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Hurricane Force Storm

We had a real freak of a storm in January. The power was out, but not that I really cared - in the beginning. My lamps were aglow and the fire was crackling in the wood cook stove. The wind blew so hard I could hear it roaring inside the log walls of our house. Even without leaves on the trees, they were lashing about. We have a tin roof and I could hear strange noises like someone scratching on the roof. That’s a spooky sound on a dark powerless night. The sounds turned out to be pieces of tree limbs hitting the house!

It was only several days later that we saw a picture of power poles snapped off half way up the pole! It was wicked.

In just northern BC 16,000 were without the advantages of electricity because of the storm. In Alberta record-breaking, hurricane force winds ripped down trees, rooves and signs and tipped over vans and trailers en route. Grocery stores had generators running outside of their buildings with lines running to the freezers and fridges. Small stores with their doors open were taking cash only behind their cold counters. Everything else was eerily quiet and closed.

I know, because I had fuel for my pickup, and had to go in for a doctor’s appointment. I didn’t realize the outage was so large. I went to the doc’s office and they were there – all ready for me. Yep – really.

A power generator that runs on gas.

A power generator that runs on gas.

I saw the receptionist had her winter parka and gloves on behind the desk in the dim-lit entry. I heard a shuffle from the back room which I thought afterward may have been their best ‘professional’ signal that he was ready for me. She announced my name to the otherwise empty room and escorted me down a dark hallway. She indicated the doctor’s room to the side and I noticed him sitting behind his desk. As we had a little discussion in the twilight I couldn’t help but realize the computer was dead, the lights were off, the pens wouldn’t work in the cold…I was concerned about how, exactly, was he going to examine me. When it was time for the exam he asked me to go into the other little room that was darker than any of the previous ones. He kindly suggested that, since he was only looking at my…uhh… leg, that I could leave my winter coat on. Sweet! It was downright chilly.


The doctor’s new tool-the flashlight.

Then, *swallow*, he got out his flashlight. It was like watching CSI for him, but he tried to stay business-like and I pretended it was OK.


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15 Responses to “Hurricane Force Storm”

  1. Hey Sherry! Loved the story. Scary weather / scary times we’re all having for sure. Does my heart good to know you have wood to keep the home fires burning. I have propane. So I have no worries as I always have heat and a fridge as well. Kind of a big deal for us.
    In the spring I expect to have completed my solar panel installation. And then I will be – like you – Off The Grid whenever I wish. I have already camped off grid many times by powering up my solar cells from the RV shore power.
    I’m really proud of us. Were doing it. In different ways completely. But we’re doing it.

    • sherry says:

      I’m so happy for you. It takes a lot of doing but it makes us feel safe.

      • Absolutely! I take the warnings to be self-reliant seriously. Which is why I chose a tiny self contained home. I do like the ability to move to more favorable conditions should a disaster strike. And we have done. There was recently a wildfire where we had been living. We left a day early and never had to deal with the smoke and the mess or our home burning down. So grateful for this.

        • sherry says:

          It has been tinder box dry in your parts. It’s good to know you can get away quick when a disaster strikes! I know you’ve spent a lot of effort to have a healthy ‘Platinum Airship’…without all the modern influences of fumes and contaminants. You know the feeling of a little security in your travelling “bubble”! Wonderful.

  2. Naomi says:

    Ouch! Your doctor’s water lines must have broke, for sure!
    I’m sort of chuckling that both you and your doctor assumed that you still had an appointment.
    Stay warm!

    • sherry says:

      It was the weirdest feeling. It’s one of those times when you keep putting one foot in front of the other, while not really comprehending where exactly you think you are going.

  3. Wendy says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh – a little bit of humor mixed with the reality of the situation. I’ve never been off the grid. Dad made the fires at home and the men at church supplied the wood for campouts and the husband produces the fuel that enters the home in the form of natural gas. The lovely furnace kicks in, the gas stove fires, the hot water heater produces warm water and elsewhere lights shine and computers whirr but does that make me feel secure? Guess what? NO. Security comes from knowing you have a way to manage without relying on a system that fails when the disaster hits. God bless you that have the responsibility and opportunity to do this and share your experiences with others.

  4. We can go Off-Grid indefinitely – without sacrificing anything. We have 2 HONDA generators, currently converting to dual fuel Gas / Propane. All we have to do is top up our AGM batteries every 3 days since we have massive battery capacity. We can also top off our laptops and devices with the generators. Our preference is to use Solar however so we don’t have to even use Fuel.
    I recommend a similar set up for any household: Generators, batteries and Solar.

    • sherry says:

      Right On!! Where did you find your solar parts? How are they attached so they don’t blow off when travelling? The generators and batteries are mounted externally?

      • My Batteries are dry cells and safe for use inside. These AGM batteries reside under my fold out sofa. Generators are on a bed slider in the truck, under the Truck Cap. I also have all the power run to the setup. Right now these can be charged by plugging in or with the Generators. I am slated to get the Solar Panel assembly on the roof within 4 weeks time. I am trying to decide between the glass panels and the flexible ones. The former is bolted on the the roof on the ribs, and the lighter weight flexible ones are riveted and sealed on with a rubberized sealant material. Big decision.


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