Saturday, August 20, 2005

Sitting Duck


chimney
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Well, as you can see from the photo, we didn't get around to getting lightning rods as planned. Our house is in the wide open and happens to on a little knoll, making it the highest point in the neighborhood. Bullseye!

The thunderstorms here in the great Midwest are quite impressive. Two nights ago, starting at about 2AM, there was a terrific storm with lightning striking continuously and completly lighting up the outdoors. I could see streaks hitting the ground perilously close to us. And then, KABOOM!!!! The house sort of shook and the security alarm started going off. Because the electricity was still on, I figured that lightning had not struck us directly but rather had struck close and that the loud crack had tripped the noise sensors on the system. (Our alarm system has stupid useless glass breaking sensors, but I digress). Anyway, we weren't all that worried. The storm passed and we went back to sleep.

At about 6AM the next morning, we awoke to several very loud thumps in quick succession on the roof above us. I looked out the window to see big chunks of brick and limestone hurling to the ground. Our chimney, struck during the night, was falling apart a few hours post strike. It was impressive.

Turns out that we did lose power in part of the house and we did lose some devices. The garage doors are fried as is my new range top. The cordless phones are gone. Chris's ethernet card and the wireless router are shot as well. We unplugged the computers from the electrical outlets earlier but neglected to disconnect the cable. Apparently, the current can surge through that as well.

The good news is we got the builder of the house out here right away and he made some calls for us and by three that afternoon, the chimney had been secured. They removed the pieces that were hanging and in danger of falling and tarped the whole thing. The electricians came out and assessed what had been fried. The rest of the stuff (garage doors, range, phones, alarm system) will be taken care of next week.

The bad news, other than getting struck, is that we remain sitting ducks for the next time and the next and the next. We are going to research lightning rods - there are differing opinions here as to whether they are effective or even harmful. Chris intimated that he might want to sell this house and move into town where we aren't likely to get struck. But, I pointed out to him that we could use this lightning-prone location to our advantage. The next time Chris is in atrial fibrillation, we could put him on the roof during a thunderstorm for a free cardioversion. No pesky copays or deductibles. He wasn't enthusiastic.

Other than that, life in Bloomington is mostly good. Chris is at work tonight (not good) and Jack is asleep (good) and I am going to curl up on the couch and watch a chick flick with a glass of wine (good).

Goodnight from the wide open prairie!

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