Editorial: How I ended the power outage

Trent Ernst, Editor


You probably think that it was the hard work of BC Hydro that brought about the end of the power outage.

As in most cases, though, you’d be wrong. It was I who ended the outage. You may hold your applause until later.

In the middle of the night on Wednesday, our phone started ringing. I stumbled over to where the phone is, wondering who might be calling me. Is there something wrong with dad? Did some scammer just get his time zones mixed up again?

But no, it is work. There’s power on downtown, and despite appearances it is morning, not the middle of the night.

I live on the middle bench, in the section that isn’t Cottonwood, and we did not get the power back when BC Hydro flipped the switch on Wednesday at about 10:30, though it did flick on and off for a fraction of a second.

By Thursday morning, the power had been out for 37 hours, and I’m starting to doubt the insulating qualities of my deep freeze and fridge. The food is still basically frozen (fortunately no ice cream or other soft freezes in there), but another day would probably be bad.

Downtown, I swing by the pancake breakfast that the Lions are holding at the Community Centre. While there, I mention to one of the Lions that I’ve been having a lot of fun winter camping at home, but I’m worried about the food.

At which point in time, a friend, Lorraine Heatherington, pipes up and says they’ve got a generator that they’re not using anymore because their power is back on. She tells me to go talk to her husband, Ed, which I gladly do.

There’s a bit of a lull in the number of people who are coming in for food, and so Ed and I run over to his place to load up the generator. It’s in the back behind the deck, and the only way there is to try and follow a footpath through the snow; step off to either side, and you’re up to your knees in the soft, wet snow.

We get the generator loaded into the back of my vehicle, drive to my place and unload it. In order to get it to the other side of the house, we haul the generator through the basement. I fill it with gas, then we start it and plug in my fridge and deep freeze. Once I know everything is working, I drive Ed back downtown, whereupon I immediately turn around and drive back home to unplug the generator, because the power is back on.

Yes, the universe was just waiting for me to go through all the hassle of getting the generator hooked up before letting the power go back on.

I was asked why I didn’t hook up a generator earlier, so the outage ended earlier, to which I can only reply comic timing.

The universe knows a good punchline when it sees one, and if I had a generator plugged in and ready to go, chances are the power would have stayed out for a week. It’s just the way things work.

I mean, why else would Tumbler Ridge have its worst power outage in at least a decade, a week before the new generator is hooked up at the Community Centre?

Any sooner, people would be like “oh well, it was bound to happen.” Any later and the generator would have been in place and we could have weathered the outage in the hot-tub, if we really wanted to. But a week before the generator is hooked up? That’s comic gold.

I predict we won’t have another major power outage for at least five, possibly ten years once the new generator is hooked up. It’s just the way the universe works.

Have any great stories from the outage? Let us know: editor@tumblerridgenews.com.