Special offer

Worst October Snow Ever Hits Westchester County

Managing Real Estate Broker with Howard Hanna Rand Realty License # 49FA1074963

I must say that it gives Mac and cheese a certain extra something

This will be my first-ever blog post written by candlelight, courtesy of my Verizon 3G hotspot and a generous battery life on the laptop. When you mix a severe combination of snow and ice to trees that still have all of their leaves, you get downed fallen branches by the thousands and power outages all over the area. North Jersey is hit hardest, although Ridgefield, Connecticut also made the news. I have to add Ossining and Briarcliff Manor to the list, as almost 70,000 Con Ed customers in Westchester are entering their second day without power. In all over 2 million are without light. 

We've been "camping," as the blackout has robbed us of light and heat. We do have running water and the gas stove works, so it has made for an interesting weekend. For example, reheating food in the microwave is out. Heating it in the fireplace is in! 

Orange Juice a la Phil, with Crushed ice a la God. The fridge has been shut all of the last 36 hours, but the ice has melted. As has the ice cream. We've put the snow outside to good use, harnessing mother nature for some food preservation, and when the orange juice got too warm I improvised myself. It kind of reminded me of a slushy they used to sell at the delis. No high fructose corn syrup here, though!

 My cell phone, tablet computer and bluetooth all got recharged in the car today. I am good to go all night with power in 2 batteries for the droid phone. The tablet will have to be off as soon as I am done on the laptop, which should leave me with enough power to check for school closings and weather reports- to say nothing of updates from our utility company- until the morning. 

Speaking of the utility company, Con Ed has informed us that we should expect power to be out until 11:50pm on November 2nd. I hope they are subscribing to the "under promise, over deliver" philosophy, because I really could use a shower. A warm one. And it would nice to be able to start living normally again. The kids are in good spirits, but the candle thing doesn't have the same romance for them. I am starting to agree. 

The good news

Earlier today, we stocked up on firewood and tomorrow, in between earning a living, we'll bone up on the indoor kerosene heater we have in the garage. We have an amazing blower contraption in the fireplace now but it is electric, so I am afraid it is useless to us. Nest year, I install a wood stove. Period. 

The kids loved the snow

 While I was out, the kids had a ball in the snow. I love how they get into it. For me, I have to get into keeping the fire going all night while we all camp in the living room, and I'll hunt and peck on Ann's laptop until it runs out of juice, or I run out of inspiration, which ever comes first. The blackout has been an inconvenience, and I am glad that today was by and large supposed to be a light day, so no work was lost or missed. But I really hope the power comes back sooner than the second. I just don't have enough Abe Lincoln in me to do three more days of this! 

Blogging by candlelight. Gotta love 3G hotspots.


Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Phil -- You're very resourceful, but even that gets old quickly under those conditions. I was told four days. My power came back in little over a day.  I stayed at home one night and that was enough for me. I was just packing up our things when the power returned. Hopefully, the under promise, over deliver comes true for you and the hundreds of thousands without power as well.

Oct 31, 2011 04:24 AM
Yolanda Hoversten
Self Employed - O'Fallon, IL
Referrals for O’Fallon, IL & the Metro East

Kids are so resilient and they seem to be having a great time of it. Hope your power is delivered as promised soon.

Oct 31, 2011 04:44 AM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Phil - That is NO FUN.  I was out for about 4.5  days in 2010 when we had that March storm.  It was called the "Hurricane without a name."  Freezing temps was part of the mix.  I ate out a couple of times and recharged things at the office and at Coffee Labs.  Siberian huskies are easy - Kids are hard.  So I feel for you.  if your office is without power - buy a latte and recharge. ConEd indicated that I would be out for about 1 week - so they did "underpromise" in my case - however I don't know whether I got "lucky" or whether they intended to over deliver.

My problem is downed trees and limbs on a high- tension wire at the bottom of my driveway.  My car will hit the limbs on the wire if I take it out.  So I can't use the car until that is taken care of.  (I don't have a death wish).  I also need to wait for a guy with a chain saw - I've been clearing what I can - the rest has to be donw by someone with better equipment.

We DO NEED to get SERIOUS about infrastructure.  Right now its made out of paper mache - and after about 4 "storms of the century" in th apst 2 years, its time to get serious about our aging grid.


