I walked to work Monday morning. I left at about 7:20 so I could be at work and changed into work clothing by 8:30. About 9 at work, a tree branch feel on my co-worker Diane's car in our parking lot - luckily no damage but it was a scary incident. The wind had started up, as promised by the weather forecast, and things were getting a bit hairy outside. At about 10:30, Alex, who was home for the day, woke up and phoned my office to tell me the electricity was out at home. It was a warm day, and he had a full battery on his macbook, so he was okay. He went out on the bus for a little while, and called me again at 3 to say that the fire road gate at the top of our neighbourhood was open. This gate is used to admit emergency vehicles to our cul de sac neighbourhood, and on the rare occasion that the road to the highway is closed, so the several hundred houses between it and the highway have an alternate access route. Soon after, I got a call from Fiona, home on the bus from a day out, also noticing the fire road open.
I walked home, arriving in the neighbourhood about 5, to note that the fire road was open and lots of drivers were using it. A neighbour confirmed that the road to the highway was, indeed, closed and the power still out. I got to the house to find it warm and bright, but with no electricity. Andy wasn't home yet. He's been working a later shift, and was stuck in rush hour traffic, complicated by a road closure on the highway. Eastbound routes all over were clogged.
I ordered pizza for pickup, and gave Alex some money and my car, with instructions to use the fire road out. In the meantime, I walked down to the highway to have a look. Along the way, I saw lots of neighbours. Everyone was coming home from work and going down to have a look. A lady who lives at the bottom of the hill was outside of her home. She told me the story.
About 9am, the wind blew the top half of a tall tree over on to the electrical lines that run along the highway, snapping multiple wires, breaking the pole and igniting a small grass fire on the hillside. Hydro, Fire and Police attended. Live electrical wires lay across the road that leads in and out of the neighbourhood, to the highway. The police blocked the road off and and opened the fire road as an alternate. Hydro crews worked all day, taking away the debris and bringing in a new power pole and electrical lines. At 5:30, the prediction was that it would take about 3 more hours to restore electricity to our homes. Traffic, which is backed up at 5:30 on a good day, was crawling along one lane, instead of 3, on the highway.
I was headed out to the poetry slam. Andy and the kids decided to go see a movie. We lined up all the flashlights, just in case the power was still out when we got home, then went out. When Andy and the kids got home from the movie around 9:30, the electricity was back on.
Looks like the food in our fridge and freezer is okay. It was a nice warm day, with lots of light, and best of all, nobody was injured when the tree blew over and the wires came down. The next morning, when I walked to work at 7:20, the fire road gate was closed. All is well.
question: did you see the wind?
mompoet - living with respect for tall trees