I’ve never been a big user of Twitter. I forget sometimes that I even have an account.
But over the last week, since Hurricane Sandy came through and knocked the power out (and knocked everyday life around here back a century or so) I’ve been an avid user.
PSE&G was tweeting updates — not location specific although re-tweets helped give hope of progress around the state. In addition, I was searching for tweets that included my hometown. From the warmth and safety of mom & dad’s I could see that my town wasn’t up just yet.
And then that power was trickling in around town as workers restored damaged transformers and downed wires.
And then that people in my own complex were tweeting their frustration that all the properties around us had been restored but the apartments were still in the dark.
And then, some 17 hours later, a tweet thanking PSE&G for restoring power to the apartments at last.
I couldn’t know for sure that my unit was included in that hopeful message. The utility still hasn’t called me to confirm they’ve addressed my service ticket. But given the choice between spending time coordinating efforts for the thousands of workers trying to get the lights back on or spending time calling me back, I’m okay with allocating resources toward the restoration effort.
Granted, it’s a whole lot easier to have that right perspective since both the utility and the community was using resources like Twitter for keeping one another in the know.
So I had some sense that making the drive home (using the suddenly and overwhelmingly precious commodity of gasoline) wasn’t going to be futile.
It was still a shock to see the gas station lines. It was still unnerving to see the downed line cordoned off out front.
But I’m thankful to be home again and to find the lights on. I hope for similar good news for the rest of hard-hit NY/NJ. I hope and pray for light and heat to those still waiting before the temps start severely dropping tonight and over the next few days. I hope gas restrictions can be lifted and life can get back to normal. I hope all those utility folks can get everything settled so those 16 hour shifts don’t have to be the norm and they can get home to the warmth and comfort of being with their own families.
I hope, and I pray, with thanksgiving.
POINT OF CLARIFICATION: this site is not affiliated with PSE&G nor am I an employee of that or any other utility. My only relationship to the electric company is as a customer. I welcome your comments but please understand that if your comment is intended for your utility, they are extraordinarily unlikely to see it here.