July 4th, 2003

duke-juggle

Electrical July 4th

An eventful 4th. Began by my usual tradition: the Huntington Woods parade. I grew up in this town, and have watched the parade every year I've been in town. Even now that I don't live there any longer, I still like to go watch it. It's charming, with a small-town flavor that I love. Unfortunately I managed to miss the beginning of it this year, but it was still very cute.

After the parade I didn't do much. It was hot and muggy, but I spent some time on my hammock reading in the shade. Quite nice. I went in, and all of a sudden the power went out! It came back on a moment later, but when I looked outside it was suddenly very windy and growing darker. C and I hurried outside to shut car windows and put some stuff in the garage. The wind started getting quite fierce.

I was back behind the garage when I heard a weird roaring noise. Thunder? I wondered puzzledly, looking around. "Shit, that's a generator arcing!", C exclaimed. I looked around but didn't see anything. He told me afterward that he'd seen sparks flying out of it. The noise sounded again, and we hurried back indoors to call the power company.

"Want to check it out?", he suggested. So we walked around the block, while C tried to get through to the power company on his cell. Halfway around, we found a downed wire. It was crossing most of Fourth Street, ending in a coiled mess in the middle of the road. It wasn't sparking or dancing, but it didn't look good. I watched a car approach, slow down, then drive right over it...idiot. Fortunately nothing happened.

"Better call 911," I told C, who was still struggling through the power company's stupid automated menu. He tried, but it was busy!

We headed back to my house, and it began to rain. Pour, actually. I tried calling again from my landline. This time I got through to the 911 operator and reported the downed line. The guy didn't seem impressed, until I told him that it was across most of the road! Then he thanked me.

A few moments later, we heard sirens. Kinda cool, to know I'd summoned them! Unfortunately, my power was out again. (Not surprising, since the downed power line was directly behind me, on the other side of my block!) It was also deluging rain, so we stayed indoors. We never did get through to the power company, but we figured the police could take care of it now.

When the rain stopped, we walked back to check things out. The whole area was roped off with yellow tape, there was a firetruck, and a few firefighters making sure nobody messed with the lines. They said they were still live, and they were just waiting for the power company. hmm, sounds familiar!

It was kind of exciting in a weird way, to have been involved somewhat. To know those firefighters were there because I'd called them...I'm such a good citizen! heh. Mostly it was a relief to know it was under control, nothing caught fire, and nobody got hurt.

Unfortunately it is now 11pm, and I still have no power. I brought the contents of my fridge to my mom's house, since she is conveniently out of town. C and I are enjoying her air conditioner, fridge, computer, and electricity. We also checked out the local fireworks, which were pretty! Between the fireworks and the nearby lightening, we got quite a show.