BuckoSoft Power outage 20001212

February 21, 2001

So i woke up yesterday at 9:15am. I'm laying in bed and think to myself "Hmm, it's not hurricane season, plus the sun is shining". 9:30 the power went out... before i could make coffee!!

A large tree on Nortontown Rd. fell across the road, into the wires, and broke a telephone pole. The power line broke, fell into the leaves and started a brush fire fanned by the high winds.

The 300 year old red house at the (head) end of our street had the power arc through their phone lines, searing the entire north wall on its way to the basement where it grounded itself to, in, and through a water pipe. Unusually, they were both home and heard the water gushing in the basement and managed to turn off the water. The fire dept. came and put out the brush fire and evicted them until such time that the fire marshall could come and determine that there was no fire in the walls. (by knocking holes in the walls). They sat in the car until about 1:00pm and now have this artistic black stripe running along the house.

With the fire out, the power lines were left draped over our road thus trapping us in, or in Marlene's case, out, of the development, and the site was abandoned for 4 hours (until 13:00). I called Marlene in the car and arranged to drive up and meet her and Audrey (a 5 house walk; but 20 (-6C) degrees and 20-50 mph winds). I asked a guy for permission to park Marlene's car in his driveway.

I'm standing up on Nortontown, laughing because someone had red-tagged the little piece of power line that is still attached up on the pole. A Mercedes station wagon drove by me at 50mph (in a 25mph zone), concentrating so hard on trying to get close to me without hitting me, that she didn't notice the orange cones all over the road 2 houses away (and the large orange "do not enter") sign, nor the 30" diameter tree laying across the road. She hit the cones, but not the tree.

The phone lines remained intact through the whole ordeal. I powered down the computers around 11:00. I had been looking for an opportunity to power down the whole house anyway to do work inside the main breaker box, so i got that done. :)

Unbeknownst to us, the south end of Nortontown, where our power comes up from, was in far worse shape than us.

So 3 o'clock comes and we hear that the school is not putting the kids on the bus because our entire main road is closed. We are supposed to make "other arrangements". What with being pinned in, this was fun. Marlene convinced them to put Carl on his bus and she met him up at the corner of Murray and Nortontown.

People are such idiots.

Finally, the cops had to come because everyone was ignoring the cones, signs, and downed wires and just driving over them. The tree was too difficult to ignore, but that didn't stop people from knocking over the cones, driving around the power truck blocking the road, going 30 feet and deciding that they couldn't get past the tree. (Then do a U-turn, and drive around the truck again, only to have difficulty getting back because the way was blocked by another car trying to squeeze by the truck.

At 15:00, this one carpenter was bitching at the utility crew for blocking the exit to our street. He was yelling at the electric dude: "I've already driven over these wires 3 times today and haven't got zapped!" Finally he got in his truck and drove over the wires, while the utility crew was working on lifting them!

Our section was repaired and cleared up by 17:00, so we went out to dinner. We headed south because i wanted to see if i could get an idea of the damage and determine a timeframe for power restoration.

On the south side, apparently when there is a tree blocking the road to your house you're supposed to drive up on whatever lawn is closest to your street and park there. There were at least 100 cars spread across 3 lawns.

Had a nice dinner and bedded down at 20:00. The inside temp ranged from 58 to 60 and i was hopeful that i would be looking at upper 40's in the morning.

I was awoken at 23:00 by the sound of the fax machine resetting.

Marlene was talking to a mom at the school this morning who still did not have power; their house was 40 degrees.



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This page created February 21, 2001. Last touched Sunday September 25, 2016 02:03 EDT