If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that we were without electricity for 45 hours after our power went out at …
At first, we were hoping the power would come back on within a couple hours, but then Toronto Hydro said on Twitter that it would be 12-16 hours before the electricity was restored. That news felt like a punch in the stomach! And then a couple hours later that estimate quickly changed and they started advising people to prepare to be without electricity for at least 72 hours! Yikes! And if that wasn't already bad enough, by the next morning they were starting to say that some people would not be reconnected until the weekend, after Christmas…
Luckily our electricity came back on (after only 45 hours) on Monday night at around 6pm. During the day, Michelle and I had headed downtown for various medical appointments and to get something hot to eat (the Scarborough GO station was without power so it turned out to be a free ride) and as we were walking back home in the middle of the dark, icy street, we saw the electricity come back on in our neighborhood. (The streets were icy, but the sidewalks were much worse, so it was safest to walk in the middle of the road.) It was the best Christmas gift ever and we were feeling super lucky!
As we were walking home down the middle of the dark, icy street, we saw the power come back on in our hood… House is at 5°C & climbing… :-D— Daniel Menjívar (@DanielMenjivar) December 23, 2013
The hardest part of the ordeal was dealing with the cold – our house got down to about 4ºC (~39ºF) at the lowest point. Also, it was impossible to get any sleep the first night – every couple minutes we'd hear a snap, crackle, THUD! as yet another branch succumbed to the weight of the ice and fell into our backyard. Our backyard now looks like a war zone (you can see the cable line got taken down by some of the branches too) and I have no idea how we're going to clean it up with my wrists in the state they're in…
Imagine the sound of those tree limbs cracking, then falling to the ground in the pitch-black night!
On Monday morning, the temperature outside wasn't too much colder than it was inside the house, so I headed out to take some photos – but only around our house since walking anywhere was risky business (especially with an expensive camera in hand) because everything was covered in super-slippery ice. Here are some of those photos:
Later, on our way downtown (via the Scarborough GO station), I took some photos throughout our neighborhood. It doesn't surprise me to now hear the mayor report that Scarborough was the hardest hit area in all of Toronto. Here are some of the photos I took in our Cliffside neighborhood near Natal Park in Scarborough:
Quite the storm!
Rogers was very apologetic when telling me that they wouldn't be able to reconnect our cable line until Sunday, which means no internet for now. (I'm tethering to my iPhone to get these photos up.) Michelle and I were planning on spending the holidays watching movies on Netflix, but honestly, we're just glad to have electricity and heat again! After seeing the war zone in our backyard and the mess that has become of our neighborhood, I wasn't expecting Rogers to get us up and running for quite a while anyways. So all things considered, Sunday seems pretty quick.
The worst part of all of this is to hear that there are still thousands of people without hydro… It pains us to hear that! Michelle and I have invited over our friends without electricity but since all of them seem to have things under control, we're now trying to see how else we can help. Maybe we'll go volunteer at a warming centre tomorrow, or some place where we can help people with pets – we hope no one has to endure even for five minutes what we went through for two nights!