Monday, September 12, 2011

My Power Outage Story and UTC Farmers’ Market

Being in San Diego, I was one of the almost five million people that was left without power last Thursday. I’ve been quite curious to hear everyone’s blackout stories, so I thought I’d share mine and hope you will share yours.

I was at work when the outage occurred. At first, I thought the lights had simply been turned off, something that happens quite often at my office, especially when we are working late. When I realized my computer and office phone were also dead, I waited for the office administrator to contact the building manager to find out what was going on. Of course she couldn’t get through. A few minutes later, my coworker noticed that the traffic lights outside weren’t working. My first thought was that of excitement– this may be the closest I’ve ever come to a work “snow day.”

There’s very few circumstances that could cancel work, but losing power would definitely be one of them. Had it been a hurricane, blizzard, fire, we would probably still be required to come to work. Remember the fires we had a few years ago? The fires so bad that all schools were canceled, most businesses were closed, and the mayor told people to stay inside unless absolutely necessary because of the bad air quality? I had to go to work… I had three roommates back then who worked at three different areas of San Diego. No one else had to work in my house other than me. Boy was I pissed driving into a deserted downtown. Anyway, so this was my one chance at a “snow day.”

It wasn’t too long until we realized the extent of the outage. Text messages were coming in to various coworkers informing us of power outages reaching close to the border and as far north as Encinitas. We were shocked by the news. How could a power outage be so large? I was lucky enough to have my smartphone with Verizon connection so I stayed pretty much connected to the outside world for the entire outage. I couldn’t find news from any of the local stations on the subject, so I went onto twitter, which seems to be the fastest place for news these days. Sure enough, within a few minutes, SDG&E was giving updates and their official response via twitter.

A few minutes later, we were allowed to leave. Once downstairs, it took quite a while to get out of the parking garage. But luckily I had the air conditioning on in my car to keep me cool. I also had my phone car charger to keep my phone charged. It took me twice as long to get home as usual. It was especially bad on the surface streets because of the four-way stops. The freeways weren’t nearly as bad.

By the time I arrived home, it was no longer really like leaving early from work, but it was still something. My brothers were already home, and we started getting things ready for nightfall. One of the SD food trucks was to be stationed nearby that night, their usual Thursday ritual. But I figured it would be really crowded. Then I remembered that UTC had recently began a Farmers’ Market on Thursday nights, which I had been wanting to check out anyway. So we decided to head over while it was still light out.

As expected, the Farmers’ Market was busier than ever, especially the food vendors. The vendors seemed overwhelmed but happy. They also wished they had enough food in preparation for the blackout. Here is the line for the crepes.

While there, I was happy to pick up some passionfruit, mini guava, and white raspberries.


I was also excited to see live sea urchin being sold. I know that Mercato Farmers’ Market has live sea urchin, but when I went last time I didn’t find the vendor.


It costs $6 for the urchin if you take it to go. If you want them to prepare it for you, it costs $9. I love seafood and I love it fresh, but I’m too squeamish to actually kill my seafood, so I opted to spend the additional $3 for them to cut it open for me. As one might imagine, the uni tasted ridiculously fresh. Yum.

After a little more browsing, and buying a few more items, we headed home. We lit some candles, sat around the couch. I checked twitter constantly, so I knew what was happening and when the electricity starting coming back. I sort of wished for the electricity to stay off so we wouldn’t have to work the next day. But I was relieved when it turned back on for the sake of all my ice cream in the freezer and food in the fridge. Luckily, everything survived since we didn’t open the fridge or freezer after the outage hit.
I felt pretty fortunate on my situation. I got home relatively easily, stayed connected to the internet, and spent the time with my family.

So what is your outage story?
 

 

14 Responses to “My Power Outage Story and UTC Farmers’ Market”

  1. 1

    Kirk — September 12, 2011 @ 6:04 am

    How fortunate to have the Farmer’s Market fall on that evening! I’m considered necessary staff so I have to go into work no matter what…..so is the Missus. During the wildfires she had to go in, I ended up packing the dogs and taking them into the office to work.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 12th, 2011 @ 8:19 am

      Ah, that’s too bad for both of you. My work definitely wasn’t “necessary,” but the boss made the entire office go in. I guess we were necessary for him to make money.

  2. 2

    Sandy — September 12, 2011 @ 6:44 am

    When the power went out at work, most of thought, “Oh good, maybe we’ll get to go home!” Then as news reports of just how widespread the power outage was, I was getting worried because I hadn’t been able to get in touch with the kid. You’re right – the surface streets were packed, but the freeway was a breeze. The kid was fine, and asked if we could go out to dinner!

