Monday, June 09, 2008

Premature Fourth of July Fireworks

I’ve been home for less than 48 hours and it has been anything but settling. Bands of severe storms have crossed Lake Michigan providing wonderful shows of lightning that plays havoc with our electrical grid. In addition, these storms brought with them a deluge. In the early hours on Sunday morning, the skies open and in a couple of hours we received over five inches of rain. Yesterday, we got another inch or so. We’ve been spared the hail. Late yesterday evening, we lost power again—and it was off till 2 AM. It came on long enough for me to awake to the running of the bathroom fan. I got up and started to turn off lights.

I was in the kitchen, just a few minutes after the power was restored when I saw the fireworks display of the year. I heard a buzzing sound and the walls begin to reflect a red, yellow and blue glow. As I turned around, I heard a bang and saw a fireball that was higher than the trees (which are probably 60 feet tall). Then things buzzed again and another fireball and all was black. I grabbed a flashlight, slipped on flipflops and walked out the back door to see if there was a fire. From the driveway, I caught a glimpse of down power line at the property edge and I froze (not wanting to walk closer in wet grass!) Luckily the cell phone system was working and I called 911. While talking to them, a policeman arrived (he’d seen the explosion from a mile away and had thought something had blown up. It turned out a limb had fallen over a 4800 volt transmission line, knocking out the substation and sending the town further into the darkness. My power finally came back on around 11 AM this morning (there are benefits to living near the hospital). Downtown and my office is still in darkness and others, especially those in rural areas, may have to wait to Tuesday or Wednesday before their power is restored.

Before the line of storms rolled through yesterday, I’d planned to post a story about the beach… that’ll have to wait. I sure wish I could have gotten a photograph of that electrical show last night, but at the time, as I ducked, taking photos was the last thing on my mind. But here are two photos from the beach. The first is of sunrise behind a cloud bank off Wrightsville beach, another of me lounging in a warm tidal pool on Masonboro Island.


  1. It seems as if just about every storm we've had recently, swings up your way. We had lightening strip a tree of its bark just a block away last week. Last night was intense wind and rain. I don't know what tonight will bring other than most certainly, more rain.

  2. Glad you were safe!

    Sigh... I <3 the beach! Glad you had a good trip!

  3. That is a beautiful sunrise! You relaxing in the water makes me miss our yearly beach trip!

  4. Good to see you back safe and sound.

    We are having unusual thunder showers in Delhi at this time of the year. Whereas it should have been horrendous summer, it is somewhat pleasant.

    And you cool! What else?!


  5. Sage, I think that is the best sunset photo I've ever seen!!! And you surely do look comfortable in the surf. Next week, I'll be doing that too.

  6. Ed, I'll just start blaming our weather woes on you and Iowa! :)

    TC, things have returned to normal, it seems...

    Kontan, the sunrise was nice--whenever I go home I have to make at least one sunrise at teh beack.

    Gautami, glad to hear it's pleasant there, for I know it can be hot!

    Kenju, Enjoy the beach!

  7. What a story! It's June and this means the start of hurricane season and more power outages.

    The picture o the sunset is amazing! Wow...and I thought Florida sunsets were beautiful!

    You look comfy relaxing there in the water. I kind of imagine an alligator creeping up around you...but that's just me doing too much summer reading! :)

  8. Wow. I was just reading TC's blog and then your and am speechless

    Looking forward to seeing you next November. I would love to do Thanksgiving in North Myrtle but my b-i-l has both parents and they're not young anymore so...I will be in NY then

  9. The colors in that first photo are amazing . . .

    And I hope I'm not expected to reciprocate and post a bathing suit photo from my recent vacation!

  10. Scarlet, I've seen a few alligators in NC, but never in salt water!

    Pia, I'll be down there a week or two before thanksgiving

    Diane, I wasn't expecting a photo, but now that you mention it...

  11. Sage: You really dodged a bullet here! Glad all is safe now!!!

  12. Cool beach photo!

    Been tons of storms here last week, it's good you were gone.

  13. I don't envy the type of weather your part of the country is getting. Glad to hear you're safe, and looking forward to reading your beach story.

  14. I love the sunrise pic. I'll have to start getting up earlier when I go to the beach for that. Or maybe just settle for the sunset.

    Hope the weather has settled and that everyone has power. Did you avoid the floods that I've been seeing on the news in the Midwest?

  15. Boy! It does sound like you had some electrical storm! The display it made must have been beautiful if it wasn't too scary.