A flash and a boom and a zzzzzzztttt!!

Early this morning, tumblr_mg4nrbqLpN1rw7jp7o1_500I was up and sitting at my computer as a line of thunderstorms went through.  We were in a severe thunderstorm warning and there was a lot of lightning and thunder, along with a rain and a brief period of small hail.

Then there was a flash and a boom — accompanied by a zzzzzzztttt about 18 inches in front of me…. and everything went dark!

We’ve only been home from our trip for 5 days and already we lost power.  Jeeze!

And we were the only house in our stretch of the road that did!

So I got my cell phone out and used the handy, dandy Entergy app to report the outage – then went back to bed.

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTrFOZwQK9CYpITVuO5we7mURtcdIhTVKoyDw6kTIYsDSWJE_yMMwThere must not have been many outages in this area last night.

It couldn’t have been more than a couple of hours before there was a bucket truck at the end of the drive.

Normally – sheesh, we’ve lost power to the house often enough that I can describe the normal process – the fuse at the top of the pole is replaced using a “hot stick” to lift the new fuse into place and then close the circuit back in.

It’s a very quiet operation that I probably would have slept through.

Not this time, though. It wasn’t the normal simple fix.

The weather was warm enough that we had some windows open and the sound of the truck and the equipment on it was enough that I woke up after about 15 minutes at 4 am, according to Karen.

The sounds were not that loud, for the most part, by the time I woke up, but they were not the normal night time sounds and I couldn’t get back to sleep.  And the lights from the truck were certainly not what we have out here in the country that early in the morning.

My assumption was that the lightning strike had taken out the transformer.

When the lineman came up to the house to check out the meter, I went outside and talked to him for a bit.  As I thought, this time it was the transformer and it had been replaced.  He also told me that a major upgrade on a power line in our area would take a lot of the load off the main line that we are powered from, which should reduce the frequency of outages for us.  I had heard about the upgrade last spring and, last week, had noticed the work had started.

I guess we’ll see.  We’ve had too many power outages since last fall.

Oh, the zzzzzzztttt in front of me?  That was the DSL modem getting fried… again. The last time was just a few months ago and, along with the zzzzzzztttt, I also saw sparks inside the modem.

I picked up the new modem on the way home from the gym today – no charge.Open-mouthed smile

energy, entergy, give me a break!, life, weather

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  • Alan G Oct 7, 2014

    Sorry to hear about the power issues. Although that was not an issue with me during this latest weather event, it has been often over the years. So much so that l have been looking into getting a home generating system. Just got my quote this past Friday – $9,960!

    Was hoping it would be lower but it is what it is. I will probably not commit to one at this time. I mainly started seriously considering an emergency generator system as I have gotten older and started developing health issues. 😕
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  • Mike Oct 7, 2014

    Having your own power source makes a huge difference, especially during the winter. With our camper, we’ve had the capability to run extension cords into the house since 2008. Last year, I finished a project to connect outside the house without running any cords through windows or doors. The new distribution box can take power from the utility or from the generator and powers lights in the bathroom and kitchen and outlets in every room except our bedroom.

    From 2008 to when I finished the project, we had used the camper generator 3 times for power in the house. Since the beginning of December 2013, we used it 4 times!

    It’s not as convenient as a home generating system. It has to be connected to the house and, when power is lost, have to go outside to the utility room to flip two switches.
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    • Alan G Oct 7, 2014

      That’s great that at least you got an option or two and especially in the case of winter as you noted. When I lose power I have nothing. Well, I take that back… I do have a natural gas BBQ grill. 🙂

      I am heading to Home Depot here shortly to pick up a natural gas space heater so that at least I’ll have a little heat. Like you, winter is my big concern and I worry every winter I’ll get hit with the ‘big one’ like the 2000 ice storm. Had no power for almost two weeks and slept at my office. 😕
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      • Mike Oct 7, 2014

        We also bought a propane Mr. Buddy space heater last year and used it during the power outages. With our fireplace, which has an insert with blower, a 1500 watt electric space heater and the propane space heater, we were able to stay comfy even on the coldest night — not that we ever had to use all 3 at the same time. 😉

        We replenished our firewood and more — by a wide margin — from hardwood trees and big branches that were brought down last winter, along with a couple of dead trees. We’ve got three hardwood trees we’re going to have a tree service take down. They’re too close to the house. We’re going to keep the wood from them for firewood.
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  • Cheerful Monk Oct 9, 2014

    That lightning strike must have been spectacular. I’m glad it was so easy to replace the modem, and that it didn’t take very long to get the electricity back. Good luck on them getting the system to be more reliable!
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    • Mike Oct 9, 2014

      We can actually see the progress on the power lines when we drive to town. They are replacing all the poles with taller ones that have a second crossbar (?) to take the new circuit. The old poles were replaced about 10 years or so ago when they widened the highway from 2 lanes to 4 lanes with a center turning lane.

      Funny thing, that lightning strike wasn’t that much louder than the others that were happening, just obviously VERY close as there was little time separation between the flash, the thunder and the zzzzzzztttt of the modem frying.
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  • Hilary Oct 10, 2014

    Hi Mike … well I’m that got fixed … and we’ve had a few storms recently .. but thankfully we don’t get them that bad usually …

    I’m pleased they’re fixing the power lines too .. cheers Hilary
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    • Mike Oct 10, 2014

      The storm wasn’t that terribly bad… or unusual — except for dishing a bit extra out to us.

      Right now, we’re facing several days of potential precipitation from the remnants of a hurricane that went ashore down in Mexico’s Pacific coast.
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  • Rummuser Oct 14, 2014

    This past monsoon was the first one in the last ten or so years that lightning did not screw up one of our transformers. Despite that due to branches of trees falling over overhead cables cause outages and I have a full backup with inverter and battery which will give me power for quite some time but not for the heavier stuff like the fridge, air conditioner etc.
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    • Mike Oct 14, 2014

      We can’t power the heat pump, the electric stove, the washer and the dryer — too much load. The refrigerator gets power. For cooking, we’ve got a variety of portable cooking devices, both electric and propane, some of which are stored in the camper for cooking flexibility on our trips.
      Mike recently posted…Eruption at Bardabunga VolcanoMy Profile

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