I was watching a movie earlier today that took place in the early 20th century, and it involved a scene where the lights went out. And it made me think about how often that used to happen when I was growing up in New Brunswick.

When I was little, we’d have power outages a few times a year! Dad would fire up the Coleman lamp (I can still remember the hissing sound it would make) and we’d abandon the family room and the non-functioning television to sit around the fireplace in the more formal living room – a room that was otherwise almost never used.

Our water supply was also susceptible. It didn’t happen as often, but I recall multiple incidences when we had no water supply. I remember because every time it was restored, we’d have to let the taps run for a while to clear out the brown, muddy water from the system.

I don’t know if it’s just Ottawa or if services have become more reliable in general, but nowadays, service interruptions are few and far between… at least in the places I’ve lived.

I’ve experienced the odd power outage for an hour here and there, but until tonight I don’t think my water supply has ever been cut since I moved to Ottawa in 1990.

That’s a great run!

Sadly, it came to an end tonight…as I was about to get supper on the table. I was doing a few dishes and the water pressure dropped suddenly. It wasn’t long before the supply had dwindled to a trickle. Moments later, the flashing lights of a fire brigade were soon bouncing off the walls and we headed outside. We were greeted by the sight of a torrent flowing down the street.

A watermain had burst right at the end of our driveway and we’re now without water altogether.

Still, we have to count our blessings. Our driveway is uphill from the street, so our homes are safe from flooding. Our neighbours aren’t so lucky. The street itself runs downhill and there are a few other condos, some with driveways that lead down into subterranean garages. Some of the water was pooling at our neighbour’s garage. There will be damage.

The firemen were able to set up a barrier and set about pumping the water out of the flooded area. The city crew is here now, but who knows how long it’ll be before our supply is restored. Hopefully they’ll work through the night and maybe we’ll have water by morning… but I kind of doubt it.

I don’t recall how long it used to take to have water restored back in NB, but I feel like it’s gonna be at least a day. Might have to head to the gym for a shower tomorrow on my way to the office.


3 responses »

  1. Yikes! Hope you get water back soon.

  2. dderbydave says:

    We used to have electric and water outages in the 70’s. some were political – caused through strikes but most were the system failing in some way.
    Funny the way the politicians of both sides reflect on this improvement in service by trying to take credit or blame the opposition. I suspect it’s the greater use of plastics in the water system and more power plants for the leccy.
    Glad you avoided the worst of it.

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