Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Unexpected Eco-Throwdown

Maybe I should have been a little more diligent with Crunchy's Eco Throwdown Challenge. Maybe I would have learned something useful. Maybe I could have been more prepared. Should-a, Would-a, Could-a.
Why? Because I am smack in the middle of an Eco Throwdown like no other. On Sunday, while we were spending time on the lake, we were hit with an unexpected severe storm unlike any thing we have seen before. The weather was hot and humid, maybe a touch overcast, but not foreboding, so we packed up the boys, some snacks and headed out to the cove to anchor and swim with friends. Out of the blue a Sheriff's boat patrolling the area instructs everyone to pull anchor and head for home, a severe storm was on the way. No kidding...

Let's just say our boat, at full throttle, could not outrun the tornadic winds, torrential rain and wall of hail we watched, with wide eyes, as it chased us down the lake. We made it back to the boat hoist, with maybe a single second to spare. However, while being pounded with rain, the winds were strong enough to move 6000 pounds of boat, canopy and metal hoist 8 feet away from our dock, with us still inside. We are incredibly lucky the entire operation didn't tip over and spill us out into the water and dumping the boat right on top of the pile. A small break in the storm allowed us to jump into the water and run 100 feet through the water, then up our hill and into the basement.

Only to find out - we have no power. While we were standing there, sopping wet and listening to the tornado sirens - we didn't know our eco throwdown was just beginning. It's now almost 3 days later. We still have no power. They say maybe by Friday. That's 3 MORE days. We are using lakewater to flush our toilets and a generator to power our fridge, freezer and basic electronics. Yes, computers count, my husband and I both work out of a home office. We have no stove, our grill ran out of propane yesterday. We have no showers, we go to our gym to clean up and use the facilities. Extension cords wind their way though our house as if the reptile house at the zoo opened it's doors into our kitchen. It's hot in here, our kids are crabby and patience is running thin.

Is this an eco throwdown? Maybe. We are getting a sneak peek into what our lives might be like without electricity. Global warming, climate confusion, typhoons, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, melting ice caps, disappearing ozone layers and crazy, stormy weather. Each year, the storms get worse, the power stays out a little longer and the weather gets hotter. Is this our fault? Can we fix it? Or is this the warm up stretch for how we will be living life in a few years? I hope not, living without electricity is hard. Really, really hard. And, I wasn't prepared. More on our eco throwdown survival skills tomorrow. - Right now, I have to go put gas in the generator.


Joyce said...

I'm amazed you're even posting!! We've had very similar stuff here I (although no power outage) but the flooding is really bad. A lot of crops are a complete loss.

Hope you get the power back soon. Fortunately, your kids will probably think it was an adventure.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Well, that was one of the goals of the Eco Throwdown - to let people learn (under non-adverse conditions) that when they are faced with a loss of water, power, etc. that they know how to deal with it and it's not so traumatic.

Sounds like you are coping okay! I hope things settle down quickly, though :)

eco 'burban mom said...

Joyce - The posting, thanks to a generator, is sort of my sanity, you know? Most of my neighborhood seems so surprised by the outage and can't wait to get their generators online so they can power the bigscreen TVs!! Odd!

Crunch - I wish, I wish I had done better with your challenge. I might have been better at adapting to the lack of power. I almost set the wall in the bathroom on fire with a candle. Black scortch marks are a trend in interior design, right??

Green Bean said...

Nothing like trial by fire, right? Sounds like you guys are doing ok but I hope it gets better soon! I suspect we'll all be facing conditions like this off and on over the coming years. Hang in there.

shane keats said...

Hi 'burban,

I'd love to send you a link to a kids cartoon I made about the environment called Heartwood USA for you to check out. It stars a 12 yr old heroine named Carson. Feel free to email me at shane.keats@gmail.com if you're interested. Tks!