Falling Trees, Downed Power Lines, and Calling 911 After Midnight

12:31 a.m. Monday morning–I am looking over an anonymous comment in my blog and wondering how (or if) I will respond.

As I begin, there’s a loud buzzing, a reddish-orange flash from outside, and the power goes out. Soon after, there’s another sound, another flash. The power goes on again, and then instantly off. This time it stays off.

night.jpgI walk outside.

Across the street, a significant chunk of tree has fallen, held up only by the powerlines. There’s a small fire burning. I notice a man standing on my lawn. He’s not wearing a shirt. I walk up to him and we watch the fire burn out.

He explains that he’s already called 911 and tells me about how he almost parked his car under the tree. I’ve never met him, but apparently he lives in the neighborhood.

While we talk, we hear a rustling, then a shaking. Most of the rest of the tree falls on the powerlines. Realizing instantly, that the powerlines may have enough force to snap in our direction, we run away, me following him. It turns out that he’s better at sprinting.

The firetrucks arrive, followed by the police, city workers, specialists in cutting down tree limbs, and Consumers Energy.

They set up a “Fire Department DO NOT CROSS” line. Soon after that most of our neighbors show up.

It turns out that the power is out at least four blocks around us. The city workers suggest that things will be restored by morning. Kristen and I go to bed, lulled to sleep by the sound of chainsaws and wood chippers.

Well, I’m lulled to sleep anyway. Kristen barely sleeps at all. The power worked by morning though. I’m grateful for that.

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