I read one report that stated 17,000 homes were affected by the outage in Colorado, but the power company said 190,000 homes, which made more sense. Hardest hit were Denver, Boulder and Greeley. There are a lot of smaller towns around, so the number couldn't have been just 17,000.
I was without power from sometime Wednesday morning until after 5 PM Thursday afternoon. The weather was the coldest we had so far this year, with the temperature as low as 13 degrees overnight.
To set the stage, the only source of heat I have is a gas furnace with a blower and thermostat. No electricity, no thermostat and no blower. Even if they would work, the almost new furnace is electronically ignited and wouldn't work. So I was without heat and lights for about 37 hours.
I could have gone to a motel and I could have stayed with my son and daughter-in-law and I could have stayed with my daughter, but I was comfortable enough and rather enjoyed the challenge.
I stayed warm (around 62 to 64 degrees) in the kitchen (electric stove, so no heat there!) with three kerosene lamps and a few two liter bottles of hot water. Thank heavens that I have a gas water heater! The hot water was a God-send. I filled the bottles and put them on the floor where they radiated heat, much like old fashioned radiators do.
The kerosene lamps gave out quite a bit of heat, too, and I used them to warm my hands after being in the cold part of the house for this and that. I used candles for light when I went into the rest of the house.
Of course, I wore my warmest clothes and layered them, but I didn't need a jacket or anything special to wear.
Cooking was done over a candle stove at first, then over a homemade "buddy burner" which was quite efficient. I made hot tea and warmed up canned soup, but otherwise ate cheese, apples, peanut butter and the like.
Three of the two liter bottles were put into service keeping me warm while I slept. Since I keep my bedroom cold anyway, it wasn't much of a stretch to put on an extra blanket and slip the hot bottles into bed. They warmed up the flannel sheets and I was snuggly warm. To me, it felt better than sleeping in a warm room, I can tell you that!
The only things that concerned me was the refrigerator, the freezer and my cell phone. I have a charger for the car, but didn't have a lot of gas so I didn't want to run it unless absolutely necessary. It kind of made me mad at myself because I'm usually pretty good at keeping gas in the car, in case of...
All in all, I read a lot and knitted. Otherwise, time was spent keeping the water in the jugs warm and taking care of the lamps. I washed my hair in the kitchen sink Thursday morning because I just couldn't wait any longer. The bathroom was too cold to shower in; however, I could have warmed it up using the same methods as used in the kitchen. I kept thinking the electricity would soon be on.
And that's the rest of the story!