Update: We’re still doing ok with the lights although they are flickering and the wind sounds like a freight train when it starts gusting. I have some short iphone video clips from about an hour ago but I turned on two step verification on my google account and it’s giving me fits.
Brooke is taking her online AP History class at Stanford right now. So far, the wifi is holding up. Maybe the state learned something from Irene.
But would that be a good or bad thing for Christie? If he proactively mitigated the effects of Sandy, wouldn’t that imply that government works after all?
Would he be a pariah at the next CPAC meeting? Inquiring minds want to know. In any case, it is gratifying to see my tax dollars at work.
About an hour ago, the lights started to flicker. It was right after I got the sump pump reconnected. It works. In fact, it worked almost too well. The minute I plugged it in, one of the connections came loose and the pump sprayed water all over the inside of the sump closet. That was fun. (um, someone remind me to return the check valve I accidentally liberated from the store). The wind is picking up significantly out there but I have the generator! Yes! It’s sitting in my garage right now. I’m just catching my breath from having to drag it in out of the car. It is really heavy. I’ve located one 2.5 gallon gas can so this will require several trips to the gas station, provided any stay open. Almost everything around here is closed. The grocery store is closed, not that they’d have anything to sell anyway.
I got down to Princeton and back just in time. Driving conditions weren’t bad but I forgot that between my town and Princeton there is a depression in the topography caused by a retreating glacier a long time ago. Even during regular rainstorms, the area floods and roads are impassable from Lawrenceville to South Brunswick. In my case, it would have been a nightmare getting back because all roads leading to my town encounter a river or canal somewhere along the way. We’re an island surrounded by flood prone areas.
As you can see from the picture above, the plumbing supply company rented the biggest U-Haul they could find and drove down to Philly for the generators. They loaded about half of them into their own vehicles for distribution, the rest of us lucky bastards lined up our cars and they loaded them up. Getting it *out* of the car was a bigger problem since neither Brooke nor I are the heavy lifting types. We tried a dolly but just ended up pinned between the box and the car on the sloping driveway. It was hillarious- from a distance.
When I went to pay for the generator, the service rep handed me a mandatory safety bulletin from Governor Christie. There must have been a lot of accidents after Irene especially when people plugged the generator into their electrical panel in some way. Apparently, that’s not a good idea unless the panel has been specifically adapted for this purpose. It turns out that when the utility power comes on when the generator is running, there is too much current flowing through the system at the junction, resulting in bad things happening. They didn’t go into details but the word “fatalities” caught my eye. So, those of you who are considering doing that, don’t. Get an orange indoor/outdoor power cord and run this directly to the appliance you are trying to run. Don’t overload your circuits and try to keep the generator dry. That’s going to be tricky. Ideally, the generator should be in the driveway 15 feet from the house but to keep it dry, it’s going to have to be in the garage. I don’t know how I’m going to rig this but I’m sure Brooke and I will get our McGuiver on.
Now, I just need to get some gas. The wind is starting to howl. Don’t know when the lights will go out. Could be any time now.