Tuesday, July 11, 2006

All Charged Up

We had some really good thunderstorms rumble through our neighborhood this morning. I knew they were coming - I'd flipped on the Weather Channel while crunching down my bowl of Special K and saw an ugly red and green line trooping through my state on its way to my little corner of it - and Husband went across the street to warn the men working on our neighbors' roof that they may want to consider taking a break in about an hour or so.

They are grateful he did.

The storm started much like they all do; the air got thick, the light turned an alarming steel-grey color, and rumbling could be heard in the distance. Then the distance wasn't so distant anymore. I was in the midst of an IM conversation with Kizz about how sad I am that Vanx won't be blogging anymore when a lightning strike hit my yard. I felt (and tasted - weird) the thing and the light and sound were coincidental and instantaneous. I jumped and gasped, the girls - who were sitting beside me on the couch - both screamed.

I managed to recover the situation (and not allow a fear of thunderstorms to take hold in my girls) by jumping up and clapping. I was geninely excited, so it wasn't artificial attempt to soothe the girls and they knew it. I reminded them that we were all safe - then opened the garage door to let all the cats in to show them that THEY were all safe. Of course, this abruptly ended my conversation with Kizz as my entire house - and, I'm betting, my entire neighborhood - were quite without power.

It turns out that the lightning did not strike in my actual yard, but it did hit the pole that delivers power to my actual house. Observe:

See those two top wires? Both of them lead directly into my house.



Blogger Kizz said...

Right now I'm at work on the 31st floor and the lightning is flashing and the thunder is booming and I can hear the sirens going below. It's not so scary because I'm with other people and I'm in a big building surrounded by big buildings, I'm not so worried. Well, about myself. I can picture the poor catatonic dog sitting at home freaking OUT, the floor will be all covered in drool by the time I get home.

Hope all is getting fixed at your house!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Wayfarer said...

The house where I was living in Las Vegas shortly after I moved there suffered the same kind of strike. It fried every single electronic appliance in the house: computer, tv, radios, clocks, toaster(?!)... The circuit board was an unholy mess!

The amazing thing didn't become apparent until a year after the event, when we pulled the gas stove out to replace it. There was an outlet behind where the stove rested that sat less than 3 inches from the gas intake line. The lightning strike must have grounded out through that outlet in part, because it was a charred, crumpled mass of unidentifiable plastic and there was clear evidence on the wall and the stove that things had begun to burn. I honestly believe that the house didn't explode in large part because the stove was actually sitting RIGHT up against that outlet and smothered the fire before the sheetrock behind it could truly catch.

If your experience is like mine, you'll keep discovering things that fried for days after. Check everything that has a chip or electronics on it. I'm thinking of your furnace, particularly, because you don't use it this time of year. My insurance covered my losses at the time, but I was technically renting. It might be worth a call to your carrier, if you discover enough stuff to meet your deductible.

Good luck!

7:37 AM  

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