Power Outage: CSA Summer ’15 – Week #6 (EO-B)

Wednesday, July 15th – EO Group B

14 July, 2015 (12:17) | CSA Newsletter | By: cassie

I’m used to being awoken by the sound of baby Juna calling for her nighttime feedings. I was surprisingly disoriented, however, when the weather radio alarm went off around 3:30 am last night. “A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for….”

70 mile per hour winds. It’s a tough call in the middle of the night: Do you wake your children up for high winds?  Mike ran downstairs to get his cell phone to view radar. We were right on the southern edge of the weather system. Juna awoke from the commotion, and as I sat nursing her, I watched and listened in awe as the winds suddenly kicked up. With old silver maple trees near our home, we immediately decided to take the girls downstairs.

Just as we took our last step down the stairs, there was a huge boom and bright flash of light. And then the power went out.  With it being dark already, we couldn’t really see what had happened. We just waited for 15 minutes as the intense portion of the storm blew through. We answered lots and lots of questions from our older girls and then tucked them back in with a battery-powered night light and assured them all was now safe.

When it was light, one quick look out the window told the night’s story.  One of the old silver maples had fallen over onto the highway, pulling down the power line and uprooting the pole right along with it.  No one was hurt, no property damaged.

Once Mike and I finished gawking at the spectacle of the downed tree and the sheriff directing traffic while the orange township trucks cleared the road and the power company stood by waiting to start fixing it all…we set about figuring out how the day would go with no power.

Despite our solar panels, we would still have no power. Our system is set up to provide power for us and send excess back to the utility lines. We have no battery storage. Due to our linkage to the utility lines, the sunny morning didn’t change the fact we had no power.

Domestically no power isn’t a huge deal. Luckily we had some jugs of water I’d slated to bring over to the chickens that we could use for washing hands and such. Then grandpa ran over some bottled water for us and our employees to drink.

But in terms of the farm operation, it took Mike and I a while to figure out what to do to get going!  No computer and no internet meant no orders, no newsletter prep, no Monday morning office tasks.

No water meant no watering in the greenhouse or washing food. No power meant the walk in coolers were warming up.  And no lights meant we needed headlamps just to pull out any food.

Eventually we talked to the power crew and learned we might be lucky enough to have power by lunchtime. (A benefit of living on such a busy road… we get fixed quickly!). So we just hopped in with our crew and did what one can ALWAYS do on a farm – started harvesting.

By lunch time we had our power again. And off we go like normal.  The baby plants are watered.  No emergency call to the ice truck necessary.  No spoiled food. And no one had to eat cold leftovers.

But here’s my shout out of gratitude to the electricity. It’s amazing how much we depend on it! And also a shout out to the sheriff, township and utility who fixed everything super fast!