Friday, October 3, 2008

Power's Out Again - Accident!

It's 7:10 a.m. Wednesday (10/02) and I'm still sound asleep. Mom is already up and taking a bath. Dad is in that half-awake stage when he hears a crash. "It sounded like someone was banging on every pipe in the house," he said.

Mom is soon surprised by a fireman at our back door. "Do you have power?" he asked. We did. Then, a few minutes later, we didn't.

Walking outside, this is the scene I found - the bottom, or 'neutral' power line - lay down in our front yard and draped across the catapla trees. Now you know from my past blogs that we've lost power numerous times in the past weeks, first for the remnants of Hurricane Ike but also during a thunderstorm last Sunday evening. But again?

Looking at the power pole to the south of our driveway, the power line dipped but left plenty of room to drive underneath (because it was the ground side it wasn't dangerous). The power pole only appears to lean in this picture. The transformer shown is the one that powers our house and Sam's farm a third of a mile behind Pinehaven.

It's not very visible in the shot above, but the power line hangs right down into our yard.

So here (below) is the cause. It seems a young guy driving a truck dropped a wheel off S. Clayton Road, hit a telephone pole and sheered it off and came to rest in the weeds to the north of our property. I talked with the fire chief and he said the fellow was a little shaken up but otherwise unhurt. He was sent home. "You just take your eyes off the road for a moment ..." said Tom Wallace, "and this is what can happen." Wallace said the lack of a berm alongside these country roads can be deadly.

Note also the power line pulled down to the ground here. It's still attached to the pole lying beside the road.

And here it is, the pole which was knocked off. As the power lines were stretched, a splice above our catalpa tree let go. Oddly, this didn't kill our power because we still had a local ground. But while the power company checked out the damage, they manually disconnected the power at a breaker at the intersection of S. Clayton Road and Hemple Road.

The truck's a little worse for the wear and probably won't be driven again. The front of the bumper has the exact impression of the power pole stamped into the radiator. When the truck was pulled out late in the day, it leaked engine oil onto the road. Not a good sign.

Most of the day was spent getting a new power pole installed. All the while the work crew did their repairs, the power was on. That's not a job I'd want. Nevertheless I appreciate it that the accident wasn't as disruptive to our life as it might have been. Mostly, though, no one was hurt.

I was touched by the number of people who came by the truck throughout the day and offered help or placed a call to the police or sheriff's office. Some people do care and it shows the best of human nature.

Now, for the bum who pulled up in front of Pinehaven last evening and stomped on my Obama sign! Some people, it would seem, don't care. The worst of human nature still roams, too.