San Diego Blackout

2011 San Diego Blackout(via)

As you may have heard (or maybe not... I heard it didn't really get national coverage) the power was out in ALL of San Diego County last night, as well as in some parts of Orange County, LA, and all the way out to Arizona and down to Mexico. I heard at least 2 mililon people were without power!

It was pretty chaotic, you can imagine.

Everything shut down on campus a bit before 4pm, and through text messages, Facebook, and Twitter we found out that it was county-wide. We kept the library open for a few hours since it was still light out, and the library is as good a place as any to congregate in an emergency. Handed out otter pops from the freezer and passed along information as much as we could. Opened up the doors to get some air circulating. A hummingbird came in and went upstairs.

We closed at about 6:30, and I'm really glad I stayed until then. Traffic was absolutely nuts earlier because everyone was trying to get home at the same time and there were no traffic lights! My drive home was a breeze, though, because I guess by then everyone had gotten where they needed to go.

I got home and realized how woefully unprepared I am for emergencies. I didn't have a flashlight or candles or cash, and since my apartment is in an urban area with such a concentrated population of people, my cell phone service was out too. So I literally sat by myself in the dark for an hour doing nothing until my boyfriend came over, concerned that I wasn't answering his phone calls.

We ended up going back to his place and hanging outside with neighbors we'd never met, barbecuing and looking at stars (which you can never see in the city), and it was generally quite enjoyable.

The power came back on for me at about 11pm, and that was it.

Classes are canceled today (power didn't come back on campus until about 4 this morning), but the library is open and I'm at work. We found the poor hummingbird and nursed it back to health, and it's back out in the world.

Overall, it was quite an experience. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love electricity and technology, and it was a little tough being without cell service for so long, but it was cool to see everyone outside in the evening, chatting, and hanging out--actually communicating instead of just watching TV, holed up in their houses with their air conditioning. The bars were hopping, and it was actually fun for those of us who weren't panicking and thinking it was a terrorist attack or the end of the world. It was pretty eerie being without lights, but it was cool how people came together to make a potentially scary or dangerous situation not-so-bad.

Have any good stories from the blackout? Or have you experienced one similar? Do share!