After leaving ABC6 on Friday after intense storm coverage, I couldn't wait to go home get toasty and monitor the social media world via my laptop. When I returned to my Pawtucket loft apartment all was good until the power went out, and with it the heat. At first it was no big deal; it was after midnight, so I just went to bed with extra blankets.
The apartment was 75 degrees at that point. By morning the temperature dropped to 59 degrees and throughout the day the temperature dropped more and more. It was at 49 degrees the last time I checked the thermostat.
For those of you who follow me on Facebook or twitter... you saw my complaints. I made light of it by taking the "essentials" from the refrigerator…eggs, ice-cream… wine… and sticking them in the snow outside the window.
While I made light on Facebook, I began to generally get concerned. We don't have a wood stove or a fireplace in the loft, we just have high ceiling, and brick walls. When I say it was freezing. I mean it.
Our cars were buried under snow so there was no leaving. We couldn't even leave if we could dig our cars out because of the unplowed roads.
We sought shelter at a local Chinese restaurant in walking distance which thankfully opened, and then a neighbor's house. By midnight on Saturday our heat was back, along with the electricity.
Not having electricity was inconvenient; having no heat and being snowed in was downright scary.
For those of you who weathered the storm without heat and hot water I feel for you, hang in there. You never really know how bad it is to be in that situation until you find yourself IN THAT SITUATION. I'm lucky I have great neighbors and great family; my nephews even came over and shoveled me out. (Okay they cheated.. they had a snow blower.)
During the hurricane and super storm, I lucked out I never lost electricity or power so I had no idea what it was like. Worse was having no heat with below freezing temperatures. Luckily Rhode Islanders tend to pull together during these times helping neighbors in the cold keep warm, shoveling out a neighbor or a friend in need and even offering a hot meal to someone who may not be able get one.
People tweeted us at ABC6 that they met neighbors they never knew before the storm and others talked about the good deeds of strangers who helped them shovel out. People took special steps to help the elderly and the Providence Journal even reported a heartwarming story about a 93-year-old woman hoping for a miracle when her heat went out. Someone coming to check on her was able to bring her to a shelter to get warm and she was very thankful.
If one good thing comes out of storm conditions it is the spirit of helping your neighbor and the we are "all in this together mentality." My thoughts go out to those who weathered the storm without heat and power and to those "snow angels" who helped a neighbor in need.
If you have any stories highlighting a random act of kindness during the storm email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.