Black Out!


Since 0120 hrs this morning the entire Top End of the Northern Territory has been without power.

Alien take over? Apocalypse?  Crocodiles munching on the grid?

By 0200 hours everyone in Darwin was awake and on Facebook outraged and threatening to sue for all the spoiled food.

It’s been about 9 hours now. Houses are being set on fire due to a lack of experience using candles (and BBQ’s). People are going nuts.

School has been cancelled, Public Transport is off the road , Public servants (and most other staff) have been told to stay home. Nothing is open.

Except Maccas. (McDonald’s for everyone outside of Australia)

Of course, coffee, even if you have to wait 3 hours to get it is an essential supply. :p

We are all comfortably seated in one of our cars, with our artificially produced air conditioning.


I wonder how long we can run it on 1/4 tank of fuel. (Mitsubishi ASX 2012 if any one wants to look it up) We are taking it in turns to charge our devices, so that may have an impact?

We’re not actually going any where because we’re stuck in the garage and there’s no power to open the roller door. Even if we could get out, there’s the small problem of our security gate.

This is Darwin, sticks town of Australia only 150,000 people, 98% humidity and 33 degrees most days.

#WeDontNeedNoFancyPantsElectricity says us, sitting in our car, stuck behind roller doors charging our phones to access FB (and WordPress)

112 responses to “Black Out!

  1. I bet the power has been restored and apologies made (where necessary). I can only imagine what it felt like during the blackout … the unrest, anger, and inability to get most equipment running at full capacity. It’s almost like the being thrown into the fictitious world of “The Walking Dead” LOL.

    Lou, thank you for the follow. You run a very wonderful blog and I wish to be a part of it.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, the garage ‘sliding doors’ were open 🙂 Not quite big enough to drive through, but big enough to let air in and carbon monoxide out 🙂

  2. 10 whole hours without power, that’s all? That’s nothing. I have one word for you – generator. Since I live in the “sticks” and it’s not uncommon to lose power for several days during an ice storm, my generator gets a regular workout.

    • LOL Jeff… I know right.. if you look at the social media platform I linked to in this post – you will see how crazy some people got.. it really was on some levels out of control.

      I couldn’t believe the amount of F words flying around!

      We generally had a good giggle and no great struggles on our part – it was nice to connect with each other, telling stories etc 🙂

      We did learn some lessons though –

      1) Generator
      2) Stock up on Tin Food
      3) Stock up on dry food
      4) Make sure you have fuel handy!


      • Tell me about it! If they predict a big snow storm here people just freak out. As if somehow with the impending blizzard we’re also magically transported back into the 18th century. The bottled water flies off the shelves.

        The best part about #1 on your list is that it pretty much negates the need for 2 and 3. Assuming one of the things you have wired to run on generator power is the fridge. We have a gas stove, and the gas grill, so as far as food goes we’re good to go. And of course the TV is on one of the circuits too. So just pop in a DVDE and it’s like nothing ever happened.

        Just make sure if you do get a generator you have it properly installed. We have a transfer switch in the basement and a great big plug on the outside of the house. All I need to to during an outage is drag the generator out of the shed, fire it up, throw a few switches, and plug in the cord to the outlet on the side of the house. In 5-10 minutes the power is back on 😀

  3. I live in South Africa, where power cuts are the norm – not nearly as bad as many other parts of Africa though, like Zimbabwe where I was born & that often has power cuts that last for days……… Luckily I am married to a man who camps, so when the power goes out, we manage. Mankind these days, especially those of us in the more developed regions/countries are just hopelessly reliant on power.

    • I agree with you Akarags – the occupants of developed regions DO have a tendency to become hopelessly reliant on power.

      Somewhere in these comments I recalled times when I was a young girl living in this city. We did not have any air-conditioning. I slept with a bottle of Ice water next to my bed and a nice cool flannel (soaked up chilled condensation from the bottle)…

      During the afternoons and on weekends we had a great old Esky that we used to fill with water and then lounge around in for hours.

      We did not have computers, let alone mobile phones, ipads and computer games (I think I might have had an Atari 2200 that came out once a month for an hour if it was raining) We watched TV for 20 minutes in the morning, never in the afternoon and 1 hour on Saturday morning for cartoons.

