Sunday, October 30, 2011

Isenberg School to the Rescue -- Yes, We Have Electric Power

The electric power is out not only in our Amherst neighborhood, but in many of the surrounding towns and we lost power last night at around 9:35 PM (but Comcast went down even earlier).

We slept under several quilts and heard loud thuds throughout the night as large tree branches, weighted down by the heavy, wet snow were cracking and falling.

This morning we woke up to a snowplow (that's the kind of great neighbors we have) clearing up our driveway and pushing aside a large branch so we could get out with our vehicle. Many thanks to Scott Gladu and his workers for doing this job, beyond the call of duty!

We made it to downtown Amherst to find our landmark store, Hastings, open, so we purchased two Sunday newspapers and, then drove to Hadley, a neighboring town, without any coffee in us, to see whether there was any power and whether any establishments were open. We were hoping that one of the stores from Whole Foods to the Big Y to even, yes, Wal-Mart, might be open so that we could get some caffeine in us but we had no luck. Then we were told that a Cumberland Farms on Route 9 towards Belchertown was open and had coffee!

Not only was the Cumberland Farms open, but there were lines of folks waiting to purchase what was truly ambrosia, large cups of delicious coffee -- and did the coffee taste good. Even the gas station was open.

Without power in our home and with no Internet connection, as well, we drove by UMass Amherst, where I teach, and heard the generator working over time in front of the Isenberg School of Management.

My key opened the door, and I was surrounded by warmth, lights, and my computer was working -- what joy!

Plus, I have had the pleasure of seeing already one "faculty" couple that has taken refugee here.

We heard on the radio the governor of Connecticut talking about the dire disastrous situation there. And, the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, has also now declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts!

It will be interesting to see when the power is restored to western Massachusetts (and beyond) with even the schools in Springfield announced as being closed tomorrow, Monday.

More than 2.3 million are now without power in the Northeast because of the unseasonable Nor'easter storm.

A storm like this vividly reminds us of how much our society depends on reliable electric power!

Thanks to UMass for allowing the faculty and students to have a warm place where they can have shelter and catch up on their work.

Best of luck to all the work crews in clearing up the roads from the downed trees and power lines and in restoring the lifeline that electric power is.