Apparently my decision to leave work last night was a wise one. The six inches of water I waded through in the garage turned into four feet soon after. We lost power sometime in the night but while large branches now cover the house, deck, and yard, none of them actually made it through the house, so it’s cold inside, but not windy.
This morning, I foolishly tried to keep my appointment with my personal trainer. During winter in Seattle, 7am may as well be the middle of the night. I felt around in the dark bathroom for my toothbrush. I grabbed my gym bag. I figured I could shower at the gym.
As I drove down my street, I understood the lack of power. Huge trees had fallen over power lines, and the street was an obstacle course of wires and poles and dislodged trees still sporting full root systems. I slowly drove around them. My gym is directly across the street from my office, about 10 miles from my house. The route is a combination of streets and freeway. I didn’t see signs of electricity the entire drive.
I wasn’t hopeful about the gym. Or, for that matter, my office. I pulled up to the very dark and very closed building. And drove over to the equally dark, equally closed office. A group of people were standing around in the parking lot. I noticed that much of the water had been pumped from the parking lot. But while the water situation had improved, the power situation had not. A small group of my coworkers were huddled around a car, eating pastries. I am apparently not the only crazy person in my office, trying to work at 7:30 in the morning, despite the lack of power and connectivity. You would think we might decide to go home and go back to bed. But if you would think that, you don’t know us very well.
Our company has another office in Seattle. All we had to do was figure out a way to get over the one bridge that remained open and we could work! (Have I mentioned that we are insane? But look, no power at home — so no heat, no coffee, no Internet. We have all of those things and more at work!) A few of us carpooled over. We heard on the radio that the carpool lane that is normally open to westbound traffic in the morning was instead open to eastbound traffic, because there was no power to turn on the other side. We soldiered on.
We eventually made it to the office — land of power! and warmth! and coffee! The best part was by far the coffee. And we even had Internet access. Oh Internet, how I’ve missed you. You were only gone from me for a few short hours, but the loss was a stabbing pain to my wounded heart. And while my blackberry had forsaken my instant messaging and web browsing needs, it mostly made up for it by continuing to provide email. Oh blackberry, please never leave me.
Our main office is closed until they can get the power back on and pump out all the water and I’m not sure what’s going to happen at home. I think we’re in for several days of non-power. And the news doesn’t look hopeful: “We’re just now getting a grasp on how bad the damage is,” a spokeswoman said. “We’re cautioning customers to prepare for multiple days without electricity.”
Which means coffee could be a problem. Lack of coffee is just about as bad as lack of Internet. Can I survive the weekend? Can’t I just spend the weekend in this office?