    Thank goodness we have a gas stove, so we heated up leftovers while minimizing how often we opened the fridge. Then we spent the evening hanging out with neighbors while the kids ran around, waving flashlights. It was almost a fun evening.

    P.S. I also had to go to work during the fires when schools were closed.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 12th, 2011 @ 8:20 am

      How funny. I didn’t know a single person who had to work when I went into work. I was so grumpy. Now hearing of all these other people forced into work. I’ve never liked gas stoves because the lighting up freaks me out, but this is one occasion when it would have been nice.

  3. 3

    Connie — September 12, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    Luckily I lived far north enough of SD that the outage did not affect us, but I know my friend was very concerned about her cousin and husband who live in San Diego. I felt very bad for the people suffering in the heat with without air conditioning. I bet the farmers market food vendors were happy to be able to sell their goods during that unfortunate situation.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 12th, 2011 @ 8:21 am

      Luckily by the time the outage hit, it was starting to cool down for the night, so the heat wasn’t too bad. Yes, the vendors I talked to were really happy except a lot of them sold out before the market was closed since they hadn’t been expecting the power outage.

  4. 4

    Faye — September 12, 2011 @ 11:00 am

    OMG. I wish i remembered the UTC Farmers Market!! Darn it.

    It was pretty miserable when the power went out b/c the a/c in the house shut off too (that was probably THE biggest worry for me!).

    But night time was really nice. Kinda romantic sitting in the backyard w/ the firepit and candles, having glass of wine w/ a friend. Made us remember how different things use to be w/o the importance of technology you know? Like the blackout seemed to make ppl realize that spending quality time together w/ friends and family or whoever, w/o the use of tvs, vid games, phones, etc etc, can be pretty awesome.

    I’m glad to see the UTC FM has grown! Last time i went there it was pretty quiet and uneventful.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 12th, 2011 @ 11:41 am

      It’s a decent size market. Not as big as the other ones, but it’s closer to me so I might swing by after work more often. It was nice to take a break from everything and spend some quality face time with people.

  5. 5

    caninecologne — September 12, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    hi kirbie – i was already home from work when it happened (see my post here: http://pinkcandlesatridgemonthigh.blogspot.com/2011/09/berts-birthday-blackout.html)

    i’m just glad the power was back in less than 24 hours (12 hours for us) and that it wasn’t the zombie apocolypse!

    • Kirbie replied: — September 12th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

      Yeah I read your post a few days ago, but I didn’t have time to comment. Poor husband, on his bday! Lol, it’s funny with the zombie reference. I keep hearing that, and my brothers are obsessed with zombie killing/preparing for zombie attacks.

  6. 6

    Soo — September 12, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

    The power went off as I was getting ready to leave. The roads were jam packed. I had never seen so much traffic moving so slow before. I pedaled past them all on my bike. Stopped by the UTC farmers market as I was running low on fresh fruit and vegetables. I had some fruit for dinner as I didn’t want to open the fridge and left the cold out. I spent the evening sitting on the porch reading and watching the slow moving traffic outside. Checked the news on my iphone but there were few details. Power came back on before midnight and internet was restored in the morning. When I got up I checked my ice cream and it was still good. :-)

    • Kirbie replied: — September 12th, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

      Ah, you were lucky to have your bike then! I was very relieved my ice cream was still good too.

  7. 7

    Jess — September 13, 2011 @ 12:10 am

    I was in the middle of a transaction at CVS during the power outage. So, it took about 15 minutes or so to straighten that out. That day was also the grand opening of Homegoods in Point Loma and I was planning to check it out after CVS. As we all knew, every store kicked all the customers out.
    The traffic at the Midway and Rosecrans was super duper terrible. 45 minutes spent just to get past a traffic light.
    Because I generally stockpile canned food at home, we were able to avoid hunger that night. The funny thing was, I used my walkman from the early 90s to listen to the radio to stay on top of the news all night.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 13th, 2011 @ 9:01 am

      Oh wow, that’s great you were able to use your walkman. A lot of people mentioned listening to the radio, but I don’t have any sort of radio device except in my car, so I wasn’t sure how others were listening. That’s too bad about traffic. FH also had a horrible time with traffic coming from Poway. Did you get your items at CVS for free? ;-) A few weeks ago I was at Yogurtland and the whole street had a blackout so all the people ringing up got their yogurts for free.

Leave a Comment

*

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 1,230,564 bad guys.