power. We had one phase of our 3 phase power working, so we had some lights, and we managed to get phone service working, but all of our computers were down. Without the computers, there were only a few things I could do. Naturally the power came back on at the very end of the day.
This was nothing compared to the Ice Storm of 1991 in Rochester.
Jane and I agreed to house sit (and baby sit) for a couple who wanted to get away from their kids for a few days. Mrs. Shapiro had everything planned: She had a whole bunch of meals in the freezer that just needed to be heated.
The day after they left, the ice storm began, and the power started flickering. That night, nearly the whole city lost power, and my boss called and said don’t even bother coming into work, because the roads were closed and the power was out. The Shapiro’s house lost power too, so we couldn’t use the dishwasher, and had to resort to meals that we didn’t have to cook, on paper plates.
Oh, did I mention we were taking care of their 6 kids, ages 3 to 13, plus our 3 month old baby?
There was one family in our church in Rochester who lived in a mini-mansion of the type that is now usually converted to apartments. Their power line was hanging by a thread, but still working. They took us and a few other families in, and so there were 20+ people in that house.
Our apartment had no power for about 3 days, so as soon as the Shapiros returned from vacation, we were able to go back home. The Shapiros, however, like much of the rest of the city of Rochester, had no power for 2 weeks.