Written the day after severe weather across Wisconsin on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, it produced eight tornadoes, including two EF-2 tornadoes and six EF-1 tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service. An EF-1 tornado landed near Seymour at approximately 6:17 p.m.
I’m not quite sure what happened in my Northeast Wisconsin area last Wednesday night. It could have been a hurricane. I was in the basement and didn’t connect to the internet. The news reports came through my family on my cell phone.
Currently I am without electricity. This is the next day and I am one of several thousand in this predicament. I understand the power companies are fixing things, but with so many trees and power lines down, it’s going to take a long time, maybe days.
I happened to have some battery spare on my laptop, so I thought I’d take some of my free time to write about my experience without power.
First, it is very quiet here. The TV, which usually fills my house with noise, sits dark and quiet. My Wi-Fi is also blocked. DSL comes to me over the phone line and of course that’s off too. Now, to communicate with my family, I use my cell phone. At least when the cell won’t let us talk, I can usually IM to the rest of the world—and I usually say that because even IM is inaccurate.
Except for my furry four-footed family, I’m on my own. I hear my cuckoo clock chimes and when it’s “coo coos” I know another hour has passed.
There is no rattling sound from the aquarium filter or the hum from a fan. The worst of the non-acoustic was the lack of refrigerator purr. I know the ice is melting there. So far, I only opened the door to grab the melted ice cream. I had a good portion of a carton box as lunch.
Many others are much worse than I am now. Some have trees in their homes. Others have roofs that flew into the fields. I just had a bunch of branches to pick up and some of the top deck railing had fallen off as well.
Finally, Jenny, my sister-in-law, got her car out of her garage – electric garage doors don’t work when the power goes out. Help was needed to lift the door. My car is still trapped behind an automatic door too, until my son Russell arrives this afternoon. Anyway, Jenny got me a gallon of Seymour water for me to drink.
I had to stop typing for a moment when my cell phone rang. Her daughter Rebecca said she would bring me some supplies and more drinking water. I was glad to hear her voice. Instant messaging is great but it cannot replace the actual sound of a human voice.
Russell has a long drive from Middleton and won’t be here for a few hours. He’s bringing his generator so I can hook up the fridge and freezer. Maybe all is not lost. It would be very expensive to replace all the frozen meat waiting for me in the chest freezer.
My oven and range are also powered by electricity, so no hot food for me.
Another big problem with power loss means no running water. Well pumps in the country are powered by electricity. Cleaning the toilet is a big problem without running water. Fortunately, two five-gallon containers of water were left in the basement for use in such an electrical disaster. This water has been hidden for 20 years, unused. Due to its age, I wouldn’t risk drinking it, but it works great for washing and rinsing.
So I’m sitting here, listening to the ticking clock and wondering if the generator will be enough to provide my food. I think I’m comfortable enough to get back to the routine of picking up branches.
Note: Today is Sunday. I’m doing a happy dance because I now have electricity, but unfortunately not a land line with my Wi-Fi.
The generator saved my frozen food and Jenny’s, too. Russell taught me how to keep this annoying machine running. The first night with the generator running I didn’t sleep well. I was afraid to run out of gas. When the sun came up, everything was fine with me, the generator, the refrigerator and the freezer.
The night seemed very dark during the power outage and extra quiet. The situation made me miss my late husband Bob even more. Even if he wasn’t good enough to help (which would have made him crazy) at least he would have been there to talk to me. The days without electricity would have been very different had he been here.
If you want to see real storm damage, check out any of the Green Bay news stations. This is just my little version of the storm. I was very lucky.