I started to write a blog post on Monday when a severe storm hit. I was in Perth Western Australia, where I grew up (I now live on the other side of the country) and was staying with my parents. Half way through a word in my second paragraph I had a strong feeling I should turn my laptop off as it was plugged into the power. Almost at the exact time I flicked the switch the power did fail. What I did not know then was that we were to remain without power for the next 24 hours.
I have experienced short power cuts before but never for this long. I knew we had no lights or cooking facilities and that the conventional telephone would not work. I consoled myself that I had my mobile phone, only to realize the battery was almost flat. I knew I could use my computer for a short time until the battery was also almost gone. It is very eerie to feel so cut off from communication.
The storm itself was harsh. It worked it’s way from the north of Perth through the city and suburbs, down through neighboring towns leaving a path of destruction. There were strong winds, very heavy rain, loud claps of thunder and hail stones the size of golf balls.
When it hit the area my parents live there was soon rain coming through the family room roof. We were quick to put buckets and towels around the floor. Their small back courtyard started filling up with water causing us concern. However we were fortunate that the worst of the storm passed us and we were spared the hail stones that many encountered. The thunder was so loud and felt close like it was “in” our house and the flashes of lightening did not stop all night.
We spent the night in darkness (except for the lightening flashes) with two lonely candles and one small torch. Our only entertainment was a transistor (battery operated) radio belonging to my Dad. It kept us up to date with the news of the storm. As the storm had hit the middle of the city at 4.30 PM it was right before the bulk of people would make their journey home from work. There was total chaos on the roads and it took many people hours to reach their homes. Trains were unable to operate in many areas.
The advice we were hearing on the radio was to stay wherever you were and NOT venture out in the storm. I cannot for a moment think why anyone would go out in it!
There was much damage throughout the city. Cars have been written off and many buildings damaged. Perth is a city that does not usually experience this type of weather. It is more common where I now live in Queensland so this was one of those freaky events.
My parents and I kept reminding ourselves we were blessed to have so little damage and whinging that we could not have a cup of tea was hardly important, given many people had to leave their homes because of flooding and other damage.
When the power came on 24 hours after it had been cut we were very happy. The first thing I did was recharge my mobile phone and then went to plug my computer in. I plugged it into the wall and flicked the switch to have sparks fly out of it and my computer power pack blew. I was very grateful I had not attached it to my computer. My computer remained off until today when I had returned home and could buy a new power supply.
I was disconnected from the internet, emails, Facebook etc for a few days. At times this felt like a real catastrophe for me and I am sure many of you will relate. The positives were I spent more time talking to my Mum and I read a book she is writing about her life which was awesome. Sometimes I think we are just meant to stop!
Have you been without your phone and computer for long? I would love to hear your stories.