      For anyone that has been to Darwin, I am sure they will vouch that it is RIDICULOUSLY hot and humid, particularly during the wet season.

      Somehow, we managed to make do, and almost every single one of my memories from that time is a good one.

      I used to camp alot of as a girl, me thinks I need to get some more practice as an adult, refining and passing the skills and experience onto my own family.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂


  4. We have had a few power cuts due to fallen trees in my area with the floods and gales we’ve had. Mostly out in the countryside where they have overhead cables. You don’t realise what you have until it’s gone.

    • I agree.

      That kind of has a double meaning for me, because during the 12 hours power was out, I was considering the way it USED to be where we would get an outage, but it was no big deal cause we had our ice bottles and flannels next to the bed to keep us cool, and if it was during the day we would be outside playing around in the yard anyway so did not even notice…

      Now even during the day, kids and adults alike spend more time inside behind their computers, personal devices and less time playing around out in the yard… we are so reliant on being comfortable ALL the time that when we lack the air conditioner we go completely nuts.

      We also have access to social media, FB, Twitter, WordPress – where we can scream our rants and abuse the crap out of governing bodies we deem responsible in some form or another.

      So – yep – we don’t know what we have until it is gone – the instant gratification of comfort when and where we feel like it – and the reflection of patience and tolerance because we had no choice.

      Great comment 🙂 Thanks


  5. Glad to see the power’s back on! I can’t imagine being without power for ten hours! Yikes! I’m not sure any of me and mine would’ve survived. We’re dependent on our devices to keep our sanity in close quarters LOL

    • #YayBananas – Me too re the power.. It was a good lesson in patience – AND a sharp reminder that we should never get too reliant on artificially produced comforts eh.. lol

      – Says me, who was sitting in the comfort of an air conditioned car for about 2 hours charging my android so I could write this blog.. LOL

      Thanks for your comment..


      • Ahahahahahahaha!!! Eh, it’s hard to not get too used to it. Says me who goes back and forth often from my tablet to my phone LOL If power goes out I usually just light some candles to read a book by, and use my trusty hand fan haha. Sure, not the most jumping time for many, but I do love a good old epic battle scene in my books 🙂

      • Books are brilliant.. and at least you still have the patience to sit and read a real one.. lol

        I LOVE to read I’m trying to instill that same desire in my children too.. So far, so good..


      • I think I prefer them over movies…. though flicks are great too. I suppose anything that takes me away from current issues for an hour or two is pretty much my life saver lol My daughter will read too, but she’s always comparing herself to me, and I just happen to be a speed reader. I can clip through a 400 page book in four hours, she’s in fifth grade for crying out loud haha!
        Truth be told, I’m glad she’s not as much. I read as a preteen and teen to survive a some what wretched home life: so the fact she doesn’t immerse herself so much she misses people calling her name (ahem, *slightly raised hand over here*) lets me know that I’m parenting right. Sure, she reads nightly, but not to the point of a mental block 🙂

  6. I enjoyed reading your story and am happy to see that you’ve tried to make the best of a frustrating situation. There are many who could learn from the way you’ve handled it. It’s so amusing/disturbing to me to note how rapidly the framework of society devolves in these kinds of situations. In 2010, the Northeastern United States experienced something we referred to on Twitter as “Snotober,” a massive snow and ice storm that began in late October and caused extensive damage to the region. Power lines came down overnight, transformers blew everywhere and massive branches still heavy with leaves did the rest of the damage to the roads. I was without power for 8 days and others in my state went up to 12. Adjusting to ice cold showers, heating beans over my camping stove in the snow for 8 days in a row and going to work with wet hair wasn’t exactly enjoyable, and we learned pretty quickly why our ancestors went to bed at sunset (it gets really boring after that with no TV or internet). Still – I had my camping gear, plenty of water, the ability to drive my car around on the roads that were open, and most importantly, I had my life and the lives of my loved ones. The 8 days was, compared to the bloggers I follow who are living though war unfolding literally in what’s left of their backyards, an extremely minor inconvenience. Still, it took only 3 days into the blackout for people in my area to start beating each other at gas stations: a friend of mine had to step in front of a woman to protect her from a man coming at her with a baseball bat. Her offense was trying to fill her car with gas when the man wanted to use the rest of the gas (the station was almost empty) to fill his 5 additional containers. He yelled at her, then reached into his trunk for the bat and lunged for her. The police were called, and their week was full of similar altercations. How quickly we become used to the things that only decades ago didn’t exist, and the media, in my opinion, only serves to inflame the situation with by adding the suffix “pocalypse” to every natural event and labeling things like your blackout “The Dark Ages”. Let’s all take a deep breath and try to make the best of things – as you have clearly done – and be grateful for the amenities many of us are all so fortunate to have, that their absence is felt so deeply.

