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To our members on the East coast...

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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Tue August 30th, 2011, 2:51 am

[quote=""DianeL""]Virginia has had the second worst power failure in history, and as of 5:00 today a lot of people I know were still out of power, as well as something like half the traffic signals in the city (maybe more). A major stretch of historical properties and nice local retail was almost entirely blacked out yesterday, but people were still out, strolling and soaking up sunshine.

I lost power for only six hours, spent Saturday night reading Le Fanu's Carmilla, and woke up to lamps-on at two a.m.

My prayers are with you, Brenna, in this your darkest hour! Hee.[/quote]

Diane, thanks for that. We have two friends from other boards still to check in and both are from Virginia. Hopefully it is just a lack of power and internet.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

annis
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Post by annis » Tue August 30th, 2011, 3:41 am

Posted by MLE
And to think that most of the people we read (and write) about lived their whole lives without electricity. However did they survive?
I guess they had woodfires and candles, and went to bed early :) There's nothing like a major power cut to make you realise how vulnerable the modern world is, especially in urban areas. Luckily we live in the country and do still have a woodfire and candles for when the power goes. We also keep a gas lantern and camping stove handy. The only pain is that the pump supplying the water is run by electricity, but we can draw water from our water tanks if need be.

So glad that everyone here seems to be okay, but I'm thinking about you - it must be a very scary experience!

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "The Strings of Murder" by Oscar de Muriel
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Tue August 30th, 2011, 8:54 am

[quote=""MLE""]And to think that most of the people we read (and write) about lived their whole lives without electricity. However did they survive?[/quote]

I've often wondered that, but I suppose they didn't know any different, as they didn't have our modern comforts ie electricity, so it was just their way of life and they got on with it.
Currently reading: "The Strings of Murder" by Oscar de Muriel

Ash
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Post by Ash » Tue August 30th, 2011, 1:42 pm

Most of human existence was such. We are the anomalies, even if we are more 'civilized' :) (that being said, our AC was out a few days this week and we were sooo uncomfortable. We are wimps.)

Yikes, it looks like upstate NY and Vermont got the brunt of this storm. I have an aunt with a house out in Finger Lakes; haven't heard back from her but am hoping she's ok. Lots of devastation - just not in places that the media thought they'd be

I do feel sorry for Mayor Bloomberg - he caught hell for not responding early enough during the horrible snowstorm on Dec 26. Now he's being criticised for all of his evacuations, shut downs etc in preporation for this hurricane. Damned if you do....

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Tue August 30th, 2011, 3:01 pm

[quote=""Ash""]I do feel sorry for Mayor Bloomberg - he caught hell for not responding early enough during the horrible snowstorm on Dec 26. Now he's being criticised for all of his evacuations, shut downs etc in preporation for this hurricane. Damned if you do....[/quote]

He had to make decisions based on the best intelligence on a specific time table. We learned from Katrina how long it takes to evacuate hospitals, nursing homes and neighborhoods safely. The most vulnerable need the most time and planning. Two days out, it looked like a devastating event and it was be safe and get everyone out or put your head in the sand and hope the experts were wrong. Twelve hours before the storm, it still looked like a catastrophe in the making, so people in likely flood areas were ordered out and the MTA shut down. The flooding wasn't as bad as originally thought, but if the buses and trains hadn't been moved out of their low lying "beds" to higher ground, they would have been flooded. The city avoided extensive costs and loss of equipment. The flooding and downed trees north of the city knocked out the entire Metro North system. Imagine the poor people stuck on trains all over southern NY and Connecticut if the system hadn't been shut down?

Personally, I thought the mayor and his team did a great job. Their planning and execution worked or there would have been far more losses and chaos. They also "recovered" very quickly and things are back to normal. I like to think of this as a dress rehearsal for the next disaster and take comfort that everything worked so well!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Tue August 30th, 2011, 5:34 pm

Our governor is receiving the same kind of flack for our evacuations but EVERYONE thought this storm was going to be so much worse than it ended up being. Imagine if the coast really had gotten hit hard during tourist season! Oy... I can't believe Vermont got hit so hard! My prayers are with everyone up there!

On another note, another day without power out work. Another hard day of enjoying the sunshine. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it!
Brenna

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue August 30th, 2011, 5:47 pm

[quote=""Brenna""]Our governor is receiving the same kind of flack for our evacuations but EVERYONE thought this storm was going to be so much worse than it ended up being. Imagine if the coast really had gotten hit hard during tourist season! Oy... I can't believe Vermont got hit so hard! My prayers are with everyone up there!

On another note, another day without power out work. Another hard day of enjoying the sunshine. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it![/quote]

Brenna, you poor dear. Anything we can do to help you through this trauma?

The same people who are bellowing about the officials erring on the side of caution are the same people would would be bellowing if things had gone the other way and people left at risk. Better safe than sorry.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue August 30th, 2011, 6:03 pm

[quote=""annis""]Posted by MLE


I guess they had woodfires and candles, and went to bed early :) There's nothing like a major power cut to make you realise how vulnerable the modern world is, especially in urban areas.[/quote]

If you want to read a fun book with that scenario, try Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling. It has its flaws (too much unnecessary time spent in the POV of the bad guys) but given the plot premise, there's no shortage of drama! Basically the 'universal powers that be' (Wiccan fiction, although you don't find that out until several books later in the series, none of which are as fun as the first) decide to yank the power cord: everything that needs explosive force, electicity, or steam power suddenly stops working. And civilization implodes. Our doughty protagonists manage to save the day for their various dependents, and it's back to medieval morals...

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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Tue August 30th, 2011, 7:01 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Brenna, you poor dear. Anything we can do to help you through this trauma?

The same people who are bellowing about the officials erring on the side of caution are the same people would would be bellowing if things had gone the other way and people left at risk. Better safe than sorry.[/quote]

Misfit, it's so traumatic, I'm not sure I can talk about it. It might be all of the Vitamin D I'm getting. :D

You are so right though, elected officials are often damned if they do, damned if they don't!
Brenna

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DianeL
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Post by DianeL » Wed August 31st, 2011, 1:48 am

Hee, Brenna. You poor thing.

Misfit, glad the stats were useful.

I actually got an earful today from one of our guys who lives in Louisa County, and whose house stands on solid rock three miles from the epicenter of last week's quake.

There has been a lot of good humor about the "devastation" of the east coast quake (if anyone has seen the "WE WILL REBUILD" images of an overturned plastic lawn chair - http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&h ... 87l0.1l1l0 - that was taken by a friend of a friend and had made its way worldwide within something like 15 hours), but those really ON the epicenter all suffered. And nobody had earthquake riders, so many people have suffered total losses. The guy with the house on the rock hasn't got an intact piece of sheet rock left in his (newly built) home, and every cabinet in his kitchen *came off the walls*. He lost literally everything in his kitchen, and most of the joins of the walls in the entire house are split. A friend of his, whose home was built on softer ground, had his foundation *buckle* entirely. Lots of people's homes were quite seriously damaged, and some may even be condemned. It's a small radius in terms of destruction, but it has been really hard on the area.

Between this, a fire in the Great Dismal Swamp (I think now tamped out by the hurricane), and Irene, it's starting to feel positively biblical 'round here. Earth, air, fire, and water ...
"To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

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The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.
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