Electrical Aftermath

Hurricane Irene. You may remember my last post - dated the day after the hurricane. Well, little did I know what fun and exciting horrors were yet to come. Bottom line - we were powerless for over 6 days with a 2 year old with the stomach flu. If that's not bad enough, we were powerless over three days longer then any of our neighbors... and we're the only ones in the area with a small child.

A branch knocked off our power line from the pole to our house.

This pic, taken during the hurricane shows the branch there behind the lilac bush... and the line, right below it on the ground in the right of the photo.

Here's what it did to our electrical box - ripped it nearly off the house.

And this is what caused all the problems. We first reported the down line as soon as it happend. When we lost power several hours later, we called again and reported that. No big shake - the entire area was out of power. Then, the days went by. On day one, the milk went bad, Mikey was throwing up, and we were out of hot water. Mike went down to Brewster where they had power (Brewster had power? They never have power! But they did this time!) and he borrowed a generator. (We own a generator of course, a super huge one... it was broken at the time.)

It was all downhill from there. Day two, I took some pukey clothes and laundry into work so my co-worker could wash them for me. Mikey was still sick. We ate a strange mix of things prepared on the grill. But in the evening of day two, around 11pm, Nstar rolled up. We were both in bed, but upon hearing the truck, Mike jumped up and began putting on his clothes to go and talk to them. By the time he was halfway down the stairs, they were pulling away - gone. We wondered what that had been all about. The power was still out and the line was still down.

On day three, Mike took a turn taking laundry down to Brewster. Mikey was starting to improve. Mike took him to the Dr. just in case. And sometime that day, the rest of the neighborhood got power back. Mike called Nstar and was informed that the truck that had visited us previously had cut our line so they could safely turn on power to everyone else. We were completely cut off.

Day four and still no power. I called Nstar and after describing what was going on with the torn out electrical box, the associate told me I'd probably have to have an electrician come out and fix it before they could turn the power back on. Mike said, "screw that!" and went out and re-attached the box to the house himself.

Day five, I called Nstar again in the morning and they said they'd have the power on the next day by noon. Mikey was well enough to go to school. Things were looking up. But when we got home that evening, our neighbor warned us that they still might not hook up the power with the box as it was. Mike called our electrician. He said he'd try to come out the next day to check things out. That evening, in desperation, we brought up an old TV/VCR from the basement, hooked it up to the generator, and watched the muppet show on VHS.

Day 6 was Saturday. Mikey and I waited at home for the electrician. It was getting close to noon and we hadn't seen Nstar either. I texted Mike and asked him to call again. We were both very angry and frustrated at this point. Mike called me back almost immediately, "hey, I've got Nstar on the other line and they say the job is completed...."

I was livid. "No, I was just outside and the wires are still on the ground."

Yup, it had somehow been marked completed in the computer system. Mike threw a fit and they promised to have it on by 7pm that evening. We would not wait until after labor day - another three days. No way. The electrician called sometime after, he had gotten jammed up and couldn't come. We sent him a photo of the box hookup and he said we should be ok - they would turn us on.

But 7pm rolled around fast and still no Nstar. As soon as the clock hit 7, Mike hit the phone again. This time, he was even less polite, especially when he found out that the job had been marked completed - again. This time, the supervisor promised to have it on by sometime that night. Additionally, Mike demanded they send someone out to take down the tree. They promised they would send an arborist sometime soon.

Around 9pm, they finally came. And they sent two trucks!

We were ecstatic. Mike ran out with his flashlight to give them a hand. The minute the guys saw the old wires, they flipped out. "These are so old, they must be the first wires used to connect this house to the pole whenever it was first wired for electricity," they said. Remember, this house was built in 1910. Woe. Seriously overdue for an upgrade, don't you think?

The electric dudes hooked us up with all new wires and turned us back on. Mike offered them a tip, but they refused to take it. They did hook him up with some killer electrical tape, which he was geeking out over for the rest of the night.

And finally, all returned to somewhat normal. Our electrician will come visit as soon as he can to make sure everything is electrically normal too. I'm going to keep on Nstar about that arborist. Expect another call in a few more weeks!


Pool Heaters said...

The electric dudes hooked us up with all new wires and turned us back on. It hook up with some killer electrical tape,
Thank you for sharing with us.