Hurricane Isaac hit (such an appropriate word) on Tuesday (28 Aug ’12) when we started getting a lot of tropical storm force winds in our area. It was not too bad but things got worse.
On Wednesday morning, it was clear and windy so I decided to cut a tree near my home since it was hollow at the base. Better to be pro-active and drop the tree in a safe location than to wait and let the storm drop it onto my home! We dropped the tree and had the brush cleared by about 9 AM. Right after that, we started getting some pretty heavy bands of rain coming through.
At about lunch time on Wednesday, the rain became relentless. It rained for over 20 hours before it let up. It continued to rain intermittently for another day. All the time, the winds were high. We have lived here for over 20 years and I have never seen so much water on our property. I am nearly 70 years old and I have never known it to rain so much and so long. Since our property is on a high point, the water drained quickly and did not get inside our home.
The electric power dropped out at 2 PM on Wednesday. Our power had been off for over 50 hours before it came back on Friday night. The lack of electrical power is more of a problem for us than for some folks. Our home is all-electric. Our water is supplied by our own water well (electric powered). Our sewer system is electric powered. And, in our case, our telephone service is electric powered. In short, if there is no electricity, there are NO SERVICES.
About ten years ago, we purchased a portable electric generator. It is the only way to survive during extended power outages. We bought a new generator (larger) when the old one failed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We have had to use it several times since then. I know how important the generator is so I did a service check on it last week. It worked fine and produced electricity as it should.
The rain was heavy at 2 PM Wednesday when the power went off. I went next door to my widowed neighbor’s home and hooked up her generator and got it going. Then, I tried my generator – it started but would not produce any electricity!
That is when I recognized how special my neighbors are! My widowed neighbor allowed me to connect to her water well providing water to my entire home. She also allowed me to run a heavy duty electrical extension cord which enabled us to have a few things powered. I was able to connect my freezer and my refrigerator – so that none of our food would spoil. And, we could keep our cell phones charged.
Using an extension cord sounds like such a small thing. There are probably a lot of people who have little understanding of what a GIFT it really is.
Most generators only produce about 50 amps. That amount is used up by the refrigerator, freezer, water pump, TV, a fan, and a few lamps – no air conditioning! Each connection (such as my extension cord) takes away from the things you can use. And, in our rural area if you don’t have electricity, you don’t have water or sewer since those run off of your electric line. So, the sacrifice my neighbor gave me was a HUGE blessing!!
“Who dares despise the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10, NIV). In our world, everyone wants to be “big.” Even Christians want to do big things for God. No one has time for the little things. But, it is sad to ignore the little things until there is something big to do.
Note: you can view my video diary of our experience with Hurricane Isaac on my YouTube channel.
Update 1: On Friday morning, another neighbor loaned me the generator from his business.
Update 2: Friday evening (6 PM), the electricity came back on. We are back to relatively “normal” life. Thanks to my wonderful neighbors and their generosity – and to our power company.