Thursday, January 15, 2009

outted in winter

practically empty lot
Originally uploaded by Julep67
As I stood outside the office this morning, trying to unlock the door without removing my mittens, I could hear this really weird, loud beeping sound coming from inside. I was a little weirded out by it because we have an alarm system and I thought that maybe someone had broken in.

When I got inside, the emergency light was on in the stairwell and the alarm was all messed up. I realized that the power was out. It was still warm in the cottage so I figured it couldn't have been off for very long. I was the first person on main campus to report an outage to our physical plant folks (they are across the street from us and still had power). They told me that the city had no idea what happened but that it was widespread. I started phoning colleagues, and could feel the building cooling off. It was a bad feeling, it reminded me a lot of the ice storm of 1998. Fortunately, about 45 minutes after I arrived, the lights came back on. We were going to have to venture out into the freezing cold and find somewhere else on campus to work if that hadn't happened. It would have made for a very long day I think.

I saw a small piece on the local newspaper website about the blackout. Apparently, the city have no idea what caused it. That doesn't exactly make me have lots of confidence in our local utility. The temperature is supposed to drop to minus 32 tonight (it is minus 22 with the wind chill right now). That has to be causing a massive strain on everything but we should be able to rely upon this stuff when we need it the most. I think I'll keep an extra sweater by my bed tonight, just in case.

No comments: