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no power or water thoughts

BHGAL Oct 08.2015 13:23 Comments (2) + Add your comment
Tags: Lifestyle, Travel, Health & Environment, General Category:My Blogs


Random thoughts recorded during and after typhoon Mujigae.


04/10/2015 12:15 PM

Relentless storm

I have been in Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China for 4 years, had a number of typhoons (MAYBE 4) pass through here.

Never had a direct hit though, I guess. This barrage is not even a typhoon, just a tropical storm or depression as the meteorologists call them. I went out to get beer in preparation at about 10:30 this morning. I got my face blasted with not just rain drops, but sand and stones. Got home and the wife, who has been through these a lot more times than I have, had to take a pic of me at the end of my, in her mind, ludicrous journey for a couple beer.

At 11:14 the power went out.

My simple mind, figures it will be like any little tropical storm….few minutes of a downpour and then peace and quiet and sunshine.

Now at 12:30 it is doing nothing more than picking up velocity and becoming more threatening. I have always marvelled at the power of MOTHER NATURE,  but this is a first for me. You should hear the sounds of the things that are hitting the building, the things that are busting up the building. I am on the 5th floor of a 28 storey building…  with a lot of air “tunnels” in and around my neighborhood, and the park across the road that gets blasted with our tunnels.

Yunhua just asked me to film some more, it is a big one, she says. 12:30…  12:38. I am back indoors and happy for it. WOW, this thing is so powerful, not “this thing”, it is MOTHER NATURE.

Yunhua tells me, they once spent 5 days indoors due to inclement weather. I know her and so maybe 2 of them days were not so necessary to stay indoors.

But holy cow, and I am a very adventurous and goofy guy, no damned way I AM GOING OUT IN THIS.

1:00 PM   just getting stronger and stronger, busting up more stuff.

I can guarantee you that this is as bad or worse than any PINE PASS or MANNING PASS whiteout.

Out of battery power. The rest of this was put down with pen and paper.

1:40 pm – eye of the storm, quiet and nice

2:55 pm – starting again with the winds.

3:00 pm – “first cut is the deepest”? – I see traffic picking up. Not just downed trees, downed electrical all over. Mom, 2 miles away has no power. No power as far as the eye can see.

3:00 am Oct. 5th, 2015

Still no power, 16 hours now. A little peek at my distant future -  A GLIMPSE OF HELL!!

Thanks ECC for the flashlights, a few 12 hour candles please and some perma frost. Won’t have to defrost the fridge anytime soon. Looks like even the battery powered emergency lights are dimming around town.

I suspect pretty widespread devastation, so my little neighborhood could be a while before power and water are restored. Major Chinese Holiday. Have a hard time, even at double time, getting me to go to work. Maybe at double my lawyer’s $350/hr. charge, I would consider it. Minimum 20 hours. LOL.

Hopefully the seagulls have gone back to the sea. Not often do I see seagulls, even at the beach. There were hundreds in the park across the street during the “eye of the storm”. They will end up on a dinner plate if they don’t back to the sea.

What I can see, from my balconies, I am sure is nothing compared to the 50-100 mile radius around me.


I can see more stars than ever before, no I can’t, but bet I could if it wasn’t still overcast. Even the backup lights are dead now. I have seen ZERO  flashing lights, like one might expect from emergency vehicles, like Hydro or fire or police or ambulance.. ZERO!!!

Boy they are going to have to recharge/replace a lot of dead batteries, bet that doesn’t happen in a hurry. Besides all the leaves and plastic bags I have on my balcony, I just found a 3”X4” jagged piece of plexiglass. Glad it didn’t arrive while I was filming, or did it?

 Earlier, yesterday, I did see 4 or 5 white hard hat guys go into the underground parking next door. Only official looking folks so far. Hope that building falls to the west.

7:30 am October 5th, 2015

I went for a cruise around the block. Just about didn’t when I saw the elevators were not working, but decided I could handle the 5 flights down and UP! Here is what I saw, same old stuff, one would expect, but for me this pretty danged personal.

  1. Hundreds of trees down (thousands if you include the park)
  2. Signs and lamp standards bent over and down
  3. Construction fencing strew about everywhere
  4. Many, many, many E bikes lying on their side
  5. 3 flipped over cars.
  6. 2 solar roof top hot water tanks  lying on the street.
  7. A few busted car windshields
  8. Big money was – I saw 2 high rise construction cranes leaning heavily on their building – they are toast and so is the floor they were working on..
  9. Construction scaffolding dismantled everywhere
  10. Rooftops everywhere, in bits and pieces.
  11. Nobody working ,  except the wonderful little man and woman that I get my fruits and vegies and beer at. It’s 7:30, 8:00 ..  usually more.
  12. My wife and I were lucky, our E-bikes did not even fall over. Many all around them were damaged at least some.

