View Full Version : Energy Crisis in Cincinnati Tristate Area, and how folks are dealing with it.

09-17-2008, 12:42 AM
Hurricane Ike blew through Texas this past weekend, which sent an area of low pressure northward.

Weather forecasters told us "rain on Sunday, lots and lots of rain."

It didn't rain.

Instead, the area of low pressure brought gale-force winds all day Sunday from central Kentucky through about central Ohio, with Cincinnati right in the middle.

Up to 80 mile per hour winds blew through the Cincinnati tristate area that day, knocking down power lines, telephone poles, trees, large branches, signs, some buildings, you name it, it's probably been damaged.

AS A RESULT, since Sunday and currently, there are about 500,000 homes without power. Duke Energy figures it could be until Saturday or Sunday before all power is restored.

Read about some of the news coverage here (http://www.wcpo.com/content/specials/2008/blackout_2008/archives.aspx).

Since Sunday, many gas stations are without power. Those that do, pretty much always have long lines, and sometimes arguments and violence. Oddly enough, prices are reasonable and no gouging has been reported as far as I know.

Many grocery stores are operating on generators. They can sell only non-perishables. All dairy, meats, frozen stuff has all been thrown out. You just can't buy any, although some stores are selling milk.

People are living by candlelight, taking cold showers, and repairing their damaged houses. Those that have generators probably are keeping their refrigerators running, and maybe a light and microwave. Otherwise, everyone's food is spoiling.

For the hurricane, Duke Energy helpfully dispatched a bunch of their trucks to help out. Then Sunday hit, and they were short handed. They've since been recalling those trucks and more trucks from neighboring states are now in town doing what they can to restore power.

Speaking of power, a common greeting among strangers is now "You got power?" Many neighborhoods don't have it. I live in Northern Kentucky and by some stroke of luck, my street has power, but several trees did come down. Other streets around me don't have power right now.

People are being nice about it, but very frustrated. Neighbors are helping neighbors, a Maytag store offered for people to use twenty of their refrigerators to store their food in. There are more stories than that, too.

It's crazy. It's a mess. They're calling this "Blackout 2008." Nobody in this area has ever seen anything like this before and Cincinnati was totally unprepared for it.

I realize that there are other cities that have things a lot worse. We didn't have flooding, obviously, and lack of electricity is just a major inconvenience compared to other people's problems, and everyone realizes that fact. But that's how things are in the Queen City.

There are other folks on AW who are from the tristate, the "Land o'Goshen" fellow, Gravity. He may be without power. Also, maestrowork may or may not have power.

How are other people here affected by all this?


09-17-2008, 12:49 AM
Sorry about that. Ike merely brought us an entire weekend of soaking rain. No wind to speak of.

09-17-2008, 04:18 AM
We got our power back last night, but then it went off again a few hours later. It's been on for about an hour now, but I'm not counting on it staying that way this time.

Things have been wild in Over-the-Rhine. Fires blazing, break-ins, lots of car alarms wailing. My neighborhood, at least, has really pulled together, though. On the first day of the blackout, everyone brought out whatever food they had that would go bad, and we had a huge block party/barbecue. Pretty fun, if you ignored the 3-alarm fire a few blocks away.

Police presence has been pretty good, too. We had a makeshift community watch on our street, trying to make sure nobody's cars or houses got broken into. We have a huge problem with that around here during regular nights, let alone nights when there's no power.

This whole situation has been crazy. They're saying now that what happened was the equivalent of a low grade tropical storm. Who knew we'd ever have one of those in Ohio, of all places?

09-17-2008, 04:39 AM
I got my power back on yesterday and my cable/phone/internet today. Cellphone service was nonexistent Sunday, not so good yesterday and spotty today.

I'm in Fairfield, so it wasn't that bad except for the gas. I had the bad luck of having my truck on E when it happened. Actually, when the power went out Sunday, I thought it was a local thing due to the high winds. So I decided to get out of the house and run some errands.

