my sister texted me around 12:45pm asking if the power was out in belmont, because a neighbor had texted her. i checked the internet webcam and saw that it was down, which meant no electricity. on day 2 of the heat wave, it didn't come as a surprise that their be local blackouts, with people suddenly increasing their power usage for their air conditioners.
i went with my parents on a costco supply run. my aunt had invited us over to her house in the evening to have some leftover dinner, and my parents bought a box of shrimp cocktails and a carton of quinoa salad. we also stopped at michael's beforehand so my mother could pick up some more yarn.
i got dropped off at my place around 4pm, then motorcycled to belmont by 4:30pm only to discover that the electricity was still out. one plus side of having no electricity was how quiet it was outside, with none of the neighbors' noisy compressors running.
earlier i'd discovered that belmont's municipal light department had a twitter feed with a few updates regarding the situation. they reported that "due to a major equipment failure, approx. 2,000 customers are experiencing a power outage. we are working to restore power within 2 hours." the major equipment failure was an outage at the hittinger street substation next to the belmont high school. half of the power came back within 2 hours, including the schools, which had already released their students early. at 2pm they sent out another tweet, saying that the southeast part of town was still without power, and that they were trying to restore electricity no later than midnight. midnight? southeast belmont is like the middle child of blackouts, as we always seem to get the worst of outages. the last one happened back on super bowl sunday in february. tonight, another major sporting event was threatened with game 5 of the NBA finals. somebody at belmont municipal lights really don't want southeast belmont to enjoy any kind of televised sports.
3:30pm, belmont police issued a tweet saying they hope to get power back by 10pm. better than midnight, but still many hours away, made worse by the fact that today was a very hot day. at least it was a dry heat.
when my parents came home my mother was surprised that i didn't turn on the air conditioner until she realized we still didn't have power. there was nothing to do but wait, with no television and no internet. i at least had my ebook to read on my oneplus one phone.
we finally left for my aunt's place around 6:30pm. they didn't have air conditioning in their kitchen but it was mild enough that we ate outside anyway.
they had some new landscaping down in their yard, with many different varieties of perennial foamflowers. i saw their new bigger replacement hawthorn (my parents have their old smaller hawthorn in their backyard) but noticed there was some tent caterpillar damage on the leaves.
we returned to belmont close to 9pm. a lot of people had electricity so we were hopeful that power had been restored, until we got to our neighborhood and saw that it was completely dark. there was actually something kind of peaceful about the murkiness. my parents decided to go to target, where at least they could get some free air conditioning. i returned to cambridge to watch the basketball game. driving through a darkened belmont, i noticed families huddles in air conditioned cars in driveways, like heatwave refugees.
i was so thankful to have running electricity back at my place. it takes but a few blackout hours to make one better appreciate the miracle of electricity. the game was exciting, and cleveland kept it competitive at first, but they were no match to the inevitable, as the warriors ended up winning, 129-120. i switched channels immediately after the game, i didn't need to watch any post-game celebration as there was nothing really to celebrate about. the overwhelmingly favorited team to win won.