Chinese Holiday, nobody called in or nobody willing to sacrifice their family holiday.. Maybe 4 days with no power or water. IMAGINE THAT!!!!

That`s the word on the street.

October 6th, 2015 10:00 am

Still no power or water, 47 hours now. Expecting water  shortly for the first 5 floors, that would be me, on the 5th. The bucket brigade is packing buckets and buckets and buckets of rain water, from the once empty kids pool, and from some being supplied. Walking it to the 6th-30th floor so they can flush the toilet. They do have some kind of power storage unit, but nobody know how long this is going to last and power storage is limited.

MOTHER NATURE  continues to show her dominance. Downpours every hour or so, for an hour or so. Incredible `Blanket Lightning``. Like, HAHAHHA, I  got power (electricity) and you don`t. Now, remember, WHO IS THE BOSS!!!

I  am getting zero news from outside sources. I did here that there are 20,000 people working on it. I have seen a few army/navy trucks with 5-6 man crews aboard. I do find it odd that they can’t re-route the power. Suspect they lost more than one transmission tower.

Locals, old folks, are comparing it to 1986. I have no way of looking that event up. I can assure you though, that China and Zhanjiang were a lot different 29 years ago. Under 30 or even 40, without a cell or smart phone or wifi today is devastating.

E-bikes are dying, being pushed rather than rode. Phones are dying. Even cell phone coverage has been hit and miss. (hope they are using the opportunity to upgrade.)

Another rumour, in true Chinese socialism with Chinese characteristics, has emerged. Hotels that are self sufficient, with power and water and of course wifi, have doubled, tripled and quadrupled their rates.

Financial speculation by me…..floors 20-30 just took a drastic decline in their value – floors 6-19 a considerable decline in value and floors 1-5 a substantial increase in value. What does one day after a hard days work and no elevator? Jog up  20 or 30 floors?

5:00 pm October 6th, 2015

Mother-in-law (75) is over for dinner. She went up 9 flights of stairs before stopping to bang on a door to see where she was. No elevator and no phone, and the stairways are very dark. She is sitting at the open front door wishing for more of a breeze, obviously tired. Her mouth though hasn’t tired much. I don’t understand a word. Wife is in the kitchen, cooking everything that was in the fridge/freezer. They can sit and eat for days. Mother-in-law has heard a rumour, power maybe tomorrow, 3rd day. Net door neighbor says 4-6 days. Rumours, nobody knows.

6:30 pm

Odd short visit, eat and run with a care package. Elevator( just the lift, no other power) and water is working. Beat the darkness home?

Bus reservation system is not accepting calls from here or from Shenzhen. HOLIDAY SEASON!!!

True socialist spirit, all for one and one for all. Water and bread is sold out all over town. Our water is coming on occasionally. My wife has had 3 showers today. If the water is running, she is gonna get her fair share. HAHAHA no hair dryer though!!! And it is just a bit humid. She did put clothes in the washer and pushed the start button when the water came on…  NO POWER!!!

That’s OK,  I thought about getting a DVD player, cause the TV don’t work.

Couple old days thoughts, been there done that.

  1. No wood for the fire. (we do still have gas)
  2. Snow pack is depleted. (freezer is gone)
  3. We have running water, you just have to run and get it!
  4. I think the rain water glows in the dark a little. (joking)

7:30 pm Oct. 6th, 2015

A truly eye opening experience. The amazing and true power of MOTHER NATURE.

Don’t want to knock the Chinese too much, but the duration and lack of preparedness for such a catastrophe is quite evident. This could happen to YOU! Are you ready?

Truth is, I don’t believe anybody  or government is READY.





9:00 pm Oct. 6th, 2015

I do see a few more stars than normal, but it is certainly not a starlit night as might be experience in a different environment. Good Night.


10:00 am Oct. 7th, 2015

Went out for a stroll around and noticed a couple generators at a couple pretty important places. Hurried home to get some money to get a cold beer.  Got home at about 11:30 and the power and the water were up and running. 72 hours no power and intermittent water….. extreme experience for me, imagine the unspoiled millions that live without, every day.

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2 Comments ( Add your comment )


Thanks Man. I don't know how I stumbled into this Blog section but better for having done so. My query is how did you get on with no water for such a long time? Toilet flushing and all... Anyhow, good job!

Oct 28, 2015 20:23


May 15, 2016 19:51

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