The whole town lost power yesterday morning around 7 am when the storm came through. Around 11 am half of the town had their power back on. My house is on the side of town that is still without power today which is day 2 at 11 am.
Aside from minor inconveniences like washing clothes and cooking food; we have been okay. The main concern has been frozen foods. I have moved my generator to 4 different addresses.
Our main street had an interesting scenario. The south side had power and the North side did not. And our Christmas tree outlets are fed from the south side and the poles are on both sides. Therefore the north side poles had power about 15 feet up. So 2 residents and the bar tapped into the outlets for their freezers and refrigerators. The only trick was to tape off the sensor that was designed to turn the lights on only at night.
We had an opportunity to test the hydraulic extrication tools. For some of us this was a new experience. For others it was a good refreshment exercise. We first broke out the side windows using a special clicker tool; they easily shattered. Then we broke out the front windshield using axes. And finally the rear window using another tool. Two of us learned the hard way that gloves are required when breaking glass. we cut the top off using a big heavy pair of hydraulic scissors. This was a little slower process than I remember from previous exercises. We are going to be looking into an equipment “tune up” to help improve this step. Next we forcibly opened the doors using a big hydraulic spreader tool. This is an amazing tool that no door can defeat. It seems to be powerful enough to bend the frame of the car if necessary. The next step was to lift the steering wheel up and off of our trapped teddy bear. This was done with 2 hydraulic rams that were placed in each front door. This was a technique we learned from a trainer a few years ago. As you can see in the picture above; the entire car was lifted and bent upward during this step. In conclusion; we are probably not going to be the fastest fire department for this type of save; but we have the equipment and some basic training on “how to” do it. And we can cut, pry and bend and break a car in a variety of ways to free a trapped person.
This roads have been broken up in many spots throughout our town. The weather conditions must have been unique this spring to cause damage to roads that has not been seen in at least the past two decades. You could hop on a soft spot and see the road surface squish from your weight. It was sponge like. All it took was a heavy vehicle to drive on it and sink right through and break the surface. Some spots seem to wrinkle. Underneath the road is just wet mud. We have a serious problem facing our community.