Nearly 10 years ago (almost to the exact day) in July of 2006 Saint Louis was slammed by two of the worst storms in Ameren UE’s 104 year history. The first storm knocked out power from 300,000 homes. The second placed nearly 1.1. million people without power. I actually blogged about this in 2006 (that blog is gone, I tried to see if I had exported it). We lived in an apartment and lost power in the first storm, and unlike some who gained power and then lost it again in the second storm, we just stayed without power for 3 days. Some went as long as 2 weeks without power. Saint Louis was completely sold out of generators.
I had guinea pigs, probably about a dozen and no a/c in the hottest time of the year (it got into the 90’s in the apartment) and I had no idea how to keep them cool except to put them in the bathtub. I remember being a part of an e-mail group for guinea pig owners and this one guy going on about how hard the power outage had been for him and I didn’t, but I wanted to say I was still without power.
Anyway I remember seeing these long convoys of Ameren UE trucks as they just traveled from neighborhood to neighborhood restoring power, most of them working around the clock. We eventually wound up staying at my aunt Debbie’s. She had only lost power for 24 hours and didn’t lose it in the second storm (her subdivision’s power lines are buried so they usually aren’t affected by storms.)
That first day in the apartment was tough. I would just lay there on the bed in my bra and sweat. I couldn’t sleep it was too hot, and I was working nights in 2006 so I had to try to sleep during the day. The last two days we didn’t have power we stayed at Aunt Debbie’s because she had power and we stayed in her basement where it is nice and cool, but this was the big kicker: Aunt Debbie had power, but she doesn’t use her air conditioning unless it gets really hot in the house. (Let me take a moment to drive home my point. We picked up the kids from Aunt Debbie’s because we didn’t have a/c, ours had broke, and she wasn’t even using hers. It was 85° outside. She said, “Well it isn’t really that hot out.” We keep our house at 72° year round.) So her house was only moderately cooler than my apartment, her basement was the coolest place of all. True 85° is better than 95°.
So having told that story. Yesterday, a bad storm came through and about 3:30 pm we lost power. We were without power for about 20 hours this time, just long enough to lose everything in the fridge, freezer was okay. Had to sleep in the basement where it was cooler, but it was so humid that it made my rat cages noticeably smelly. Now that the a/c is back on and the humidity down, the cages don’t smell that bad, I’m still gonna clean them though. My back and neck hurt from sleeping on the couch with my husband. Because I couldn’t charge my phone I didn’t chase any Pokémon. Kept my phone on power saver the whole time.
My work never lost power, The other restaurants around us, lost power. We had a rush that started at 5 PM and didn’t stop until 12 AM when we finally closed drive-thru. There was only down time long enough to get a drink and once use the bathroom. None of us got breaks. I didn’t even get to eat until 12 AM when we finally closed and I inhaled a chicken sandwich that got made by accident. We didn’t get a single pre-close item started. Normally you have enough time between orders to stock the condiments, wipe everything down and wash the tea urns. None of this got started until after I ate my sandwich. We clocked out at nearly 2 AM.
So today I’m grumpy, I’m sleepy. I’m sore. Power came on around 12 PM. My husband has been texting me all morning about how he came across a 2000 Ford Explorer for $650. I gave him the go-ahead to buy it. I got the money from the bank for it. He seems to keep forgetting I have to work today. He wanted me to meet him at work at 5 PM (I had to remind him that I have to be at work at 5 PM). Now he wants me to meet him and bring him the $650 for the truck. I don’t want to go anywhere. I have to leave in an hour for work. Thankfully tonight is a 6 hour shift so I can get home and get to bed. After tonight I close the next 3 shifts.