atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3956: 5.5 hours later

The bunker is one of several houses on a stub. I'm not sure how the stub is wired, but we have wires in front of our house and behind our house, and if the fuse goes on the pole in the front yard we lose power. We also lose power if anything happens to the transformer on the pole behind our neighbor's house.

I believe it's a U-shape. The wires go up the street, then come down the easement between peoples' back yards to terminate at the pole in the SE corner of the back yard, where it splits into service for three houses.

Or is it four? One of the things I would really, really like to do is to track the power lines and make a drawing of what goes where, because I'm curious about it, but people get strange ideas when they see a middle-aged man tromping through their yards with a clipboard. (Maybe if I put on a hard hat....) Anyway, the information is not vital to me, but I do wonder about the power distribution network of my neighborhood from time to time.

Anyway--

Mrs. Fungus and I were saying goodbye for the day, when FLASHCRACK a lightning bolt hit something nearby and knocked the power right the hell out. Scared the crap right out of us both. I checked the breaker box downstairs to make sure everything was okay, but circuit breakers generally are not affected by lightning strikes. They have hardware on the power poles to deal with that, grounding wires and special fuses that open when lightning strikes, rather than send a few thousand amps through the system. If the lightning gets as far as the circuit breakers in a house, it's pretty much "game over"--and you know it because of the light show and hellacious noise--but I wanted to be sure.

So lightning struck, that surge fuse opened, and the power went off immediately. My computer's UPS and the UPS for the modem and routers were both beeping. I saw Mrs. Fungus off, finished off the previous post, and shut everything down.

Then I set to notifying ComEd that the power was off. My first thought was "cell phone" but apparently my cell phone was incapable of navigating their automated reporting system, because as soon as I pressed one for the "To report an outage, dangerous condition, lines in roadway, or other power-related problem, press one" option, the phone call ended and my phone reported, "CALL FAILED". *sigh*

I was going to move the cordless base into the computer room, in order to plug it into a UPS and make the call that way--but then realized it would be simpler just to get an extension cord from the garage and run it in there. Then I was able to call ComEd and successfully navigate their automated system and report the outage. Apparently there were eight other houses affected by this particular outage.

Their database must be pretty nifty for an automated system to know who's connected to what line. That's neat.

...anyway, there was nothing else that I could do. It was raining, there was no power--so I took a nap. The power came back on about 3:30-ish. Whee!

And so, here we are.
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