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torrential rain, flooding, and power outages

Quoting part of today's Star Bulletin article: STORM PUMMELS OAHU

Schools are closed, power is out, homes are flooded and traffic is a mess.

Torrential rain overnight and this morning flooded scores of homes on Oahu, closed roads and dozens of schools, knocked out power and shut the Arizona Memorial.

More than 10 inches of rain fell at Makaha Stream in the 24 hours that ended at 8 a.m., and more than 4 inches of that fell between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.

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(photo from the Honolulu Advertiser - click on the photo to see more amazing photos)

I am so thankful that I did not have to deal with the traffic nightmare today. I wasn't feeling well, so I stayed home from work. A little after seven this morning the power went out. I couldn't find any news on the power outage on the radio. I decided to call the electric company. That was when I realized that I had no way to look up the number. I don't keep phone books anymore since it is just as easy to look up the phone number on the internet. Then I remembered that there are phone numbers on the electric bills. After finding the number, I called. Not much info from them either. The only info other than what areas were experiencing outages was that they were working on it.

Around noontime, once the rain stopped, I decided to go to the nearby grocery store, hoping generators would keep the store open, to get a couple of bags of ice and some lunch.

About a third of the parking lot was flooded. I thought of Annie and the acqua alta in Venice. All the stores in the little shopping complex were open. All the lights were on. It was very busy inside the grocery store. I asked one of the girls if the store was running on generators. She looked at me surprised by my question and said they never lost power. How did that happen? I live so close, probably 5-10 minutes walking distance. The entrance to my townhouse complex is adjacent to the driveway of the shopping area. So close and yet so far.

I bought some sushi, chips, and two bags of ice. My hope was if I bought the ice, the power would come back on (sort of like if you wash your car, it will rain). Wishful thinking! I put one bag of ice in the freezer and one in the refrigerator and then transferred everything perishable to the freezer.

I called the electric company again. Less areas with power outages, but mine was still top on the list. No other information available.

Nine hours later, the electricity came back on at 4:24 pm. The neighbors cheered.

Right after the electricity came on, the wind kicked up and the rain began to fall again. More rain is predicted all night. I wonder what it will be like driving to work tomorrow. I hope I don't lose electricity again.

Things that I learned:
1. Get ice right away if possible and pack everything perishable in the freezer. The
food should last longer that way.
2. Have more food available that does not need to be refrigerated.
3. Have a phone book available.
4. Charge the iPod touch whenever the battery is low.
5. Make sure to have a good book available and alternate lighting (it was pretty dark
all day with the storm outside).
6. I am clearly not prepared for a hurricane.
Things I am grateful for:
1. I did not have to drive to work today.
2. I have a dry roof over my head.
3. My townhouse complex was not flooded.
4. There was no wind damage to my place.
5. My car is safe.
6. The grocery store was open.
7. My shower had hot water.
8. I did not buy all the ingredients yet to make batches of cookies (which I would now have to throw out)
9. It was not too hot and humid today (since no power for fans)
10. My electricity is back on!!

Comments (3)

Oh my gosh, what an ordeal! I hate losing power (one time, after an ice storm, mine was out for 5 days! I had to leave and go to my brother's house). Those photos are incredible...much worse than what I experienced in Venice!

sandrac:

Wow, what a nightmare for you!

I absolutely loath being without power -- it's amazing the degree to which I rely on all things electrical, from the computer to the TV, to fans and AC in summer; heat and lights in a northern winter!

I'm with you about questionable food -- when I have had outages, anything I think might no longer be really good, gets thrown out.

Anne:

Wow! I'm so glad your own place didn't flood or get damaged. Hope you are all back to normal.

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