    • Thanks for your kind words, faith. “Snotober,” sounds like an absolute nightmare. 8 days? Miraculous, you survived.. lol

      I remember the days I went camping as a child – sometimes for 2 weeks – and absolutely NO power then – same climate as this… coped fine.. MORE communication between friends and family – which was awesome and something I think we could all do with some more of.

      When we have the opportunity to share in the experience of others in worse situations it really helps to place our own attitudes of entitlement into perspective.

      We are not at war, we are NOT even close to war a situation where our lives are in danger. Yes, slightly to greatly uncomfortable due to heat and humidity and sticking to our sheets in sweat.. BUT we did have clean water, we could take a shower, go outside safely sit in our chairs and have a yap.

      It was an inconvenience, but not the end of the world…

      Some people did get moderately irate.. Some of the stuff flying around on social media would have been better left unsaid..

      Guess that the headline on the NT News’s front page is today?

      You guessed it – “The Dark Ages”. LOL

      I had to have a bit of a chuckle..

      Yeah it was a bit uncomfortable, but we had a pretty great time overall and it was nice to sit in the lounge room an have a chat – with no choice but to tell stories and really communicate with each other.

      Stu kept saying… I want my XBox (26yo… lololol)

      Thanks heaps for your comment faith, left me with a big smile after reflecting 🙂


  7. Hope your power is given back by the aliens as they decide not to invade- and that you get some sleep and have some usable ingredients in your fridge or freezer at the end of the day.

    • YES!! I think the smell of our stinky sweated armpits made the aliens decide NOT to invade.. lol

      Sleep was had, AND we still had some edible food in the fridge..



  8. Still no aliens? *teasing mode switched on* Or electricity snitchers? They are giant creators who can fly and they have the same characteristics as chameleons. The color of their skin adapt to the color of the background. Black at night and some brighter colors at daytime.
    Wait, you were all sick right? Were or are? Could this be the fever talking? *teasing mode switched off*

    • I think the Aliens deserted because we were too smelly from sweat soaked armpits and they didn’t want to get too close… lol

      *ponders electricity snitchers*.. I never thought of those before.. BUT.. maybe they don;t like smelly armpits either… ? lol

      Yanno… I was thinking.. you could have been on point – with the FEVER talking bit.. BUT then.. I saw todays headlines and the front page says.. wait for it….

      “The Dark Ages”

      *chuckles*.. Thanks so much for your comment and sorry about the delay responding..

      Soccer, Football, Dinner out.. it has been a VERY busy few days…

      BTW, Kotah has gone back to school (she is better) Joost has gone back to work (He is better) and I am about to take Cammy (Woo Woo) back to the doctors.. he has a lingering moist cough!


  9. Oh hell – for a land girt by sea we are awful hot and sticky in the summer, personally I would rather Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and freezing as opposed to free and humid. Feels like breathing through a pillow heated by an electric blanket here in Nth Qld and my son (who lived in NT with his dad for years) says it’s worse where you are.

    Now did your Oscar go on a croc teething bender and destroy the power grid or do you think it is the first sign of a general croc uprising? And as for Maccas after the apocalypse it and cockroaches will be the only things still standing – after all even demonic forces have to eat and I’m sure they like a good burger just as much as the next otherworldly entity.

    Luck and hope the power comes back before you are all reduced to melted piles of goo.

    • LOL Jenni – thanks for the giggle..

      Your son is right.. I have NEVER experienced heat ANYWHERE in the world as bad as it is here in Darwin – and it is not just the heat, but the combination of the heat and the humidity which literally has you feel like you are swimming through the air.

