• Jeff Robbins

California Power Outage 2011

Last night there was a blackout in Southern California, western Arizona, and parts of Mexico.  The power outage was the largest in California history and the radio reported that the power could be off for several days.  When I heard the extent of the outage, I immediately went to Vons to pick up a bunch of water.  Being in tune with our local water needs, I thought we would really be in trouble if the water turned off.  At about 7PM When I got to Vons, they had just got the backup generator working.  There was a line around the store and an employee at the door was letting one person in at a time.  When I got in 30 minutes later I loaded up a cart with water.  Most other people were shopping for normal groceries and some college kids I ran into were buying beer and BBQ supplies.  After I felt good about the water situation I went over to my parents.  My sister was in town from San Francisco and my dad got home from work.  Mom served lukewarm soup and heated up some apples and cinnamon on the BBQ for desert.  We chatted by candle light for several hours outside on the warm summer night. Its hard to describe the feeling but there was a kind of relaxation in air that could only come with the acceptance that the situation was out of our control.  The power turned back on at 3 or 4 in the morning.  Thankfully we remembered to turn the light switches off so the lights didn’t come on in the middle of the night like it did for many of my friends.  Speaking of which, my friends and lots of people I talked with after the power outage said they actually really enjoyed it.  It broke the norm and people actually went outside that evening.  They cooked food on the BBQ, met neighbors for the first time, and just plain hung out. 

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