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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beautiful Rain

It was quite another stormy night last night!  The lightning was so close there was not distinguishable time between the light display and the clap of thunder.  It was more like a loud crack from the atmosphere being split by the power discharge.  I was calm.

When we lived at 102 in Aurora our home was hit by lightning about 7 times.  Mostly we lost doorbells, light bulbs, and minor stuff.  Once it came through the power and phone lines taking out the phone in the kitchen.  It also melted the "mend" in a lamp cord that fell onto a pillow and caused a small fire.  I can show you the damage on one of my living room tables.  A trip to the neighbors and a call to the fire department made for excitement that long ago afternoon.

Of course the time it hit Gene's amateur radio antenna, instantly vaporizing it, was the most damaging of all the hits.  One end of the antenna was tied to a huge blue spruce next to our home.  The lightning did as God designed it to do and sought ground.

The path of choice for the discharge was from the tree to a thermometer probe hanging out a window.  The window had a metal strap that pleased the electrical charge.  So then the charge found the metal air conditioning vent system for the house.  The way it found the venting system was by crashing through the pine paneling.  This left about a 2 ft. hole in the wall along with missing siding on the outside of the house. source of lightning image
Do you know that the charge of lighting can go through an entire house really fast?  Split second comes to mind.  Besides the hole in the wall, 2 TVs, a couple of pieces of ham gear, more light bulbs, miscellaneous small appliances, another doorbell chime and some carpeting was damaged.  One place next to a vent outlet in the kitchen blasted part of the sub floor apart as the charge found a metal pipe.  Next to the front door a scorch line from the vent to the metal frame led back outside to a downspout and more ground.

The TVs were unplugged but the charge in the house took out the electronics in the sets.  And Gene was just a half step from being in the room with the charge when the wall blew apart.  It was the middle of the night.  We lost all power in the house and the house smelled of smoke.  So a call to the fire department but only after Gene got dressed as he had to awake the neighbors to use their phone.  Another exciting time.

There was no fire found anywhere.  Firemen crawled through the attic and house crawlspace.  They got the power on so I cooked breakfast for the firemen.  There was a strange smell in the house for a while.  Gene said it was the smell of ozone caused by the lightning.

One of the best things about living here at 3871 is that the power lines are underground.  And Gene's amateur radio antenna is not strung in the open for 150 feet, like a lightning rod.  So after years of no longer living at 102, I have adjusted to lightning storms.  I do not need a tranquilizer after looking at the radar.  I can just enjoy the beautiful rain. 

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