If No Heat, Get Out Of Kitchen New Power Losses Leave Thanksgiving Plans In Disarray

Kelly and Leslie Seaborn live in a charming turn-of-the-century home on Spokane’s South Hill with a bundle of little boys, an iced-over barbecue and a lot to be thankful for.

But when the power went off early Wednesday for the second time in a week - the day before the family’s Thanksgiving feast - it was almost too much to bear.

“I can’t believe we’re going through this - again,” Kelly Seaborn said as one of three sons complained of an upset stomach. “We can cook the turkey in the gas barbecue, but so much for the pies.”

For thousands of people, this is cold turkey day.

Powerless to do anything about the coming and going of lights and heat, residents are keeping their options open for Thanksgiving socializing. Some will seek refuge at restaurants or the homes of friends and relatives who still have juice.

“We’ll probably have 16 people or so for dinner here or someplace,” George Jacobson, a neighbor of the Seaborns, said as he roasted an 11-pound bird in a garage barbecue.

Many people who had thawed from the first power outage were hit by a second one Wednesday around Colbert, Corbin Park, the South Hill and other spots. At some residences, power was lost for a few hours; at others, it’s still dark.

Frank and Barbara Howe had invited their parents for Thanksgiving after the lights came on Saturday, ending four days of darkness in their roomy Corbin Park home.

But when power was lost Wednesday for the second time, they canceled the get-together and stuck their two frozen turkeys in a snow-covered ‘64 Rambler behind the house. The fridge on wheels should preserve the birds until the Howes locate a working oven.

“It’s funny how you get creative when you have to,” said Barbara Howe, wrapped in blue sweats and sheepskin slippers. “I think it’s kind of fun.”

But not everyone is as rosy about the ice storm.

Spokane County District Court Judge Sara Derr lost power Wednesday at her Colbert home for the third time this week. Each time the lights go on, she said she catches a hot shower and reheats the house. But the repeated outages, she said, are frustrating repair crews and homeowners alike.

“It’s like a tease,” she said. “When you lose power again, it ups the stress level.”

Kelly Seaborn, the usually upbeat South Hill homeowner, said the ice storm has strained her patience. She’s cooked meals on a Coleman stove, fed the fireplace and played hours of board games with her children, who are anxious to return to a daily diet of cable TV.

“There’s only so much Yahtzee you can play,” Seaborn said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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