Alternate titles for this post include “I Went 3 Days Without the Internet and Survived” and “Every Time I Move Out of Vancouver I Get Weather Jinxed”.
We got snow! Lots of snow! So much snow that it downed branches and trees all over the island and the whole of Gabriola had it’s power knocked out. And it stayed out…. for 56 hours. To say we weren’t prepared for this is an understatement; at the time the storm hit we had 1/2 a bottle of water left and almost zero non-cook/ready-made foods. Thankfully I have a handful of occult/witch candles around the house (of course) and we have a woodstove, which totally saved our butts. The first day that the power was out (Monday February 24th) it was kind of fun, toasting marshmallows and eating woodstove grilled cheese and baked potatoes is exciting! But heading into day 2 things started to sort of suck.
We needed to get to the village for dry goods and water, but the car (which we definitely didn’t buy for it’s snow driving capabilities) wouldn’t get up the driveway. After struggling with some shoveling and plywood board tricks, our lovely neighbour came by and offered to tow us out (everyone here is SO NICE srsly). He hitched us up to his van with a rope and pulled us out without much fuss. Obstacle #1 crushed! Obstacle #2: Because the power was out everywhere the village was a bit of a mess, and everything was cash only. And, as usual, we didn’t have any cash. ATM in a power outage? Not really. Thankfully the co-op gas station had a backup generator so we were able to get funds to buy supplies, which we then carted back to our dark house. The drive was fairly easy as the roads were cleared, but there were branches down on the power lines everywhere. The hydro crews worked super hard to clear everything and repair the lines, which was amazing. Thanks Hydro crews!
Before we got our electricity back we had to spend a second night and the entire next day (day 3) in the dark. By this time our phones and laptop were totally dead, and we weren’t able to even get updates on the outage. It serves as a strong reminder of how lucky we are to have clean, hot water on demand and the ability to store and prepare food in a sanitary fashion. We lost a large amount of the food we had in the fridge because of the power loss, and I’ll never take a flushing toilet for granted EVER AGAIN. All in all it was fun, I guess, but not how I’d have liked to spend my 30th birthday, which was on Tuesday. At least it’s a story to remember!
The last time I moved out of Vancouver was at age 19 when I went to Halifax, NS to attend art school. A month or so after getting there Hurricane Juan blew through town and trashed everything, leaving me in a basement suite without power for a full week. I dug up some of my photos from the next morning when the girls in the apartment above me and I walked around looking at all the damage. The docks were wrecked, a few ships had sunk, and a colossal number of trees had been blown down. Several NSCAD buildings were flooded and closed for days following the storm, along with a number of waterfront businesses. Halifax hadn’t seen a storm like that before, and several people have commented here that Gabriola hasn’t had a snow storm in as long as they can remember. Maybe I’m weather cursed!