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Old 09-24-2003, 05:47 PM   #1
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Back from the hurricane! (or, remember the CO2!)

After 6 days without power (and 4 of them without water) we finally have our electricity restored. This has been an incredibly damaging event here, and much of the city is still without power. There are still many traffic lights out and schools and businesses are still closed. Many historic parts of the city have been destroyed by fallen trees, and something like 14 people died! I am on a municipal water supply but the power was out at all of the pump stations, so nobody had any water, and that was not expected. They were giving water away (5 gal per person) but you still had to boil it. My husband is a boy scout (Mr. Preparedness) so we had propane stoves and lanterns and batteries out the wazoo. We bought a generator on the day of the storm and though I did not want to spend that money, I am so glad I had it. I hooked my tanks up to it and they ran for about 6 hours on, with 5 or so hours off. We had to conserve our gasoline to run it because there was no gas in town! Richmond is not a giant city but it is a pretty big one (about 1 million pop.) so it is bizarre for absolutely everything to be shut down, or destroyed.

My fish have fared extremely well. I lost a couple of white clouds and now I spotted one fish with ich in my 55-gal, so off to Q-tank she goes and I will cross my fingers for the rest. Many of my crypts melted, in spite of having one of my shop lights hooked up to the generator. The temp was pretty steady at 76-78, but for the past 2 days it has gone down to about 72-74, because of our lovely fall weather, so that has a lot to do with things. I am slowly getting the temp up over the next day (slow is the key) and I hope that everything will get back to normal. One very important thing to remember when your power is out and you do not have filtration is to disconnect the CO2. I completely forgot about those reactors chugging away under there until the second day, and I don't think any harm was done, but if you have no filtration the CO2 will build up to toxic levels in there. Word to the wise! I don't believe a UPS unit would have helped me if we had not had the generator, as those will only go for about 20 minutes or so, based on what I have read on the Krib and elsewhere, but for brief outages it is probably a good idea. I would have liked to have had one of those battery powered air pumps to use over night while the generator was turned off. I anticipate power failures this winter, as we usually get ice storms and such, and with heat being a major factor then I am very glad to have the generator. Considering what I have invested in my tanks it is well worth it. There are still many, many people without power and homeless, here and in NC and SC, so I consider myself lucky and pray for those less fortunate.

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Old 09-24-2003, 06:44 PM   #2
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OUCH! 6 days.

Glad your back. Hope the city will get back on its feet soon. I have an Aunt that lives there.
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