I woke this morning and I realized I had done so without my alarm clock. This could only mean I had woken up early, the only question was, how early? I checked my tablet which was next to my bed. It was almost two hours before my scheduled wake up time. Great.
I felt parched so I got up to get a drink of water. It was light outside but it was grey. Once in my kitchen, I noticed the digital clocks on my stove and my microwave were out. The power had gone out while I was sleeping. Great. My hot water dispenser, which is on a timer, would not be providing me with hot water this morning. I turned on the kitchen faucet to get some water. The water came out at half pressure. Without electricity, the water pumps in the building could no longer push the water up all the floors. It wouldn’t be long before it would be down a small trickle.
I looked outside again, some buildings had lights on while others did not. I saw street lights on just a block away. I began to wonder if it was just my building. I went to my bathroom to urinate. I briefly considered not flushing because I had only one good flush left. I rolled the dice and flushed. It went down fine but I could hear just a bit of water filling up the tank. I hoped number two wasn’t going to be required this morning.
I crawled back into bed and grabbed my phone. According to the battery app, it had been on battery now for almost an hour. So the power had only gone out shortly before I awoke. Using mobile data, because I had no other choice, I discovered it was more than just my building without power. It seemed the outage affected a large block in my area, including the community college nearby. Below me, none of the shops had power, which meant Starbucks and Tim Hortons were closed. There were going to be a lot of grumpy, non-caffeinated people today. The Skytrain was running though which is because their power comes from a different circuit. The station itself had no power unfortunately, which meant all the signage and lights were off.
I decided there was nothing else to do so I went back to sleep. My hope was that the power would be back on when I awoke for real. An hour later, my alarm rustled me from my slumber. The power was still off. I lit a candle in my bathroom and then washed my face with some water I liberated from my hot water dispenser tank. I dressed in semi-darkness and drank some room temperature water. None of the faucets supplied any water at this point.
I blew out the candle, put my shoes on, and went outside to go to work. One of the elevators was still running as the backup plan is to have all emergency lights and one lift running on a generator. I was willing to use the stairs but I took a chance the elevator wasn’t too busy. I lucked out as the wait was actually normal in length. On the way down, it stopped off at two floors where no one was present to step on. These folks had obviously gotten tired of waiting.
I caught the train on a dark and unlit platform but after that point it was just another normal day. I monitored the situation from work and the power was only restored after 1pm, a good seven hours after the initial problem. It was perhaps a minor convenience for me but the local community college had to cancel some classes and businesses could not operate for at least half the day. I hope this doesn’t happen again!