July 23, 2013

Vicarious Adventures

Saturday afternoon the wife and I were perched in our respective recliners. It was raining, not a downpour, but rather a typical summer shower. I was watching a cooking show, she was doing whatever she does on her iPad. Suddenly, in rapid succession, the air was ripped by a tremendous cracking sound, the sky was lit by a flash of light, and then there was the loudest boom of thunder i have ever heard.  It shook the house and rattled the knickknacks and glasses in the cabinets like an earthquake.

"That hit something close", I said as I stood up to head toward the window. I saw the neighbors from the west end of our cul-de-sac running east. The wife ran out the door and I grabbed my shoes. I took a second to unplug my laptop and told my son to do the same. There is nothing like knowing you just shut the barn door seconds after the horse has fled.

Lightening had hit the the phone box of the house across the street blowing pieces of it twenty feet away. The charge ran along the underground wires, literally blowing apart the phone junction boxes behind his house. Along the way it exploded through some electric cords around his deck.  These cords were blown in half and split apart exposing the wires inside as if God was stripping the plastic casing. The ends were smoking. There was a burnt smell in the air.

I suggested the neighbor shut down his power. Someone was already on the phone to the fire department. It was the general consensus it was better safe than sorry. After an inspection there was no lingering electric fire hiding in the attic or walls. The house damage was confined to the telephone junction box outside the neighbor's garage -- and the outdoor lighting around his backyard.

Everyone across the street lost their telephone land lines, and cable. Mine worked fine. The phone company was out in force yesterday. Comcast came on Sunday.

It was a lively few minutes on an otherwise boring Saturday afternoon.

1 comment:

Rita said...

Best to call the fire department for something like that. A few years back my mom was sitting on her covered porch when lightning struck her house. She didn't even realize it until a few hours later when her neighbor noticed her roof looked like it was "waving".

The lightning started a fire in her attic which smoldered for hours before coming a full fledged fire. By then it was getting dark and it's scary to think she might have just went off to bed never knowing there was a fire right a over her head.

Most of the inside of the house damage was from the firemen having to put out the fire that had then started on her ceilings to her bedroom and living room.

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