.... and it feels like civilization is breaking down.

Redmond is the home of a large chunk of the high tech industry, but it wasn't the best place to call home these last few days. For us it started late Thursday night watching the news of worsening storms on a TV that suddenly died. Along with every other electrical appliance in the house.

An hour later, still totally in the dark, we put extra blankets on the beds and decided Friday morning would see us getting a lantern, firewood and a gas burner.... of course because we didn't get up at the break of dawn and head out with the crowds we were too late! We managed to get fuel for the fire and cold food but our lack of planning and forethought (hey we'd only been in the country a month!) let us down.

Friday was pretty miserable. Luckily one of the local supermarkets had hot coffee available so it wasn't a total disaster, and we had the fire to keep us warm but shortly after sun-down we headed to bed. A day of cold food out of a can is closer the whole camping experience that I want to get at this time of the year (below freezing outside at times over the weekend).

Saturday we had to take the dog back to the vet. He's still not fully over his relocation pneumonia - luckily by then Bellevue had power so that went well... and on the way back we discovered parts of Redmond had power so a Starbucks and a McDonalds later (hot coffee and food and the world seems much brighter) and some more fuel for the fire we headed home.

I'm not sure what was longer that day - the queues outside the Starbucks or the queues outside the gas stations. The supermarkets were quite civilised by comparrison. It is Western Washington after all, and there are some standards!

The best bit was getting closer to home and discovering traffic lights working. Even better was walking through the door and finding the lights (and heater) on in our apartment :)

Civilization restored and all was right in our world. We still went out for dinner to celebrate (along with half the county by the look of the queues) - hopefully the crews from the electricity company and emergency services will soon be able to take a break as well... our thoughts are with them, and those still without power tonight.

It makes you wonder what it will take to make underground powerlines mandatory - a fairly simple decision in the wake of the last major windstorm to hit the area (1993) could have seen a rolling upgrade and these last few days to have been one of smug (and snug) congratulations.

It was quite liberating in some ways to have the technology torn out from under us. My daughter missed the TV and I missed the internet - both email to keep in touch with the world (work sent out the email to tell us power was off not to come in... but I wonder how many people could read it!) and to get forecasts. Luckily my K-Jam had power and we had cell coverage for most of the time, so we had access to email and the web to check forecasts which was luckier than many people. Even so a wind-up radio is one for the kit.

See what KIRO had to say on the subject: More Than 1 Million Lose Power In Windstorm and Utility Crews Work To Restore Power To Western Washington.