      I think Oscar could be harboring some ill feelings about his mouth being taped shut with Duct Tape…. My bestie Joost, thinks it is more likely a Green Tree Frog coalition are in the works and they are in fact going to take over the world… (he has a phobia of frogs)..

      Happy to report we avoided being made into goo…. the Power cam back on at our place after 10 hours 🙂


      • Glad to know you avoided gooification – mmm just an image of NT pop sucumbing to gooifying – that would be ummm Messy to say the least but the older crocs would appreciate their food pre-chewed I suppose.

        What was the cause of the disaster – do I need to prepare for frog invasion?

      • It is doubtful that froggies were the culprit – The reported cause of the black out was caused by a tripped circuit at Hudson Creek sub-station at Berrimah. (one of our mostly industrial suburbs)


      • My vivid imagination thinks the crocs are protesting – there are so many that there is a farm where ones are grown to use their skins for commercial purposes… Purses, Shoes, Bags….

        But alas, I doubt it was that sensational!


  10. Definitely Murphy at work again. Glad your power is back. Don’t think you did enough shin kicking on Murphy last time he visited. Perhaps your strength was below par. Have another go!

    • Ooops… lol

      I posted this on Twitter yesterday –
      @MitsubishiAust @TheNTNews Today’s Smart Phone Power (and Air Conditioning) brought to us by Mitsubishi ASX 2012. #DarwinBlackout

      I should have posted @MitsubishiAust @TheNTNews Today’s Smart Phone Power (and Air Conditioning) brought to us by Mitsubishi ASX 2012. 4G Internet connection brought to you by @Telstra #DarwinBlackout


    • The power is back on now – so it is certainly a little easier, that is for sure!

      Darwin is also awesome, so much to see and do 🙂

      Thanks so much for your comment 🙂


    • You were a Darwinian eh? Where abouts?


      It’s gorgeous here, #BlackOuts are part of the lifestyle – though 10 hour Top End Wide ones are almost unheard of!! (Katherine and everything north lost power)

      We were okay though… lol

      #WeDontNeedNoFancyPantsElectricity says us, sitting in our car, stuck behind roller doors charging our phones to access FB.. (and WordPress)

      • I grew up in Brisbane but went to Darwin in 1996 and headed up government pathology services until 2007. In 2002 I acted as the General Manager of RDH for 7 months and did a few other health things there. I lived in Anula and Leanyer over that time. Darwin is my kind of place and the NT is where my spirit and soul live.

    • Despite it being ridiculously hot right when were trying to sleep everyone hopped up out of bed and were trying their best to have a giggle.

      We resorted to sitting in the car (because it was getting hot and we wanted aircon) and we were running out of charge on our iphones, androids and ipads.. lol

      All back on now, BUT it has gone off 3 times total.. hoping it stays on!

  11. I have a concern when you mentioned running a car in a garage and the door is closed. I hope you open the windows to get some ventilation.

    I hope by now the power is returned. I can understand how bad things can go. I recalled being without power for week due to hurricane damaged power lines. That was not fun.

    • The windows of the car were completely closed, The double sets of opening doors built into the garage were completely open 🙂 Lots of ventilation 🙂 Thank you for your concern.

      Those doors were not, however large enough to drive through and even if they were, we would have driven straight out and into the fence 🙂

      The power has just come back on – after 10 hours without it.. I cannot imagine being without it for a week.

      I’m going to endeavor to well and truly stock up on tin food and non perishable foods in case we have another similar or worse episode of power loss.

      • LOL *chuckles*…

        Puts it into perspective eh…

        We ended up getting ice bottles from freezer, taking some cold showers and coped pretty well.

        To be honest, it was NOT end of the world traumatic and we made a fun time out of it.

        First time in a while we had all sat in the lounge and had a good giggle telling stories to each other about fun times and even planning our next trip to Katherine.

  12. 1930! That is awesome! I went to an emergency preparedness neighborhood meeting the other day and was really stunned at the number of my neighbors who can kill, clean and butcher small animals and rebuild generators. I just sort of nodded and prayed that they won’t throw me to the wolves should the proverbial feces have its fated meeting with the fan.

    • LMAO. I can imagine we will be finding out who can skin small to medium sized animals if power doesn’t come on soon. We’ve got a security gate, that should keep our Labrador safe for a while at least.

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