I've been meaning to write about this all week, but things have been a little hairy around here lately.
But better late than never - and I wanted to be sure I didn't forget to document this event.
I'm sure the majority of you (if not ALL of you) have heard by now about the gas line explosion that happened last weekend near our place. Shortly after 1am on Saturday there was an explosion that lit up the night sky. We slept through it obliviously, but when I woke up, my Facebook feed was full of this crazy event.
A few hours after I had gotten up, we received the news that our natural gas - along with several other nearby communities - was being shut off as they worked to repair the damage.
Uh..say what?! Our furnace is gas and with the frigid temperatures we've had all winter (last weekend no exception!) this means we would have to go without heat?? And the time frame they gave us was 24-72 hours!! Les made a quick trip to the city to pick up electric space heaters from family and friends (including a construction heater) and we just hoped for the best. Fortunately our water tank - and everything else - was not gas, so we still had hot water and could use our stove, etc. Not everyone else was as fortunate.
We were sitting pretty comfortable for the day, but there was a bit of underlying anxiety as there were a few things sitting heavy on my mind. One was that everyone was holding their breath that with so many space heaters being used to compensate for lost heat that the hydro wouldn't be able to take it and that we'd lose electricity on top of the gas! Another was that there was a blizzard on its way for Sunday with even colder temperatures and crazy gusty winds. We're talking -40C/-40F temperatures.
That first night, we had a family sleepover in the living room as we didn't really know what to expect. It was an adventure for us, that's for sure, but nobody slept really well. Morning dawned and while we had duties in church, we stayed home. Not only because of not wanting to leave the space heaters unattended, but the weather had indeed gotten crazy overnight and traveling was not really a good idea.
It's amazing how something like this really makes you feel restless. I mean, our house was warm enough with the heaters we had borrowed, but life just seemed at a standstill. We were under a declared state of emergency and just that thought can make you feel anxious. But even after hearing reports from hydro that they were keeping up just fine with the increased use of electricity, the blizzard adding to the mix - including closed highways - really made us feel trapped. The concern now was that even if Hydro could keep up - what about if the storm knocked out the power? Then there would be the issues of pipes freezing! We all seemed to be at a loss as to what to do, so we didn't really do anything for Saturday and Sunday. Like, nothing.
Sunday night approached and the gas still wasn't restored. This time we all slept in our own beds as we knew that the heaters were doing their job and we would all be warm enough on our own.
School was canceled on Monday and I had an appointment in the city, so the house was unattended for a few hours until Les came home from work early. I ended up staying in the city with the kids at my parents' place to give them a bit of a change of scenery and after coming home at the end of the day, we went to bed with the gas still not restored.
That was the last night with no gas though, as things got restored sometime during the night. We woke up Tuesday morning to a working furnace and it was a big relief. Another day off of school though, as it hadn't been restored quick enough to make sure the schools were properly warmed and ready to go for staff and students.
So, yes we stayed comfortable enough and safe - but being in a declared state of emergency is something I don't ever really feel the need to go through again.