Turns out we did have some storm damage after all.

We arrived at the LVS Saturday, ready to greet 12 friends for 26-ish hours of fun, and our power was still performing erratically. Some circuits worked, some did not. Those that worked seemed to be humming along at half-voltage. The fridge was running, but not cooling at all. I plugged in the blower to clean up leaves and twigs and could barely get any juice.

S. immediately called the power company and logged an outage in their system, while I called a friend who has some electrical expertise. He suggested that one of the two lines that come into the house had been damaged. Looking at our outside lines, the telephone line was hanging very low across our street. The power line seemed normal, though. We walked back into the wooded area where our line connects with the main line and, sure enough, there were several large branches and assorted small limbs laying across it.

When our friends showed up, one of them took a look at the utility pole outside our house and said, “Well there’s your problem.” We looked up and, just like my phone consult had suggested, where the braided main line separated into two sections, one had come apart at the connecting point to the house feed line.[1]

So S. called back, updated our outage status as having a disconnected line, and we waited for a crew to arrive. They did around 1:30, quickly cleaned up the debris on the line, spliced in some new wire to replace the damaged line, and hooked us back up. In less than an hour, the fridge was blowing cool air, the AC was on, and every circuit in the house was operating on full voltage.[2]

I talked to one of the repairmen for a few minutes as they were wrapping up. I asked how many hours he had put in over the past week. He shook his head and said, “A shitload, man.” He said they had just reconnected all the lines blown out during the previous Saturday’s tornado when Monday’s storm blew through, knocking almost all those repaired lines out again, and knocking out most of the lake area as well. When I jokingly asked him if he knew it was Saturday, he laughed and said, “Honestly, I had to think about what day it was when I got up this morning.” Kudos to all the crews who worked their asses off over the past week.

I also asked if they could do diagnostic tests from the main office to see what houses were without power. He said yes, but since we only had a partial disconnection, our house would show up as working properly in those checks. That’s why no one had been out to fix it already. “It’s a smart system, but it’s not that smart,” he said.

Unfortunately the lake’s water level was still high enough that boats were limited to idle speed all weekend. So we did some (very) slow tubing with the kids. We saw quite a few trees on top of boat houses and docks, but in the area we checked, no serious damage to anything other than landscaping.

Hopefully we don’t have any more torrential rains or heavy winds for awhile.

  1. I’m sure I’m using all the technically correct electrical terms.  ↩
  2. Getting the air on was paramount. By heat index, it was the hottest day of the year so far.  ↩