Them guys earned their money tonight by golly.
The wind is still blowing though not as hard as it was earlier tonight. The windstorm caused wide spread power outages all the way around the Portland Metro area which includes Vancouver the way I see it.
This may be a completely different state but this area is basically a suburb of Portland anymore.
Thousand s of people without power.
Grog was kind enough to send me a link to a Portland news station who had a story about it that I could get to on my phone and it conveniently had a link to the Vancouver based public utilities, the power company. Following that link led me to an outage map and it was a busy little unit. Some outages were a combination and there were 8 to 10 separate outages marked on one spot.
There were a lot of spots like that.
Clicking on the little marker would open up a brief description of how many residences were affected in each outage, the cause if known and the estimate for repair, if known.
As you can imagine, almost all of them were marked Unknown.
Some were marked as tree damage.
That means there were crews out there with bucket trucks and chain saws, at night, in a wind storm, cutting up fallen trees before they could even start fixing the damaged power equipment.
The power was out here almost exactly three hours.
Just long enough for me to start contemplating having to dig out the generator and pull my guts out trying to get it started.
I traded my electric start to my brother because he lives out of town and has 3 freezers full of food he needs to keep cold.
At the time, I didn’t have a freezer yet and wasn’t too worried about outages.
This one is an old Contractors unit and it has a huge Briggs and Stratton engine on it that is so hard to pull on it might as well be a 4 cylinder Ford engine.
Yeah buddy, I see a new generator in my future.
One of those little quiet units you don’t have to kill yourself packing around and trying to get started.
I also have a small power inverter and just for grins I went out and hooked it up to the battery in the Sprite, ran a short extension cord through the garage to the freezer and flipped the switch.
That was a No Go, which I totally expected.
It can’t handle the start up load from the compressor.
I’ll be looking into snagging a way bigger one of those somewhere down the line too.
It would work fine for charging phones or laptops though.
There are going to be more of the little LED lanterns finding their way here also.
There used to be a whole boat load of cheap battery powered lanterns around here at one point but they all seem to have grown legs.
This is why I have a locking cabinet out in the garage now that I specifically hunted down on Craigslist.
I got sick and tired of looking for things I knew I should have but mysteriously didn’t.
Know what I mean?
I did have two of the bigger LED lanterns that run on D cell batteries but gave one to the Nephew a month or so when he was going camping.
The one I still had I just changed the batteries in just last week and it worked fine for what we needed. They will inevitably go on sale again and then you can snag them for about ten dollars apiece.
They are worth their weight in gold for these situations.
No fuel to mess with and no flame either.
On the lowest setting they will go for hours and hours.
Like two days straight.
I also have several head lamps and those are handier than anything.
The flashlight feature on the cell phones were really handy right off the bat and I had a small EDC flashlight in my pocket that I used to get around out in the garage with.
The Wifely Unit found a battery operated video game to keep our oldest son occupied and other than that, we just sat here in the dim lantern light playing on our phones.
I gotta tell you having the lights come back on before I fell asleep was a nice feeling. Throwing away a freezer full of food isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.
So my thanks to those guys out there busting their humps in the middle of a storm at night getting peoples power back on.
Good job fellas.