I was in Summerside yesterday when our Acurite 5-in-1 weather station recorded a 255.9 km/h wind gust just before 2 p.m. Just glad the house is still standing and the chickens didn’t blow away. What powerful spirit could have flown by and gave the anemometer a spin? Maybe the gitpu (eagle) I spoke to earlier this week as she flew over our house checking out our hens. Message received.
I’ve been recording precipitation amounts for CoCoRaHS since November, dutifully recording rain and snowfall and entering it on their database every day around 8 a.m. I told my mother this morning we received over 7 cm of snow in the past storm. This evening she told me that the CBC PEI weatherman had included the snowfall total for Foxley River in his report, and sure enough, here’s the proof from his Twitter account. Proud weather nerd here!
Just found notes I made while we waited for our power to be restored after Post-Tropical Storm Dorian (PTSD, which is what I had for a bit!). September flew by in a series of post-summer board meetings, keeping me from posting, so I shall post this post-haste!
- Power out from Saturday, September 7, 17:10 to Friday, September 13, 20:30.
- Internet outages: Saturday, September 7 ,17:10 to Tuesday, September 10 19:15, and Wednesday, September 11 09:00-20:00.
- I missed the Internet more than electricity.
- Our average electricity costs to this point in 2019 is $3.84/24-hour-day or 16 cents an hour. We ran our generator for a total 30 hours for those six days and we used 40 litres of gasoline, so that works out to .75 litres/hour. At a cost of $1.14/litre, our generator cost was about 85 cents/hour or (if we had run the generator 24 hours a day) $20.40 a day. Electricity is a really great deal!
- Plug-in carbon monoxide detectors with replaceable 9v battery backups are cheaper to purchase, but they eat batteries like crazy, so I will replace these units with a type with a 10-year non-replaceable battery.
- A chainsaw with a dull chain is almost worse that not having a chainsaw at all.
- After 15 years of faithfully putting on chainsaw chaps, even when I’m just doing a quick job, I found out they work incredibly well (see little white cut in photo below).
- Rainfall amounts Saturday, September 7 = 76 mm, Sunday, September 8 = 26 mm
- Asparagus ferns are the only wind-proof residents of my vegetable garden, even though they look the most fragile. Dahlias and sunflowers collapsed in the first hour of the high winds, even though they look the strongest. Lesson there to be more flexible in challenging conditions.
- It’s still very dark outside when all the orange and bright white street lights that have been plonked in the middle of the country are doused.
- A landline will not always work, despite the promises. This was a big surprise after hearing the message for years that retaining a landline in addition to a mobile telephone is important in case of emergencies as it will always work.
- Landline outage: Sunday, September 8 from approximately 09:30-14:00; Monday, September 9 from at least 05:30-14:30; Tuesday, September 10 from at least 05:00 – 10:45.
- Chicken eggs laid during outage = 24 (no electricity necessary!)
- Canadian Tire in Summerside sold an emergency order of 70 generators that arrived on the morning of September 9 by noon that day. Centennial Honda only had three chainsaws left on September 10, and were out of many parts. To make a fortune, corner the generator and chainsaw market before storms.
- CBC Maritime Noon should always be 2 hours, just like it used to be.
- Media people, including power company spokespeople, say “check our website for more information” a lot. It’s a reflex now, and one I don’t usually notice, except when I can’t access the Internet. Internet-connected devices and service are not affordable by everyone, nor can everyone navigate a computer, so they are left behind even when the power is on.
- Never seen before: round bale of straw floating down the river, bleach bottle that blew into our yard from somewhere.
- Injuries = 0. Trees on house = 0. Trees on power line to house = 1 huge spruce, still very much alive. Trees down in our forest = a lot more than at any other time in my lifetime, possibly because much of our forest grew up after the 1960 forest fire and isn’t that diverse (a lot of white spruce, poplar, and white birch). What looks to us like a big mess is the forest canopy opening up naturally to allow the next generation to thrive.
- I thought very little about the current US president, nor anything else, really. The world kept turning, I just worried about feeding my family, getting water, cleaning up the mess in the yard.
Starting at around 7:00 p.m. this evening, a nice crew from Ontario Line Clearing in Coburg cut the huge old spruce tree and branches that came down on our power line on September 7 during post-tropical storm Dorian. By 8:45 p.m., a line crew had our power reconnected. I thought we would be without power for a couple more days, but these hard-working people really came through for us. Thank you. I’m happy to put the generator to bed for a nice long rest.
I struck up a conversation with a man in my dentist’s waiting room a couple of weeks ago. He said he had moved to PEI from Vietnam in September 2018. I asked him how he found his first winter on PEI, it having been a long one, even for here.
He said, “The weather will be what the weather will be. I had never seen snow before, and it was very cold, but I just accepted it.”
As a weather-obsessed PE Islander, I really didn’t know what to say next…so I asked him about the general weather in Vietnam! He said it ranged from hot and humid to hot and not-quite-so humid. He will be loving today’s 30C high.
I try to greet each day with open arms, which is admittedly easier to do on a bright July morning than a dark January one. It was a good reminder to let the weather look after itself and to focus on things I can control, like my reactions to things I can’t control!