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This is not the HoHoHo we were hoping for

My sister Sue works in a hospital lab, which means she works at least some holidays each year as the lab has to be up and functional 24/7 regardless of what day of the year it is. She's worked Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day many, many times over her 34-year med tech career. Last year, after working everyday of Christmas and (I think) some of New Year's, too, she put in a 2013 vacation request to have real holiday over the holidays for the first time ever. Until now, the most consecutive time she's had off over the holidays is 4 days. She works second shift, which means she worked until 1:30 am or something like that this past Friday, then began her first-ever, utterly luxurious Christmas vacation with 11 consecutive days off work.

She's off until New Year's Day. Her plan was to come here, originally leaving Sunday or Monday. She's been watching the weather forecast closely, trying to best time what looks to be a problematic drive in terms of weather. On Friday night, she decided to throw everything in the car when she got up Saturday and leave then, ahead of the ice storm in Sunday's forecast.

The ice storm started Saturday. Oh, joy. Not. First the roads were still slick from the cold night before. Then the ice started building up. The quarter inch that was still slick after 3 bags of ice melt in Susie's driveway was a half inch by Sunday morning. Her power went out overnight. She wasn't alone; the same thing happened to another 19,000 Lansing Board of Water and Light customers. By 11 am Sunday, 25,000 were without power. They managed to restore power to 4,000 by 2pm, but tree branches kept breaking under their icy loads and by Sunday night, it was 34,000. That's just one utility, and far from the largest. State-wide, the number of power outages went from 20,000 to 50,000 to 80,000 and by Sunday nigh a whopping 412,000 homes and businesses were without power. I've been following the news reported by the Lansing State Journal and Lansing TV stations. The newspaper has by far the most information, and the most current information, too.

Estimates of when power might be restored range from Monday to next Saturday. The Board of Water and Light isn't estimating at all at this point. Nor are they taking calls about power outages, only reports for downed power lines. As the newspaper reported, "Emergency officials say no power can be restored until energy crews deal with the hundreds of downed power lines across the region. Unfortunately, lines will continue to come down as ice-laden tree limbs give way under the weight."

Sue is safely hunkered down at home, warm in her long johns under blankets and down comforters...and bored as all get-out. This is not how her vacation is supposed to be going. Much as she's tempted to just hightail it out of Dodge tomorrow, the temps are going to be cold enough that she'll need to start water trickling from her taps to help keep pipes from freezing if electricity (and heat) aren't back on Monday. Until electricity is restored, she need to stick near enough home to keep an eye on things there even if she ends up using a warming center or seeking out other warm places with wifi.

We're both hoping she gets electricity back Monday. Neither one of us is betting on it. When the power comes back, she'll have have more options than she has right now. I just hope she ends up with something resembling a vacation out of this and not just a long, cold 11 days dealing with the ice storm and its aftermath at home. And if she makes it here after all, so much the better!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2013 06:12 am (UTC)
What rotten luck! I hope she and everyone get their power back fast.
Dec. 23rd, 2013 06:36 am (UTC)
So frustrating. So sorry. Hope power is back very soon.
Dec. 23rd, 2013 12:29 pm (UTC)
Ugh. I hope for her to have both a vacation and a visit with you!
Dec. 23rd, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
If you want help scouting for someone who could housesit for her lemme know...
Dec. 23rd, 2013 02:50 pm (UTC)
oh no!
Hope her power comes back on!
Dec. 23rd, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, geeze. Not funny, universe!

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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Geri Sullivan

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