Power Outage

Yesterday the power went out. I was happy for neighbors with smart phones who were able to get the news. It turns out that most of Panama was without power for a while because of an incident with a main transmission line. Electricity is reliable here so this is unusual.

The water was out too. This is not unusual. There are many days that the water slows to a trickle by afternoon and doesn’t come back on until evening. The neighbors say this is more common in the dry season, and has become more of a problem as more houses are built in our part of town. We have learned to keep spare water on hand and we can manage easily for quite a while.

So, when it’s hot and all the utilities are out, what do you do? Go shopping with your neighbor! We had a good time running around after a few odds and ends. The stores had generators so business was fairly normal. On our way home she got a call that power wasn’t expected back on until 9PM, but when we arrived in our neighborhood we saw lights on.

The power was back on in the late afternoon, but it was a while before the cable and internet service resumed. Finally, about 10PM the water came back too, and all was back to normal.

I certainly can’t complain. I have blog friends in more rural areas and other nearby countries who have a lot more trouble with utilities, with frequent power outages and water problems, and very unreliable internet. I also remind myself of the many people in the world who never have power, and who have to haul all their water from an outside water source. So, stepping away from the desk and spending a lot of the day with friends and neighbors was a good thing. I’ll have to do that more even when there isn’t a power outage.

According to the news, the Panama Canal was not affected by the power outage.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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8 Responses to Power Outage

  1. Roger says:

    Kris

    I am now traveling in Kansas City and passes a snow storm last night. I was without cell phone signal for at least a couple of ours.

    My wife told me that the problem with power outage has to do with a fire at a sugar cane field that affected some transmission towers. Without power the water pumping system couldnt work so the problem agravated by not having running water at home.

    To solve the problem of water some people install elevated water tanks in their houses so when there is not water on the system they still have water at they homes.

    The Panama Canal is independent and they got their own power generation plants, usually hydroelectric and also they got their own potable water plant. If Panama sufffer a total blackout the Panama Canal will still be running efficiently.

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    • Kris says:

      Kansas City?? We lived in Manhattan KS for a long time and I’m very familiar with those winter storms. Good luck, and hope you can return to warmer climates soon!
      A neighbor just put in one of those tanks last week, and others are considering it. We would too but it’s a rented house.
      The canal is so important that I’m sure they have to do everything possible to be sure it’s never out of service. It seems everything has returned to normal in Panama now for all of us.

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  2. It could be worse, you could be drving through a snow storm in Kansas!

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    • Kris says:

      Nooooooo! Never again! You are right. That is definitely worse. I was a home health nurse so I had to be out there whatever the weather, and there were days when only the old rattling 4 wheel drive would get me though. I remember looking for utility poles to figure out where the road was a few times. I also remember some incredible sights when the sun would come out after an ice storm but no, I don’t need to see it again. I’m happy to wash dishes with a jug of water and bathe in the river occasionally.

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  3. allig565 says:

    I read about the power outage this morning (Don Winner, Panama Guide). Seems Panama had it under control (and now they are going to create another law or add more water tanks manana haha), but this might be the reason I don’t want to live permanently on the beach (HOT without those fans or AC if the power goes out all day lol). Or I would just go shopping like you did 🙂 Here in Northern VA, we can’t seem to get one bit of snow–today we are getting cold rain from the Kansas storm urg!

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    • Kris says:

      Yes, they did well. Our power came back on after only a couple or three hours. \More water tanks? We shall see. I think it’s a common problem all over. No wonder there are so many bombas (big water tanks for your house) for sale. Cold rain from KS? Eeew. No thanks. You will be so happy to leave all threats of cold weather behind!

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  4. Annelised says:

    Love that last sentence…..!

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