You know, seeing your breath in the kitchen is just not normal

Not since I rode through the Loma Prieta earthquake in the Bay Area have I been in such a power outage… this time couple that with freezing cold temperatures. Due to a windy December storm in the Seattle area, the news reports that many people are still without power. This from the local news:

“Utility crews were working nonstop through the weekend to restore service to hundreds of thousands of people still without power after a windstorm hit Western Washington.

“The storm was the worst in more than a decade, claiming four lives and sending several dozen people to a local hospital after they suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.”

As noted in a previous post, we have all our canned goods, bottled water, spare batteries and misc supplies for more than three days to ride out just about anything that Mother Nature might throw at us.

But we woefully underestimated the impact of the cold.

This afternoon, when the norm is usually around 67 or 68 inside, our house was a balmy 48 degrees F (that’s 8C for my Canadian friends), as compared with the temperature outside at 33 degrees (which MSN weather says feels like 29). (And it’s supposed to be in the mid 20s tonite.) The living room fireplace at home doesn’t cut it and it’s just plain cold. So we dined on pizza tonite (thanks, Jon & Stephanie!) and watched TV (Elf, followed by The Santa Clause) in the office. Clearly, a number of people are in the same boat, given the number I’ve run into at the office microwaving nearly thawed dinners and hot chocolate. 

PSE (the local power company) said that “380,000 (are) still without power. 250 crews are working to restore power instead of the typical crew of 60. And 150 more crews are on their way to help, from as far as Kansas. Most of the transmission lines have been repaired.”

Very cool. Applause for the people in the trucks fixing the power lines tonite. You rock.

If you have power and you’re wondering what you should keep and what to throw out, check out the Red Cross site on Food Safety in a Power Outage. And if you’re planning on making some end-of-the-year donations, give to local Red Cross — they have done a super job helping people in the area — or your local United Way.

Nuff said, I’m turning out the light to see how comfortable this office chair really is in a pinch.