Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wind Storm

On Monday we had a major wind storm, I heard gusts of 97 mph were recorded in Bellingham (that's the same as a Category 2 hurricane). We always worry because we have so many trees, and a lot are not healthy, but we were luckier than our neighbors who had 2 trees hit their house, but thankfully with minimal damage (mostly to their gutters).
Here's the big branches that I pulled off our deck, don't ask me why I took the photo tilted, artistic license I guess.

Another view to try and get the size of the branches. When I tried to go to work the road was blocked with a couple large cotton wood trees which also took out the power lines. We were without power for 36 hours

But we really weren't inconvenienced as we are set up with a generator. Dave has a lot of electrical experience, and when we built this house we wired it accordingly.

The most important thing to remember when using a generator is to isolate it from the power utility, you don't want to back feed into the system and potentially electrocute a power line worker. We have a breaker box that totally isolates our property with the closing of a breaker and that is the first thing you do after the power goes off. The only way we know when the power is back on is to check with the neighbors.

We've got a pretty big generator, I think it's like 5000 watts and it can run a lot of the household. Refrigerator, freezer, lights, computer, TV, however I noticed if I tried to microwave with all that other stuff going it dragged. Oh, the sacrifices!!! Of course I couldn't do any cooking or cleaning with just generator power, Dave "hunted and gathered" prepared food and his way home from work.

I think the generator will go for about 8 hours on a tank of gas, we turn it off when we go to bed at night and then restart it in the morning, also turn it off when no one is home. Still, it's wonderful when the power is back on and life can return to normal.

A top of a tree landed on Dave's Big Red dump truck.
Here's what it looks like from the other side, we've a lot of cleaning up to do.