CHATTER's main machine remains silent, without power, kaput. As of 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, the machine has been quiet and in a cold room for 248 hours. It beats MIT's record but still lags behind others we know, in a competition that no one wants to win. As of today, City Utilities had around 9,000 customers still in the dark, down from 75,000 at the peak of the storm on Jan. 13-14.
What day is today?
When we're back and in a place of whatever passes for permanence, we'll have more to say about the ice storm that insists on sticking around. Thanks for the comments on the last post from a week ago. Sorry for our absence. Blessed, damned electricity.
For now, a few strays thoughts from the disturbance:
*How do you pronounce Asplundh? 'Cause we've been seeing those trucks -- even before the storm, they lurked -- and everytime we try to say it the word comes out sounding like a deep cavity search. It's just not right.
*How much has All Of This cost? Damage estimates from storms in other parts of the country seem to come in within the first 72-120 hours. We've seen nothing similar here (our vision is admittedly very limited right now). Has anyone done a hard-figure story on FEMA direct expenditures to cities, emergency contracts let by City Utilities to trim trees and fix lines, etc.?
*Huzzah and all that to Midwest Family, owners of several local radio stations. Refreshing to listen to alt-rock radio (Q 102.1) and hear a break for the daily media briefing from city and county officials. That's broadcasting.
*CU's problem: Bad handling of predictable circumstances. Rumors fill air when it's confused and in turmoil; after a slaying there is often talk about drugs and porn, white slavery and the occult, and most always it is rumor, and wrong. When the power goes out and normal communications are cut across a city, rumors spread. CU didn't get in front of those rumors and instead allowed them to gain currency. They can (and probably will) buy ads to try to regain the crest. Too late. Where was the map showing areas with outages, something thay would havw graphically debunked the "rich get it first, poor get it last" conspiracy theory? We know people north and south, west and east, all long-timers in the dark, some still without power. No reason or rhyme, unless it's because we all know each other and The Man doesn't want us talking.
*To the anon poster who, commenting on our previous storm post, compared a radio personality's wife to an animal: Not cool. Wasn't cool when Rush Limbaugh did the same to Chelsea Clinton. Still small-minded and definitely not funny. Thinking readers will disavow such a lack of class. We most certainly do.
Hope you're well. What's your best storm story?