As I drove around, I was amazed at the strength of the winds and at times it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. I found it quite enjoyable, driving down the highway, dodging debris and barrels and trees. It reminded me of driving in NYC.

Well, I drove around hoping to find something open and wound up using all my gas. But I wasn't expecting the widespread outage we had, so didn't think anything of it.

I finally got gas and was able to leave my house today. :D

I stopped at the Kroger's today and their frozen food was all gone as well as the meat.

Since I was out of touch, I just today discovered that the blackout extended up to Columbus and down into Kentucky.

09-17-2008, 04:50 AM
I'm in Louisville and we had 350,000 households without power? (possibly more). We're on our third day with no school, probably out until the end of the week.

It was crazy Sunday. I heard the manager of our local Meijers say they lost 50k in perishable cold food. Some places won't have power back for another 10 days.

09-17-2008, 05:14 AM
I was in PA and had no problems, but my friends in Cincy told me they were out of electricity, cable, and gas! One friend drove 30 miles just to get gas because he couldn't find any. One station was charging $4.49 a gallon. Also, a lot of stores ran out of stuff because the trucks couldn't deliver... It's a mess.

Lots of trees down in the neighborhood.

09-17-2008, 09:08 PM
I'm in Dayton, and while I never lost power, there are quite a few people who did. Of the twelve people in our office, only two had power the whole way through, and we live on opposite sides of the city. Go figure.

I have been without cable and internet since Sunday. Meh. It could be so much worse.

There have been some scattered reports of looting, but very few and they seem to have been stopped fairly quickly. My parents, who live an hour north of Dayton, had some roof and gutter damage due to downed trees, but otherwise, never lost power and everything seems to be okay.

There seems to be a lot of complaining about how long it's taking to get power restored, but for the most part, life is proceeding as normal. Schools have been closed, but they're starting to go back today, and the stoplights are starting to work again. We're hearing that most power should be restored by the end of the weekend and all of it by the 25th.

09-17-2008, 11:16 PM
I lost power for close to 24 hours, but that's all we lost. We didn't have any damage to the house and we were only electricity-less for 1 day. I had filled up my gas tank a few days before the storm hit, so I didn't have to worry about the gas prices and lines, thank goodness because I would have hated to had to deal with any of that. A lot of people are still without power and had a lot of damage to their homes.

Underthecity was right, though. We, as a city, were completely unprepared for this. We certainly don't have to worry about anything like this often, but it still seemed to really knock us sideways even with advance warning.

09-17-2008, 11:24 PM
I'm in Lancaster--Fairfield County--and we lost power to over 90% of the residents in the area. I didn't because I live in a rural area right up the street from (apparently) the one substation that didn't blow up. There is a lot of wind damage down here from the 75 mph gusts. According to officials, everyone should have power back by the end of the week.

We've had a lot of friends over to eat and to 'borrow' the showers.

09-18-2008, 12:13 AM
Some of the libraries have power and are charging cell phones. It's down now to 150,000people without power, so LGE is making progress in an unprecedented situation.

09-18-2008, 12:16 AM
We've had a lot of friends over to eat and to 'borrow' the showers.

Neighbors helping neighbors. I've heard from people at work who've had to do this.

09-18-2008, 01:28 AM
Years ago, we had a bad ice storm that knocked power out for 13 days. It was pretty cool how many individuals and businesses helped one another out.

The YMCA, the JCC, and area high schools opened their showers to the public. Restaurants ramped up their service speed and extended carry-out. Libraries, the YMCA, and the JCC added story times and activities, and some created quiet rooms for adults who'd just had too much togetherness with the whole city's kids. Families with power took in families, often based on the friendship of their kids, or cooked hot meals for a crowd every night. Heavy-duty extension cords crossed lots of streets where one side had power. People gave one another firewood, down comforters, hot beverages.

It was actually pretty neat, although it got old real fast, too.

Maryn, who survived