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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lost a day

Somewhere I seem to have lost a day. I worked Tuesday until about 3:30 pm and headed home. Wendy was still in bed from the night before with a migraine headache. I was on my own for supper. After supper Christopher came by and we chatted in the garage until the phone rang around 9pm. It was Wendy calling from the other line to let me know that I missed 5 or 6 calls in a row on my cell phone. Unfortunately all the calls were ID blocked but sure enough it rang again. Now its back to work, a 6 story apartment with only part power. I had to stop for fuel cause I knew I wouldn't make it there and back. Anyway upon arrival, in the pouring rain, I could not see a visual indication that a pole fuse was out, nor did I find a cooked bird, damn. So it was off to the crawl space to check the main service 208 volt , 1200 amp, and installed in 1968. The scary part is turning the main switch off and on. Is it going to work, it's some 40 years old and probably only operated a half dozen times. Well it turned off as the darkness of the crawl space confirmed. After some quick test I confirmed that the problem was our cables from the transformer to the building or it was Hydro's problem. As I reluctantly turned the 1200 amp switch back on I prayed that it was Hydro's problem. Well at least we had part power and after turning some equipment off to prevent damage I called Hydro to have a service crew sent. It was looking good until the crew arrived at 10:30. The bucket truck was only good up to 12500 volt and our pole feed was 25000 volt. Now we need a bigger truck and by the way it won't arrive until after midnight when a new crew arrives. I guess they can only work a maximum of 16 hours and then they must be off for 8 hours. I wish. So I waited and at 1:30 am the crew arrived. Now to access our pole equipment they must also turn off three other customers. A gas station ( 24hr ), Pizza place and Chicken place. I was happy it wasn't my job to go inform them that they were going to lose power. After a couple attempts at restoring power it was determined that an underground 25000 volt primary cable from the pole to the transformer was shorted. It was 3:00 am and I wasn't home yet. More crews, and foremen arrived to get a plan of attack to get the power back on temporary. You can't just lay 200 feet of 25000 volt cable on the ground and power it up. At 4:30 am the crews told us not to expect power back for some time. They had a plan, approved, but it was going to be a while. That's when I was told I could go home. I slept until about 9:30am. Got up , went for coffee and back to check at the apartment. They still had no power. We didn't get it back on until lunch time. Hydro ended up running a temporary line across the grass to the gas station to pick up the lost phase of power. After getting the elevators up and running , and hoping there was no one in the elevator when it arrived back at the first floor, I was officially done. I went home for the rest of the day. It still feels like Tuesday.
And while all this was happening I was texting back and forth to my kids who had taken my wife to the hospital Tuesday night for the worst migraine she has ever had. I was upset I couldn't leave the job but I knew she was in good hands with the kids. They gave her an IV and it took 3 doses of drugs to finally stop the pain. Neither of us slept much and she was still in pain on Wednesday. Even tonight she still has a headache.

What a day, it still feels like Tuesday. I'll sleep good tonight.

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