A Bit of Wind and Halloween Gets Postponed

6 Nov 2017 Karina S. Henkel

New England was hit by a powerful storm with hurricane-force winds a week ago, knocking out power to more than a million homes and businesses across the Northeast. Maine was the state that was hit the hardest.

Strong winds were howling all night long, beginning Sunday night, until Monday afternoon. It was kind of risky for Andrew and me to drive to work on Monday morning, but since we had lost power at home there was no point in staying in a cold house without any electricity. I missed my hot coffee in the morning and was hoping to get it at work, although I was not sure how hard the City of Portland was hit by the storm and whether it still had electricity. But luckily our office building had power. You couldn’t say the same about other buildings on the same street or in the rest of Portland.

Our town, as many others, was totally dark for several days. The gas stations were closed because they need electricity to pump gas. The crossing lights were dark and there was not a single light in the streets. Driving at night through these dark towns was quite strange.

As I said, this storm was a week ago. But there are still so many of my friends and colleagues who sit in the dark. Some have generators that cover at least the furnace and the refrigerator. Others live in motels until their houses are connected to the grid again.

I hear that the utility companies work day and night to repair all ripped cables and connect all houses to power again. They hope that everybody will have power by this weekend.

But we all know that the next storm will come. It might not be as powerful as this one, but whenever there is just a little bit of wind, thousands of homes lose power. Having all these power cables above the ground seems to be such a waste of resources. But for some reason Americans don’t want to change that.

Oh. And several towns postponed Halloween. Andrew and I had carefully planned to stay out of the house for the real Halloween.  But because of the outages the towns recommended that the trick or treating should be postponed to Friday, after Halloween. Now Andrew and I were screwed because we didn’t want to go out for dinner a second time this week. Therefore, we decided to stay in the house but hid in the basement only using our little flashlights when we went upstairs. There were hordes of children on our street on Friday night, but none of them rang at our door.

I think our behavior is quite un-American, isn’t it?