Friday, March 18, 2011

Life in the Santa Cruz Mountains

As I let everyone know via my Facebook page, on Wednesday, March 16, we lost power. Well, now everything is fixed, so I can tell you what really happened.

Tree and Pole on Road
I was busily writing my weekly feature on a fellow BESTeam member, and had just finished it when the power went out. My first thought was "great - not" in that I finished the feature and needed to post it. Well, here's were technology helped. My new iPhone came with a hotspot (internet connection via mobile phone) and so I quickly started this application up and was able to transfer my feature up to my blog and let everyone know I was finished. I wasn't really paying much attention to anything else, but getting this done.

Well, once finished, I realized that the lights were not really off, just very low and wavering in intensity. That's odd, that's not how an outage usually works. So, I went around the house and tried to figure out what was going on. I noticed a buzzing sound and found it came from outside, so as I tried to trace it, I realized I was smelling smoke! SMOKE! Oh, no! I'm surrounded by trees and my house has cedar siding; this is scary!

Scorch Marks on Road
OK, back into the house for my binoculars, to look for any signs of smoke. Nothing I could see around the house, so I went out to the road and since I heard arcing and hissing from down the road, I went down. As I went, I saw power lines on the road. I looked closer and I could see scorch marks - the line is still live - I better keep clear.

Broken Pole w/ Broken Insulators

As I round the curve in the road, I see wood on the road; it was a power pole and a big tree. I got closer and saw that it was a smashed power pole - you can see broken insulators.

Fire in Trees
Wow, the damage was worse than I thought. But, where was the smoke coming from? I looked up, and there in the trees, the power line had started a fire. I called 911 and the fire fighters were here in minutes! We were lucky, since there has been so much rain, everything was too wet to burn. The only place that was burning was just where the line touched the tree tops and it wasn't spreading.

Tree next to Workers
That was the good news, the bad news was that it would take PG&E 24 to 48 hours to fix this. Oh no. No lights, no heat, no computer. It turned out to be done quicker than expected. It was a huge tree, you can see its size in the picture on the right, in relation to the workers waiting for the big equipment.

Lights came back on in a few hours; the power company rerouted some lines to get power up quicker.

Penny & Shadow w/
Cut Tree
Today, I went out before the rains started again and took a look at what they did. They sawed up the tree and left most of it behind. Take a look at the pieces of the trunk - they're huge! I put my dogs in front to get a picture of this.

New Power Pole
And, with my final picture, you can see that the power pole had snapped in half (20' left standing) and they just put a new pole right next to what was left of the old pole. The line that is running low, is the phone company's line. I hope they'll repair their lines too, but I doubt it.

If you want to see more pictures, check out my Facebook Page.  I have an album of pictures there. Like me there and follow me on Twitter - JewlryJaynmarie to keep up with my life and my jewelry.


  1. Thats really amazing!
    Your writing on your Blog just about everyday, what an accomplishment.
    Nice pics too!

  2. Wow! What an adventure! I am a new follower. I found you on the handmadeology discussions page and love you blog. If you have a chance, please check out my blog


  3. I remember a time when losing your power and heat was all you had to worry about, but now the worst is losing the INTERNET! hahaha. glad you're ok.
    - ourhometoyours/xv,