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.
click on the continue reading link below to read about my day...
I am so thankful that I did not have to deal with the traffic nightmare today. I stayed home from work after dealing with a bad migraine yesterday morning, feeling spacey all day from the meds, and then tackling another bad migraine last night. I was up much of the night, partly having to pee all night (side effect I sometimes get from the migraine meds) and partly from the wild weather. A little after seven this morning the power went out. After the power went out, I went back to sleep hoping that it would only be a short outage.
I woke up a few times (mainly due to the irritating neighbors that marched up and down the stairs outside my door like elephants three or four times). I finally got up at ten. Still no power. No internet access. No TV. No way of knowing what was going on around the island and in the world. I really hate being cut off.
I searched for my little portable radio. After listening to about five Christmas songs, the one station that had a live DJ finally announced some of the latest news about the storm. Road closures, mudslides, some school closures (not mine), and announcements to stay off the roads. No info on the power outage though.
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. I searched for my bill and found the phone number on the back. I called the 24-hour electric outage number. The first area to be announced was my town. It then went on to list a bunch of other areas around the island. The only other info announced was that they were working on it. No possible time given when the power might be back.
So, what to do next? I played Bingo, Ms. PacMan, and Solitaire on my new iPod touch (I am in LOVE with my new iPod touch). The battery did not last long though because I did not charge it last night. Once I got the scary "warning warning battery is low" warning, I tackled my piles. I always put this off because I always end up with even more piles (some of which are now still all over my floor).
I opened my refrigerator once around ten to quickly grab a yogurt. Fortunately I ate a bowl of cereal early this morning before the power went out. By noontime,
I became restless and hungry. Since the rain finally stopped, I decided to go to the grocery store, thinking it might be open running on generator power, to get a couple of bags of ice and some lunch. I didn’t want to keep opening my refrigerator, hoping that I could save some of my perishable food.
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). It did not work. 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.
I looked at my piles on the floor and thought about other distractions. I wrapped the presents for my niece and nephew and then searched for a box. I found two different flat rate boxes. Question. Which one was cheaper? Again, I needed the internet since the phone number to the post office is top secret (even if I had a phone book). I called my friend who had electricity. She only lost electricity for a short time. She tried to find the page with the different rates for me but could not find what I needed. She said she was going to the post office and would call me with the information.
While I waited for her call me back, I called the electric company again. Less areas with outages, no word on when we would get electricity back in our area. I got out my laptop (I love that I can still use my laptop when the electricity is out) and balanced my checkbook in Quicken.
I started worrying about the food in my refrigerator and wondered if soon I would be in the dark.
I thought about going to the post office but did not want to deal with the flooding and wasn’t sure if post office would have electricity so I worked on my bills.
Nine hours later, finally, the electricity went 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, and my migraine returned. 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.
I found out later that my friend tried to call me after she went to the post office but my phone just rang and rang and rang. Recently, the phone company gave out free corded phones to use when the power went out. I forgot that I turned the ringer off on this phone since the ring is irritating and my cordless phone has a cool ring.
SO…what to do about the food in my refrigerator. I googled this question and it is strongly suggested to throw all perishable items out after 2 hours on some sites and 4 hours on other sites if above 40 degrees. That is the question though. How do I know the highest temperature the food was exposed to? I put things in the freezer after 5 hours. After having salmonella poisoning once, I will probably throw everything questionable out. It is not worth getting sick over.
Things that I learned:
1. Turn the ringer on when the power goes out.
2. Get ice right away if possible and pack everything perishable in the freezer. The
food should last longer that way.
3. Have more food available that does not need to be refrigerated.
4. Have a phone book available.
5. Charge the iPod touch whenever the battery is low.
6. Make sure to have a good book available and alternate lighting (it was pretty dark
all day with the storm outside).
7. 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!!