Q. Where were you when the lights went out?
A. In the dark.
Taos got its first snow last night, only a couple of inches, but it was wet, heavy snow that wreaked havoc.
I worked at the hotel last night, and a few minutes after 11:00 p.m., just after I started, the electricity went out. The building that houses the lobby, offices, and restaurant has soome kind of back-up power source. Some lights worked, but others didn't; the computer at the front desk worked, but the outlet the server is plugged into didn't, so I wasn't able to do any of the computerized Night Audit stuff. I couldn't even check in a guest who arrived around midnight. I told him we had no electricity, but he wanted to stay anyway; it was late (and snowing). The credit card machine was still working (how convenient), so I was able to charge him, and he filled out a paper registration card instead of me putting the information into the system.
Electricity was "spotty" in town, with some places having no power and others having full power. I kept calling the electric company's "Emergency Line" but of course kept getting a busy signal. I finally got through at 1:00 a.m. and told the woman where I was. She said they had a crew working close by, so maybe we would have power back on soon, but she didn't know when. "Keep your fingers crossed," she told me.
The TV still worked, and I was watching an episode of Frasier, when in the middle of the show, at 1:45, we lost all the power. The remaining lights, the TV, everything. (I'll never know what happened with the black market caviar Frasier got involved with.)
So Brian, the security guard, and I sat in total darkness, augmented with a couple of flashlights, and talked about football (one of our favorite topics of discussion) and various other stuff. As the total darkness continued and the snow continued, we stepped outside a few times to listen to the silence.
Finally at 3:25, full power came back on. we were skeptical that it would stay on, but after about 5 minutes, we figured it was on for good. I began the process of getting the server and other computer back up and running. I didn't get very far, because 7 mintes later ... you guessed it, the electricity went off again. It wasn't the total power failure; we had the limited power, but that's how it stayed for the rest of the time I was there. When I left at 7:00 a.m., we still had limited power in the lobby and restaurant and there was no power in the rooms where the guests were staying. I got a few phone calls during the night and in the morning from guests letting me know they had no electricity. I explained that it was a town-wide situation and not limited to just their room.
This afternoon I checked the Taos News website to see if they had anything on the power outage (they don't post much news on the weekends unless it's something really big). Click here for the story.
Of course they haven't updated it since 10:30 this morning, so I don't know what I'll find when I go in to work tonight. I hope I find full power.
We never lost power at home, but it's supposed to get down to 22 tonight, so we have a nice fire going in the fireplace.