Jul 24, 2014 - Personal    11 Comments

This Is Not a Drill!

Tonight, it was confirmed to me that everything happens for a reason. Last weekend, my friend L tried to get Miranda leveled and on blocks to stabilize her, but the ground was too soft and we had to give up on that project. I wasn’t in the mood to pack up and move Miranda to get her level…

Fast forward to this evening. We had a flash storm, not as bad as the one with hail last year, but still very strong. A big branch fell right where I normally park my truck, but, thankfully, I had it parked a little further ahead and it was fine.

I went out after work to start chopping up the big limbs that fell on my property. I was hacking away when I heard Caroline call, “Rae, your power pole is on fire!”

I thought she was joking. And then I saw the smoke and realised that, indeed, the top of the pole was charred and the insulator was hanging freely!

I called SaskPower, but they were so overwhelmed with calls that they weren’t even putting people on hold.

So I dialed 911 and was quickly transferred to the Willow Bunch volunteer fire department. I was impressed by how efficient the system was and that they didn’t waste time asking me my name and birthday. I was promised fire service within a half hour.

I went out to assess the situation and Caroline and I both came to the same conclusion: there was a veritable risk of the transformer blowing. My home was right under the pole and has wheels. TIME TO GO!

Caroline helped me get Miranda disconnected from everything, then she went home to put her dog in the house. I came in the rig and decided to make sure the office equipment was secure and leave the rest where it was.

The fire department pulled in at this point and I flagged them down and showed them how to access the back alley. They said that they couldn’t do anything until SaskPower showed up, which would be in twenty minutes or so.

I returned to Miranda, got in the driver’s seat, and pulled all the way forward until the nose was flush with the street.

It was then time to wait. We started with a small crowd, but it dwindled down to just Caroline, Laura, and myself.

The SaskPower guy showed up quicker than I would have expected and I thought he looked like a baby. But he got to work promptly and was very professional. He had to climb up another pole to cut power so that the fire could be put out.

That done, he came back to my property and got his gear together, all hanging from a belt. It was quite a sight and I regret not pulling out the camera! He climbed all the way to the top of my pole and then pulled up a big container of water. He doused the flames, then installed a new insulator.

It was impressive to watch. He was dealing with a lot of lines and things that could get tangled, plus the pole was swinging madly, but he worked with quick, efficient movements. It was really amazing. He then shimmied down my pole and back up the other one to put the power back on.

We thanked the guys for coming out and then Caroline and Laura went home. I moved my truck to my backyard so that I could use the headlights to see what I was doing as I backed up and got on levelers. Yes, Caroline offered to help, but I knew I could do this on my own very quickly.

Indeed, I backed up almost smoothly. I hit the pallets on the first try, nudged Miranda over just a tad, and then got right on the levelers. I was rather impressed with myself! Then, it was just a matter of plugging into power, switching the breaker on, and hooking up propane and internet.

PHEW.

Everything happens for a reason. Imagine if I had been on blocks tonight! An amusing social event would have had me wondering if I was going to be homeless by nightfall. Needless to say, I would have grabbed what I could before the fire department told me to move away!

Another thing I realised today is that one day in the not so distant future I am once again going to have a home without wheels and what a loss that will be. What a luxury it is to be able to pull up the stakes in an emergency, even if those same wheels make the home rock unpleasantly in violent storms.

What a night!

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11 Comments

  • Thank the Gods and Godesses you are safe.

    Material things, no matter how dear, can be replaced. You cannot.

  • Happy to hear you survived your electrifying experience. I also hope nothing was damaged by the electrical surge(s) caused during the spikes as the power reached ground on the pole when the insulator failed. Do check your air conditioner and your convertor, if still connected to mains power.

  • So glad you are OK! What a scare!

  • Bast, agreed that it’s just stuff, but why lose it if I don’t need to? 🙂

    Wil, good thoughts. I am well protected against that sort of thing through my upgraded converted, but the fire and power crew got here before any spiking and surging occurred. Everything’s fine!

    Gina, thanks!

  • Well, that was some experience! I suspect they will be out in the next few days to replace that pole and maybe some new non-charred wires.

  • A happy ending to what could have been a very sad story. Glad you are safe.

  • Being able to move your home to a safer place–priceless. So glad this story had a happy ending.

  • Scary stuff, good thing it all ended well. I am in Alberta and we have had wild winds for the last 36 hours. I keep watching out the window to see if my lawn furniture is going to fly off the balcony.

  • Croft, no sign yet of the power company to make a more permanent fix…

    Pleinguy, I had the same thought. Once Miranda was out of the way, it went from being OMG, scary to, LOL, we have a free show! 🙂

    Linda, 🙂

    Lynn, I didn’t want to see anything fly off my balcony. I put everything in storage! 😀

  • […] the charred power pole that was replaced last summer? It’s been lying at the back of my property for almost a year […]

  • […] all this was going on, SaskPower showed up to replace my charred power pole! Talk about bad timing! Thankfully, by the time they arrived, we knew most of the dimensions we […]

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