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A Community Comes Together During Hurricane Sandy

Butler neighbors helping each other during Hurricane Sandy.

Everyone on Cascade Way rallied when several pine trees were uprooted by Hurricane Sandy on Monday night, October 29, at 6:50 PM.  The lights flickered and then were totally out.  Every house on the street was dark. Cascade Way was now blocked by these fallen trees and live wires stretched across the road.  Cars could not get through.  Neighbors quickly made a home made detour sign with posterboard and a white paper arrow directing traffic to turn onto Mertz Place so they could get back onto Cascade Way in the other direction to find another way to their destination.

Neighbors arrived the next morning with chain saws and rakes and helped the neighbors who were directly affected by the fallen trees.  Even though there were many inconveniences, most had smiles on their faces and rakes in their hands. Many neighbors walked around the neighborhood to assess the damage to other properties and chat with each other about what services they had lost or if anyone had a battery operated radio to find out what was going on. Most of us did not have phone service but discovered Verizon had cell service and no other mobile phone company in our area did.  This was disappointing to me because I had the other cell phone company, of course.  I had no phone service for two days which was pretty nerve racking if there were indeed a serious emergency.

So we went back to our unheated homes for another night of burning logs in the fireplace or wood burning stoves, eating quick meals that didn't require opening the refrigerator or freezer and watching the Yule Log burn uninterestingly early in the season. Most of us have never been so bored watching the fireplace flames dance on the ceiling.  All we were thinking about was the heat it was producing to keep us semi-warm.

Thinking of days of old, (because that's all we could do by candlelight was think and pray), we all wondered how boring the old cowboy days must have been and why farmers got up at the crack of dawn and went to bed after dinner.  Candles were expensive so many couldn't afford them and you couldn't do much of anything in the dark.  Wasn't it said that Abraham Lincoln did his homework by the light of his fireplace?  He must've had one huge fireplace that lit up his home because I was unable to do much other than watch the fireplace and try to keep warm.

But all in all, on Wednesday at 5:02 PM, the lights were restored, the heat is on and I instantly did a load of dishes (as I had forgotten that the dishwasher was run by electricity and couldn't understand why it didn't work when I pushed the "on" button).   It's so funny that so much of what we rely on in this day and age is run by electricity.  Reading a book by flashlight was not my idea of reading, trying to draw by candlelight was ridiculous and my days were cut short by an early bedtime of 8:30 PM because of boredom.

Thank you, Butler Electric for restoring our electricity well within 48 hours.  We appreciate your dedication and hard work.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I hope all are safe and that the electricity, TV, phones, cell phones, heat and water are working correctly and efficiently wherever you are.

Stay safe and be well.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rachel Kientz November 01, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I loved reading this story. I live on Bartholdi across from the HS. For a few hours after the lights went out, our neighbor was trying to encourage us by screaming "Hurricane Party over here". It was great to be able to laugh just a bit during this.
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan November 02, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I loved reading this story too, Rachel, and thanks for sharing, Vickie! Doing the dishes is definitely one of the first things I'll be doing when I get power back as well!

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