Windstorm/thunderstorm outage and damage

Had a hellaciously bad windstorm blow through here a few hours ago. My particular neighborhood took a nice hit and for the first time in several years, the power is out. Thus far its been out for about three hours..which is actually quite a while for an in-town issue. Some neighborhoods are with power, some are not. My neighborhood is without power, but my house is with power.

I’ve got the Honda chained up outside and its been providing me with internet, full computer service, and microwaved my dinner. Lemme tell ya, that microwave is a pig…the minute I hit the power button you could hear the generator suddenly shift gears.

Inconvenienced? A bit. But I’m magnitudes of order better off than my neighbors. I’ve some 12v lighting rigged up to give me some area lighting around the house, but my computer room is pretty much The War Room. Lights, computer, laser printer, police scanner….life is good. In another hour or two I’ll swap out the extension cord and run the freezer and fridge for a little while. I fully expect the power back on by morning. If not…well, I’ve enough gas on hand to run the generator for a week if I need to.


  • You really need quality extension cords and know where they’re at.
  • I have a good cable and lock for the generator. A must.
  • Battery lights for wandering around. The Streamlight Siege is awesome. Get three.
  • The Goal O daisy-chainable 12 v. lights are also quite handy.
  • Extra MagLites to pass to the neighbors are well appreciated
  • LED lights are the way to go. No two ways about it.
  • Your teenage neighbors will be your friends for life if you give them the pass to your functioning wifi.
  • Got extra space in your freezer? Keep your water bottles in there so when the power goes out your stuff stays cooler longer.

More to follow.

17 thoughts on “Windstorm/thunderstorm outage and damage

  1. RE: extension cords – one heavy one – 10-3 SO, with L5-30 twist locks on each end and adapters to convert to L5-30s to NEMA 5-15 or 5-20 (Pro tip: 12 ft 10-3 with NEMA L5-30P on one end and a box with 4- or 8-gang 5-15s; Tripp Lite makes very good 20 amp outlet strips with 15 ft cords in configurations from 8 to 15 outlets, replace the 5-15 plug on one with an L5-30P).

    Headlamps are handy, too. Petzls are good, The Fenix HP25 is outstanding – 360 lumens with both a flood and spot – spendy at $70 (amazon) but a terrific headlamp.

    Side note: have you considered getting a 2nd EU2000 and coupling them together? That way you could run computer, a couple lights AND the fridge and freezer simultaneously.

    • Thought about it. I just need to be willing to spend the $1000 for another EU and money is a wee bit tight these days.

  2. Extension cords.

    Spend the money and get the good ones. Get the ones that the guy at Lowes or Depot wont sell you unless you show a Building Trades Union card; you know, the -good- ones.

    They’re pricey but worth it. While a couple 25-footers can be handy, don’t shy away from the 100-footers. They’re a pain in the balls to have to roll up, but no one ever bitched that their extension cord was too long.

    Seriously, you want the heaviest gauge most heavy duty ones you can get.

    When I replaced my well pumps I saved the electrical cable that was in the well. 250 feet long! Put a male plug on one end and a female plug on the other and have a whopper of an extension cord!

    Every Christmas I wait for the post Christmas sale and buy the super discountd strings of white led Xmas lights. The are super low drain but give me a long string of usable light and can be daisy chained to other strings of xmas lights for almost unlimited length with very very low power draw.

    Microwaves are notorious wattage hogs. Don’t you have a volcano you could have fired up?

    • Yeah, but I was curious to see how the generator handled the sudden increased draw.

  3. Love my Honda 2000’s. Working on a dog house to hold them with a top hinged roof for access. That with a wired exhaust fan should make an already super quiet genie whisper quiet and incredibly harder to spot and covet.

  4. Volcano? I’ve heated the work space with a salamander but, a volcano? A quick briefing, please. Thank you.

    Re internet: do you get it via cable or satellite? I was informed by the guy in the bucket truck that the batteries he was replacing would run the neighborhood’s cable for about four hours. We might be in the dark, but by dog we will have tv available! So I was wondering how long your intertube would stay up; don’t wanna get the local teens’ hopes up and then piss ’em off… Thanks for the post; I’m looking forward to your sequel.

    • The volcano reference above – theYellowstone National Park caldera – that will ruin your weekend if it ever decides to go active again.

      • Ah, thank you. I’ve heard half or a third of the country will be extremely unhappy if it goes up.

  5. Speaking of power, do you have any opinion on the Duracell “Procell” professional alkaline batteries verses the normal alkalines? Trying to decide which I should buy, as I just discovered I’m starting to run low…

    • Honestly, I just go to CostCo and buy the bulk pack of regular Duracells. For critical gear like GPS and radios, I go with lithium AA batteries.

    • As far as I know, the Procell stuff is the same a regular except for the packaging. I’ve started getting my Duracells from Amazon due to better prices.

    • Used procell batteries for years professionally. BUT duracel changed their formulation some time back, and it is WAY more prone to leakage and swelling than historically.

      I’ve had so many duracel’s ruin gear, or get stuck in expensive flashlights, that I won’t have them in the house anymore, except for 9v and the sizes I can’t easily get alternatives for. The phenom is widely documented online.

      I’ve been using the Costco AA and AAA sizes now for about a year. I haven’t had any leak. As a bonus, they are cheaper too.


      • I’m seeing their 9v batteries puking their guts out the bottom. On top of which, even in smoke detectors, they go dead much much faster than normal. They do this almost overnite, if the one I had in a DVM is an example. Meter was working fine, two days later no meter display. Checked the batt with a second meter, nothing.

  6. Sorry you’ve had trouble but what a way to shake out the gear! Good call on the extension cords…I’ve a bunch of drop cords but definitely could add some better quality versions to the supply. Hope things have improved…

  7. Those Goal 0 lights you mentioned, is that a proprietary plug or can I just use any old cig-plug adapter? Or would I be better off splicing my own long cable for those?

    • Its a proprietary plug, but each light comes with a cigarette lighter adapter.

  8. 911 had 325 calls in 3 hours. we were listening live to the incoming dispatches. our little town was skipped right over. some rain and wind but nothing like Missoula.

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