Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A big flash then nothing

My lovely wife and I were hanging out in our kitchen. It was lake, about 11:30 p.m.. The grid power did a little blurp and came right back -for about five seconds. Then there was a blinding flash and the grid was down for good. It was about 30 degrees and snowing.

Most of my lights and the water pump run on my solar electric system. I threw some more firewood in the stove, grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate. The flash had been so bright I was afraid it was ice pulling the wires off my house or something. Soon as I got outside I realized my whole side of the lake was dark. Everything around my property looked good, but there was a burnt electrical smell in the air.

My neighbor came outside and assured me she was fine and had enough firewood in the house to last for a day. She’s recovering from a broken leg so needs someone else to bring wood inside.

By 4:30 in the morning the grid was back up and running. I couldn’t believe they sent a crew out in the dark, in the snow, way out in the woods to fix it. Good service. It took most of the next day to get the Internet back, but that’s a different company.

During the daylight I walked down the road and found the problem. A tree came down on the power lines about 200 yards away.

Although grid and normal communications were down I was able to send text messages by satellite with a Garman InReach.

We were prepared for a long outage if need be, but I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with it.



  1. That Garmin is worth the money. Just wondering, because it uses satellites have you had any issues when you're in a thunderstorm like we have when, it storms here our TV goes out?

    1. Sometimes it takes up to 15 minutes to acquire satellites when first turned on. Trees and buildings seem to be the biggest issue, but it usually works without too much trouble. I tied it my shovel handle and set it out in the snow where it had a clearer view of the sky. Then I used the bluetooth connection on an old cell phone to message from the warm house.

      Of course, it works perfectly while on a boat.

      Last year I used it from the Everglades, far from the nearest cell connection.