Power Walking In A Power Outage

By on April 9, 2019

With spring finally here, I’ve moved back outside to do my morning “exercise” regime…walking. It IS dark out when I start, but it gets almost light by the time I’m home. And soon enough, it will be light even before I hit the street. (Am I the only one who gets excited by the fact that the sun peaks over the horizon before 5 in the morning?)

Although today was not supposed to be as warm as yesterday, it was still warm enough for me to head out in my sweatshirt, leggings, sneakers (and socks…I’ve LEARNED) with my glow in the dark safety vest. (With a pocket for my phone so that I can listen to music while also using the map my walk app ) Although I TRY to vary my route a bit on a daily basis, I almost ALWAYS start by doing a lap around Martin Road.` From my house down the Martin, around and back out to Pompton is a mile. (Depending on how the app is walking this can change. Some days I hit a mile before I get to the Bunky’s Auto at the end of the block and some days I’ve already rounded the corner and am on Pompton. This IS annoying, but…). Today was no different. It was a little foggy so the air had a mysterious quality to it. I’m trying to keep a quick pace, but when it’s dark it’s not that easy. (Or at least that’s my excuse.) I rounded the corner around 4:45 (according to the clock at Bunky’s) and was heading south at a decent pace. I was almost to Claremont, when I noticed a man in front of the urgent care center. This is not unusual. I’ve seen him before; he obviously does the office cleaning and maintenance in the early morning hours. But this time he was looking around and moved off to stand in the middle of Pompton Avenue/Route 23. If it had been any other hour, this would have alarmed me, but at that hour the street is pretty much deserted.

I took out my earbuds and he asked me, “Is the power out?” Now Pompton Avenue was aglow, as it always is, but First Care Medical Group was dark. I told him I thought it was just the building, but as I continued on and turned the corner to Claremont, I would see that there were no street lights and every house was dark. In the misty morning, it definitely was eerie!

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Halfway up the block (and with only one ear bud in), I was greeted by another man who said told me to be careful as the power was out. I don’t know who he was, but I really did appreciate his concern. And I was really glad that I had purchased the Day-Glo vest last year so that I COULD be seen.

As I continued west on Claremont, I could see that my block was now in darkness. As was Westview (the next block). By the time I got to Elmwood I could smell something and that’s when it was obvious that a something was not right. I could see lots of light on my right-hand side, but it wasn’t coming from street lights. It was coming from utility vehicles and emergency responders (police and fire.) It was obvious all was not well in my little corner of town and that I was NOT going to do my regular route down Elmwood.

Instead I turned around and headed back the way I came. I thought about heading home, but what good would that have done me? There was nothing I could do there and why would I wake the rest of the house up to tell them that the power was out? Instead, I shared on social media that the power was out in my area. (Because that’s what you do, right?) I also was pleased to note that PSEG had texted about the issue as did our local police with an ETA of power restoration.

I wanted to get my walking time/mileage in, but I didn’t want to wander too far away in case the power came back early. What I did instead of in my own way map out where the power was out, which I found really interesting:

In some places on side of the road was out, but the other was not. Two houses down from Elmwood on Claremont seemed not to have power, but the rest of the houses did. A few “lucky” houses on Martin never lost power, while the rest of their neighbors were in the dark. Obviously the power “line” is not a line, but its own strange shape. (Any power grid experts out there who can explain?)

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Finishing up, my block was still dark, but Bloomfield Avenue was aglow. Now my challenge was how to manage getting ready for work and school. I prepped lunches by candlelight and the flashlight app on my phone. Thankfully, only minutes after I headed upstairs (with clean laundry…thankfully I had done it the night before and had not started it before I went for my morning walk, which I often do), the power snapped back on; AHEAD of the estimated time! (Thank you PSEG!) No cold shower or wet hair for me. And coffee for the entire family! (It’s the important things in life, right?)

I have to say that while this morning’s walk was strange, it was also interesting. I truly saw my neighborhood in a different light. And it certainly made me appreciate the everyday “necessities.”

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say THANK YOU to the police and fire personnel who were on site and patrolling to make sure all was well during the outage.

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