My Time With St Jude Part 2
Day After The Storm.
Waking up from what I hoped was just a dream (or nightmare!) to find that it is now almost 24 hours without power.
A big sigh and up and out to get on with my day. I’m sure the power will be on soon.
I do my rounds of feeding and mucking out (which seems to take so much longer without the radio for company) and now time to find out what is happening with this lack of power.
There was a number with the text messages from uk power that I can call. Oh joy my call is in a queue. My, that music is thrilling!
Eventually I get to speak to a human being but they can’t give me any information as to when the power will be reinstated or what the exact problem is. All they can say is they now know about my problem. “Can I point out that because there is no power we also have no water”. “Ok, that has been noted on your incident report”.
Right well I’ve done as much as I can for now. No choice but to carry on and hope for good news soon.
During the afternoon I get a call from the clients PA. She has managed to get hold of someone for me to speak to. This sounds a bit more productive:-
Can you go to the fuse box and is the meter digital? YES. Are there numbers showing on the display? NO. Ok, well that indicates that there is no power coming into the property. Need you check your trip switches again! Not only checking but switch them all off and back on, it means you reset the system for when the power comes on. We have engineers working in the area I will get them to call when they are on the way. It could be in the middle of night.
I carry on feeling certain the power will be on soon. Yet again I proceed to switch all the trip switches off, then back to the house to switch them all back on starting with the main switch to the house.
I do my late afternoon round of dealing with animals (in the approaching dark) with my cap light on, brilliant thing much more comfortable than head torch.
Water is required for human and animals in the house. I head to the shops to stock up on water and batteries. There are no big torch batteries left, I ask the lady at checkout if she has heard of people still without power, “yes, loads!” At least I’m not alone.
May as well get takeaway, although I have the aga to cook on it’s not that easy in the dark (thats my excuse and I’m sticking to it). The news is on the television in the takeaway and they are reporting on the storm, Suffolk is the worst hit, 100,000 homes still without power.
Text from UKPowerNetworks sent at 19:22 – By the way; we’ve got some power back on to your area remotely so you may be back on already. We keep sending text updates to everyone until all the power to your area is on.
Woo hoo, so power might be on soon, good thing as my back up battery pack is running low.
Oh well off to bed, power may be on soon or there may be a call from the engineers.
Any power? NO!
This is getting serious now, I’m gonna have to find water from somewhere for the animals.
Do my feeding/turning out round but leave mucking out as finding water is the priority. I call the power company, 45 mins on hold. Fortunately I speak to the woman I spoke to yesterday, “sorry no more information, engineers are working on it, but we are aware that you have no water so it puts you higher on list.”
So it’s a hunt for water day today, set off to Ernest Doe, the local agricultural store, they have agreed to fill up the water containers I found in the tractor shed and maybe I can buy some more? I stop off at the neighbours along the road to see how things are with them. “We have no power but we haven’t reported it, heard there was a long waiting time on hold. ” They tell me of power lines are down in the next village along and how its quite a mess.
They also gave me good tip to wrap chest freezer in blankets to keep the cold in. They offer to fill up my water containers (since they are served by mains water which is not metered), “thank you but its arranged with Ernest Doe and I also want to get more containers.“ Get to the store, sold out of water containers, no generators either (thought I might just ask on the off chance) coming out of store to head to another shop to see if they have water containers the car behind is flashing its lights furiously, I pull over, its the neighbours, “you’ve got to head back quick, there are men from uk power network there. If you go you might catch them and they can tell you whats going on as they have us,” I get there just as they are getting into their car.
Hello, please tell me you’ve come to return the power? (as someone has stolen it from me) We are just here assessing the situation following the power line back to the source of the problem and trying to accertain how many homes are without power which by the way as you are the only one in the area to have reported loss of power it was assumed you were the only one. So not high on the list. I’m afraid from what we have heard already (tree having taken down power line in next village) you are looking at Friday at the earliest, maybe even early next week. You have got to be kidding, What, Aahhhhh! We would advise you to look into getting a generator. I don’t suppose you could take my number and let me know when you get to the next village just how bad it is and that will maybe give me a better idea of what to do.
Very kindly they did however no change in their earlier predictions.
I call the PA, my battery is running low and my back up battery pack is out (I shouldn’t have played games in those quiet moments). I update her on the situation, also ask if she can liaise with client as phone battery running low. Can we get a generator? If so can she source it for me as I would not know where to get one from.
Text from UKPowerNetworks at 14:12 – We’re sorry you’re without power. Our engineers are still working on repairs in your area and making progress. At this stage we’re hoping to have your power back on by 16:15 if all goes to plan. We’ll keep you updated as best as possible. Thank you for you patience.
Now going by what my new best friend (Gerry, one of the engineers from earlier) has told me, this will not be likely. I’ll just cheekilly give him a call. “Let me make a few calls and get back to you.” Such a nice man.
In the meantime I get the go ahead to hire a generator. An electrician appears to check out what he needs to fit it. “OK, not as easy as I thought but we can work it. I’ll get the part I need by midday tomorrow, should have you sorted by the afternoon.” Yay so one more day without power, I can cope with that.
Get a call back from Gerry, “your postcode has probably got caught up with others who will get power on, so don’t cancel getting a generator.”
I decide to take the neighbours up on their offer of water. I hunt down all the empty water bottles I can find to get as much water as possible. Arms overflowing with bottles I head over. It takes a little while to fill all the receptacles and then I head back and fill up some dustbins on the yard. Back to the house to drop off water for there then back to the yard before it gets dark to bring the beasts in.
Making my way up to yard I can hear the water feature in the garden running…. Hold on a minute…. That needs electricity to run. I go to the nearest light switch, the power is on and what do you know its 16.15.
Happy days, up to the yard to tell the animals the good news and to switch the radio on.
In a normal day for an Animal Aunt you rarely see a soul but this day I have seen more people than I would in a month.