It's been monsoon season lately here in MInnesota (and even more so in Iowa). One storm after another, dumping large amounts of rain. Tuesday night was one of the heavier downpours locally. A friend and I went over to the Ordway to see The Gospel at Colonus, a retelling of Sophocles' play, Oedipus at Colonus, as a musical set in an African-American gospel church. Afterwards we walked out into a very brief break in the storm to drive home.
The drive turned into the start of a looooong misadventure. Rain so heavy visibility was down to about 20 feet, flooding the freeway in spots. Upon getting back to downtown Minneapolis streets were flooding all over the place. Cars were stranded or floating in intersections on Washington Ave. A real mess.
Once I got to my building I discovered the whole area was blocked out. I couldn't get into the garage. Or into the building at all at first. Garage door openers weren't working, of course. And the last update to our keyless entry system apparently broke its ability to use standby power. The key locks on the main entrances, used to bypass the electronic systems on both the front and back doors, don't work with residents' keys. I finally found the one exterior door that would accept my key and went in that way, through the garage.But there were no lights because we have no emergency generator. I have a big MagLite flashlight in my car, but the batteries had died since I last used it. The emergency lights in the building only work off the batteries inside them and those only last about a half hour. So I had to feel my way to the interior doors, unlock them, find the stairs, and climb the stairs since the elevators obviously were not working.
Once I got inside my unit I went looking in the dark for the batteries for the flashlight. Couldn't find them even though I thought I knew where they were. So I pulled out some candles and a lighter that I have put in an accessible place for just such an emergency. But I couldn't light them. The lighter was out of fuel and I couldn't find matches in the dark.
Finally, Broadway saved me. I knew I had left on the counter a silly little LED light shaped like a cigarette lighter, given to the audience of Rock of Ages to hold up instead of lighters for the big finale. I felt around and found it. Used it to find the batteries. Used the flashlight to find the matches, and lit some candles. Whew. Saved by the power of the Broadway musical...