Where Was Cuomo When the Lights Went Out? A Week Without Fuel!

landowners and laborers - Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist


Vic Furman notes Governor Andrew Cuomo was completely absent from the scene when lights went out in Upstate New York. If it weren’t for roughnecks….

Monday Night, 7:00 PM: The rain blocked out any view from my window! The wind made my house vibrate and my power went out together with those of over 30,000 other people in Broome and Chenango Counties. I didn’t know it wouldn’t be until the following Friday morning I would get power back. I had no water, no phone, no radio or TV, no internet access. I flushed my toilet with pond water (lucky to have a pond).

Monday Night, 11:00 PM: I conceded to myself that this power outage would be an all-nighter and went to bed by candle light. It was just the beginning!


Broome County storm damage

Tuesday Morning: I woke up and surprise, surprise, there was still no power, no water, no bath and plenty of inconvenience.

Tuesday, Early Afternoon: There were no changes in the situation, but I was getting bored, so I decided I would go for a ride to see if I could spot any crews working on restoring power. I didn’t get far. I was a prisoner of my street; jailed in by downed trees and power lines. Red cones were the only sign the utilities knew. My son dropped by and told me the power companies were not getting to us until at least late Thursday night. I hooked up my 7,000 watt generator to keep my freezer and refrigerator going, as well as those of my daughter’s. I also managed to get one light working along with the TV, but only because I had satellite service.

Tuesday, Late Afternoon: The trees were removed from one road out but still I had no power. I decided to go for another ride. The damage was worse then I thought through out the neighborhood and beyond. The family down at the bottom of the road had a newer pickup absolutely totaled by a fallen tree. A log cabin had a huge old pine that fell on it taking the porch and some of the roof out. No one had power.

Tuesday Evening: I needed a shower. Once again, I was thankful for my pond! I took a cooler down and filled it with pond water, using my tractor to haul it back. I put it on my deck which, thank goodness for my neighbors, is pretty private. I took out half the water in pots, boiled it and dumped it back in the same cooler making for a hot shower of sorts. You know when you pull that plug out of the cooler on the bottom it makes for a great emergency shower! I later watched the news after cooking a steak and some tator tots, but still lacked real power so I went to bed.

Wednesday Morning: I woke up hungry for eggs, bacon, coffee and energy, perhaps not in that order! I got in my truck and drove to a restaurant in town and had breakfast. I overheard people talking about the price gouging going in the generator market going on but I couldn’t confirm it because, fortunately, I had already had one and wasn’t in the market. My generator was expensive to run, consuming five gallons of gas every 12 hours but it kept my meat harvest of five deer from going to waste. After breakfast, I decided to go look for homes running generators, but I didn’t see any. I went home thinking to myself it would be easier to spot a generator user in the dark because they would have the lights on!


Chenango County storm damage

Wednesday Night: It turned out I was correct; it seemed every fifth country home I passed had lights and if you had the window down you could hear the hum of the gas fired generator. One unexpected surprise was that two of the homes I observed had solar arrays. It could have been more but, like I said, it was dark out. I thought to myself that solar can’t compete against fossil fuels can’t compete in these situations. Every home you see with a solar array, in fact, still has a meter to measure their use of what is fossil fuel generated electricity. So, the next question is whether these homes have any energy storage capacity or is the solar only good when the sun shines and weather permits? I think I know the answer and if they do have any capacity, I seriously doubt it’s good for 48 hours. No matter, because I had propane stored to heat my home on these cool evenings and warm my pond water as well as cook my food for several days.

Thursday: I watched the news at Noon. Some 16,000 people were still without power. I laughed, thinking to myself that maybe just maybe… all those anti-fossil fuel zealots might also be victims of this nature imposed energy shortage. I chuckled at the fact some of the same people who had solar installed, were also using gas generators as they, too, surely missed the convenience of reliable fossil fuels. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were cursing under their breath as the power they secretly loved was not available, as the light switch was shooting blanks. I then thought what if … what if those 30,000 people were asked about how they felt about losing their energy and knew this was their future should they buy into Governor Cuomo’s solar sales pitch. I wondered how they would like living in rolling black outs; energy on Tuesday, none on Thursday or Sunday. This storm was a lesson in energy dependence but I heard no teachers … saw no videos on the failure to light the night for what was then four days.

Friday Morning: I still no power but, again, headed out to breakfast where I learn the count was down to 6,000 without power in Chenango County where I live. I asked the restaurant if they had wifi because I hadn’t been on since Monday night and I needed my Facebook fix. They did. I stopped to fill my gas cans after breakfast, went to the grocery store and when I got home around 10:30 guess who had power? Me. Power, power, wonderful working power. Boy, did I miss it…. just like 30,000 others minus those with gas and diesel generators. All I could think was how much I loved my fossil fuels and how much I wanted to personally thank the roughnecks who produced it.


Pennsylvania roughnecks at work

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