Oct 31, 2011 05:02 AM
Ruth Jacobs
Quantum One Realty - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
North Palm Beach, Real Estate Specialist, CDPE, SF

Hi Phil,

All this weekend I have been complaining about the rain, but that was nothing comparaed to the snow storm that hit you guys. Stay warm! I hope all the kids still get to trick or treat!

Oct 31, 2011 05:06 AM
Heather Littrell
Keller Williams - North Concord, NC
ABR,GRI,SRES Cabarrus County NC

I can't imagine trick or treating in the snow!

Oct 31, 2011 05:10 AM
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

wow, at least the kids look like they are in good spirit.

Oct 31, 2011 05:31 AM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Philip, sorry you guys are having to go through all this. We experience ice storms from time to time and lose our power. Hopefully they misestimated the time for power restoration and you get it back today!

Oct 31, 2011 05:33 AM
Dylan Taft
Dylan Taft Broker/Owner Taft Street Realty, Inc. - Woodstock, NY
Ulster County Area Consultant

losing power always brings you back to reality and helps you realize that many others around the worls don't even have power, or heat, etc.  We all take our modern day conveniences for granted, me included.  This storm and the other recent storms like hurricane irene make me appreciate what I have and not worry so much about what I don't...

Oct 31, 2011 06:23 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I've had to do this whole survival without power schtick and it's not fun.  Sounds like you've got everything under control.  One thing I'd recommend is a solar powered charger for your cellphone.  They'll build up enough power to charge your phone daily which at least keeps you connected to the world a little bit.

Oct 31, 2011 07:38 AM
Art Welch
Superstars Realty - Buckeye, AZ

Come one come all to the best weather you can find!  Here in Arizona we are having a great day of 85 degree weather, sunny with a chance of 5 mile an hour breezes.  All the resorts have the pools ready and waiting.  Tonight we hare having a pool party for the trick or treaters, along with BBQ, and umbrella drinks.  Beware though this weekend a storm is coming in, the lows will be in the 50's and the highs at just 70.  This will only last for a day or 2 then back to the good old 80's.

Oct 31, 2011 08:12 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

This is the type of thing that the kids will remember for the rest of their life.  The time when we had no power.  They will, hopefully, appreciate it all a lot more now ... when it comes back.  Although cooking in the fireplace is fun . . .

Oct 31, 2011 09:00 AM
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

That is crazy. We still have not gotten use to 'fall' yet. Seems like it went from summer to winter just like that...

Oct 31, 2011 11:39 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Thinking back it went from winter to summer with no real spring, so summer to a quick fall to teh dead of winter makes sense. We got 22 inches, we are on day 3 no power and at this rate, the news is saying another week, You dont realize how much little things like modern conveniences mean until you dont have them.

Oct 31, 2011 12:05 PM
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

I saw on the weather channel.. Could not believe New York having a snowstorm this early.

Oct 31, 2011 01:39 PM
Reba Haas
Team Reba of RE/MAX Metro Eastside www.TeamReba.com - Bellevue, WA
Team Reba, CDPE

Whoa, I'd heard of early snow in areas out east and in the midwest. You've just reminded me why I moved to Seattle in 1989!  Our snow issues aren't usually as problematic and they are short lived. However, I also don't live in the foothills so I can't speak to those folks. Every time I sell a house out that way, I remind people of our wind storms and how those will black out power for up to a week at times.

Oct 31, 2011 02:25 PM
Christian Bastian
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Sayville, NY
Christian Bastian - Douglas Elliman Real Estate



Stay safe and well through the coming days. My my sister and her family live near you and are dealing with the same trying situation.

Oct 31, 2011 04:10 PM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Not being to log on to the internet would be the worst thing for me, but you seem to have it handled. Nice!

Oct 31, 2011 05:56 PM
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Up here in snow country, most people have a backup plan for heat beyond electricity. Wood stoves, propane radiant fireplaces, generators, etc. Until about 10 years ago, the power would go out regularly for a day or so at a time.

Hope you weathered it ok...

Nov 01, 2011 04:38 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

talk about dedication :) hope all is well Philip and your home is warm and all is back to normal :)

Nov 05, 2011 02:50 AM
J. Philip Faranda
Howard Hanna Rand Realty - Yorktown Heights, NY
Associate Broker / Office Manager

We're good now, warm and toasty again! Thanks Laura

Nov 05, 2011 04:32 AM