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nikipedia's avatar

Do you have any good blackout stories?

Asked by nikipedia (28045points) February 15th, 2012

About halfway through cooking Valentine’s Day dinner last night, our power went out. Luckily, we have a gas stove, and I already had a glass of wine in my hand. We finished cooking with candles and flashlights, then listened to a Radiolab podcast while lying in bed with more wine. It was surprisingly fun! But a little disturbing to realize how helpless I felt with no TV and almost no internet (I can get it on my phone, but it was super slow and barely working during the outage).

What about you? What have you done to pass the time during power outages? Did you kind of like being unplugged temporarily? Or did it cause some kind of terrible problem?

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14 Answers

syz's avatar

I spent 7 days without power a few years ago due to an ice storm. I managed to borrow a kerosene heater, and had to spend the entire time (except for short jaunts out to get more fuel) at the house because I have parrots who would have died in an unheated house.

It was horrible.

Blackberry's avatar

The last time the power went out, I lit all my candles and put them in a circle around me on the floor and read. That was pretty cool.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

We never lose power where I live now, which makes it kind of boring. Back east, the longest power outage I experienced was after the blizzard of ‘67 in the Chicago area. The neighbors all got together and played a lot of board games. The guys had a heck of a poker game going on at the house of a widower and his teenage son. All of the truck drivers that got stranded on Rt. 41 were directed to that house. The rest of us were just happy to not be in school. Luckily the furnaces and gas stoves still worked. I don’t know if that would be the case nowadays – I have heard that the modern gas appliances still need electricity to work.

Coloma's avatar

Yes. 2 years ago December and my foothill community that sees a few inches of snow here and there was hit with the once a decade storm of 2— 3 feet of snow.
Wrecked havoc. lol
Trees snapping off, power lines and phone lines torn down, trapped at home, driving out of our winding, hilly roads was next to impossible.
Power and phones were out for 3 days, I have an electric starter on my propane heat and was freezing. haha

I sat bundled up in the dark for 3 days and nights reading by a battery operated camping lantern and flashlight and candles with about 8 blankets and comforters and cats stuffed under the covers to keep us all warm. haha
No hot water ( gas heated ) and melting snow to boil water for coffee on my gas range that I was able to light the burners with a match. Eating all sorts of weird foods, crackers, cheese, raisens,pickles. haha

On the 2nd day my neighbor plowed my steep gravel driveway with his tractor and I went out for a “spin” literally. lol
About 10 of us got stuck at the bottom of our hill and were careening out of control. I slid off the road and came to rest inches from a giant pine tree and my neighbor careened right at me stopping inches from my car. Another neighbor fired up his ATV and chauffered us all home leaving out cars scattered all around. It was a WILD few days. :-P

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Check it out:,0,1032940.story

We didn’t have power for a week, and school was out for about 3 weeks where I lived.

creative1's avatar

I have plenty of board games and card games to play but the issue with me is that my daughters are too young to play with me so old fashion cards and solitare works well or reading

JLeslie's avatar

I was hosting a welcome to my new home party, about 50 people, and the electricity went out about an hour before everyone was to arrive. I had to take my pork roast a few blocks down, knock on a strangers door, and ask if I could cook it there. She let me. Luckily one of the gifts given to me that night was a hurricane lamp (candle inside of a glass protection) that I could put outside so people could identify the front of my house. The electricity came on about 45 minutes after the set start time of the party.

I have been days without electricity after hurricanes. I think Hurricane Wilma was the worst, about 8 days. The pumps were not working to pump out the sewage, so some people in my subdivision had sewage back up into their house. I was lucky, my block didn’t have it happen. They tell everyone to open the thingy outside so if it backs up it spills out onto the lawn, but I never have bothered to do it. We took everything out of the fridge and freezer and into styrofoam boxes with lots of ice. Everything kept cold for several days. During hurricane aftermath it is bazaar to be out of electricity, your entire community, and then drive on streets without working traffic lights and trees down, and eventually come to a part of town that is all cleaned up and completely functioning normally. We go to friends houses to have some normalcy for a few hours. But, there is curfew after hurricanes when electricity is out over extensive areas, so everyone needs to be off the road by nightfall, and then we would just listen to the radio, have some flashlights or candles on, and go to sleep. Luckily, hurricane season is during the time of the year the days are rather long, and so sleep time is not far different from when the sun goes down.

One year we had a lot of hurricanes in one summer. We had all the hurricane shutters up for weeks, it was like living in a cave. But, the electricity only went out a few days that year.

GladysMensch's avatar

When I was five I went over to my uncle Carl’s house. I walked in the front door and he came up from behind me and gave me a big hug. I don’t know what happened, but I kinda remember waking up in a cement room. I don’t know for sure, because the next thing I remember was waking up on his couch. My bottom was really sore, but he told me that I slipped and fell on something and bumped my bottom. He then took me for ice cream, and told me that my mom would worry and might run away if she knew I was hurt. So I kept it a secret.

oh, you meant the other kind of black-out story

flutherother's avatar

We played board games by candle light. It was fun.

CaptainHarley's avatar

My youngest son was the by-product of an extended blackout. : ))

Bellatrix's avatar

Board and card games here too. When we have storms the power often goes out. Usually it comes back on fairly quickly, but if not, we have played games or gone to bed.

Coloma's avatar

@CaptainHarley Yeah, I have heard that blackouts “produce” baby booms 9 months later. lol

CaptainHarley's avatar

LMAO @Coloma

When there’s nothing else to do…! : D

mattbrowne's avatar

Our kids’ main complaint: the Internet doesn’t work.

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