We're back and so is our power.
Every few hours or so on Thursday evening and throughout the day Friday we would dial our home phone to see if we had power. We knew that if the answering machine picked up, the power was back on, but all we ever got were rings.
After we returned to the hotel from visiting Savannah on Friday I managed to get my buddy Mark (Hi Mark) on the phone. He had just gotten his power back and was in town restocking supplies. He was at a store not too far from the Dunbarton Oaks estate so I asked him if it wasn't too much trouble, to run by the house and see if in fact we still didn't have power. He called back a few minutes later to say he was parked in front of the house and the light at the end of the driveway was not lit. But he did say that there was an SCE&G bucket truck right there with him and that he passed a few more such trucks as he started down our street. He also said that if he were me he'd stay where we were for another day as the area was still littered with downed trees and power lines.
I reported this to Donna and suggested we stay until Sunday morning, but she said 2 days in a hotel by the interstate were plenty and to man up because we we leaving Saturday morning, power on in Aiken or not.
When we pulled into our neighborhood this morning we knew that there was no way in hell we had power and we were right. We opened up the house and promptly opened the blinds, shades and curtains to let in the bright sun. It was actually about 5 degrees warmer outside at 55 degrees than it was inside. Spent the next 3 hours with a bow saw, a wheelbarrow and a rake cleaning up what we could from near the front of the house.
We went out for lunch and when we got home we could see a power crew just 2 doors away. Donna went down and asked about how long they would be before they got to us. They told her it would be real soon as our transformer was next in line. While they worked on our group of 4 houses, Donna and I spent about another hour and a half cleaning up the side yard.
We finished at about the same time as the light at the end of the driveway illuminated. So I went over and shook the hands of the two guys working the bucket truck and thanked them profusely. They were from Henderson, KY, about 600 miles away just to help out. Really, thanks a lot guys.
They were in the neighborhood doing the easy ones, trying to get as many folks as they could back online quickly. They would check to see how many houses were connected to a transformer and if there were no issues they would turn it on. One of the 4 houses we shared our transformer with, had had the line to their house knocked off onto the ground. That was going to a problem, but Donna told them that the owner lived in Florida and didn't occupy the place, so they rolled up the power line and disconnected them from the transformer.
I guess it is a good thing that Donna overrode my wanting to heed Mark's advice and stay another day down south. Because had we not been around to tell them about our across the street neighbor, the power crew might have skipped our transformer all together because of the downed line and we might have had to wait a lot longer until we got power.