Lights Out? (2)

I get up this morning (after watching several episodes of Fringe last night) and the lights are still on. Which is to say the power is on. But then I turn on the TV and there are some 70,000 people without power in the Virginia area, which is nothing, really, compared to the crapstorm that New Yorkers are facing as they wake up this morning.

(Thanks to my son for sending me the link to this video, which I saw again on the news this morning:

(First of all, how does he find this stuff? He has grown up with YouTube as a source of entertainment, education, and news, and I cannot even begin to think of a parallel in my own life. It made me laugh, even though I didn’t want to. But more, it made me wonder what it’s like to be, as they say, a digital native (my son) as opposed to a digital migrant (me).)

But back to the point. There are 70,000 people without power. Or there were this morning. There are (according to the news) 52 trees down on houses. There is phenomenal flooding. But I’m more or less cozy—as cozy as a cranky, get-off-my-lawn type can be, anyway—and up and working. Yay for me.

I guess that because of all the planning before the storm, the power’s going to come on more quickly than it did back during the derecho, but that emergency planning – what about it? Why aren’t their assets in place all the time? Why don’t we have that kind of readiness as standard operating procedure?

I’m guessing that Dominion Virginia Power is breathing a tremendous sigh of relief this morning as is probably Pepco, but the very large wet bullet this area dodged hit New York and New Jersey in the gut. I’m guessing that if power lines and been buried, there would be significantly fewer power outages today in the DC metro area.

But it seems self-evident that there is very little (not that I’m an expert) that could’ve been done to prevent the kind of flooding that New York has going on right now in the subways and commuter tunnels. Perhaps if the new tunnel hadn’t been killed by the governor of New Jersey, the New York area might be on its way to a kind of new-and-improved tunnel that might be better equipped to deal with this sort of thing. I have no idea.


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About Steve, i.e., him

Stephen Stark is an award-winning novelist and bestselling ghostwriter. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, Poets & Writers and in many other journals. He has been a fellow and taught at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and won an NEA Literature Fellowship in fiction. His novel, Second Son, was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1992, and a New and Noteworthy Paperback of 1994.

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