Thanks for the help, Suffolk

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We had a big winter storm for the past two days — first sleet-rain-ice, then eight inches of snow. The first four inches of snow was the very wet, heavy, stick-to-everything kind; the last four inches was dry and powdery, and strong northwest winds caused much drifting. The temperature is expected to drop to 10 degrees tonight.

Our electricity was out for almost 24 hours; we literally just got it back on. When I called our electric company to report the outage last night, I got a recording and a computer voice. This morning at 6 a.m., I reached a live person, who said she had no idea when a crew would get to us — 8,000 others were also without power.

Since my 88-year-old Mom lives with us (She is pretty frail and gets cold when the temperature dips below 70 degrees.) I spent all day today working so we could survive the weather.

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First, I rigged a generator so we could run the fan for the fireplace insert (our only heat) and use a microwave oven to warm some food. Then, I used the tractor to plow our long road back to the farmhouse. (About half the road was under three-foot drifts, so I simply plowed a path across the field.) Then I drove to town to get more gas for the generator and stopped by the home of a neighbor who still had power to fill five-gallon buckets to use for flushing toilets. You get the picture.

About two hours ago, a fellow from the power company pulled in and said we would have power again soon. About 15 minutes after that, a big white bucket truck pulled into our back yard to turn around. The two men in the truck said they had finished repairing the broken power line, and we would have electricity again in a few minutes.

Wow! I was so happy I could have hugged them. Instead, I just asked if they had been working long today. They said they had just arrived. “Where are you from?” I asked. “Down in southeast Virginia, a place called Suffolk,” they replied.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I don’t even know these guys’ names, but our hats are off to this power crew. And thank you, Suffolk, for sending them to rescue us miserable souls here in southern Maryland.