Thursday, July 20, 2006

42 hrs Without Power & Counting

It has finally begun to cool off here thanks to some storm off the east coast. Unfortunately, the heat has already taken it's toll on residents and has destroyed a portion of the Queens power grid.

The Human toll: People have had strokes, have developed heat stroke, a number have been involved in car accidents (right outside my windows) and those who have medical issues have had existing conditions exacerbated by the heat.

Infrastructure damage: Cable fires underground and system blow outs have also affected all cell and telephone phone service, all air transportation out of LaGuardia Airport and all TV Cable companies everywhere in Queens. Which for me means no cell signal, so no treo blogging. In addition, I just found out this morning that power won't be fully restored till Sunday as they have to re-construct the grid. It's no longer repairable. Yes, that's right, that would make it 6 whole days without power. The highest temps it will get over the next few days is 85F degrees, which will be tomorrow afternoon. Fortunately, my job is in Manhattan and 95% of Manhattan still has power, so that's where I will be (with my son, if power isn't back up at his day camp).

Actually, that's where I'm posting from today. I was able to to return to work (with my son) when water was restored to us. I don't think my co-workers would have appreciated my fragrance otherwise.

My son has been slowly fraying around the edges. The total darkness makes him very scared and apprehensive and he's been acting out as a result. My patience is somewhat low because of the heat and from the constant nausea that had been setting in from just eating and drinking hot foods. I have a permanent dull headache from lack of caffeine which I hope to soon correct. But I keep reminding myself he's only 6 and so far that's helped.

All traffic in my area has been redirected past my bedroom window and it's no longer quiet and tranquil. Instead it's horns constantly blaring and lots of car accidents (which have included pedestrians) because without street lights it's every man for himself. So sleep has been non-existent for those 42 hrs. The battery operated fan is relegated to my son, so that he can at least sleep comfortably.

I overheard a neighbor say that living in our building was like living in Beirut. It doesn't even compare to that. If this is what my neighbors think about our situation now, what will they do in 40 to 60 years when the current supply of oil runs out? I really believe we've become overly dependent on oil and we really need to begin developing alternative forms of energy on a mass scale, including returning to nuclear energy as an option.

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