State Lawn Mower Makes a Big "Oops!"

I was sittin’ here working and all of a sudden my power goes out. Being that it’s a beautiful day outside, I was taken by surprise.

Not to much later, a fire truck and a police car go racing down my street, in the direction of my dad’s house.

Wanting to be nosy, I call up Dad and ask him what’s up. He answers and says “holdon,callyourightback.” Eep - now I’m a bit worried.

He calls back and tells me what happened…

A guy was mowing the weeds next to the freeway that runs alongside Dad’s house in a Bobcat or some piece of heavy-duty lawncare equipment. The guy got a bit too close to one of those big metal ties that anchors utility poles to the ground. The bit that was in the ground snapped off.

This caused the tie to snap up.
Which caused the pole in dad’s front yard (on the other side of the fence) to snap in half and fall over.
Which caused the line attached to my dad’s house to rip away from his house (and land on & damage his car)
And caused the lines going down the street to pull away.
And eventually caused a pole 2 doors down to fall over.
Which caused all of the electricity in the neighborhood to go out.
And also the phone lines on his street to go down.

Dad heard all of this snapping and falling and ran outside. He saw the Bobcat guy, and made sure he was ok (he was fine). Dad called 911 from his cell phone and by the time he got back, Bobcat guy was gone.

Since my power was out, I had nothing better to do so I walked down the street to check out the damage. They wouldn’t let Dad cross the downed lines to come out to the street, so I stood and waved at him.

I ended up hanging out in the street with the cops and the firemen and some of Dad’s retired neighbors (who had been out when all this shit went down and weren’t allowed back IN to their houses).

Eventually the Bobcat guy came back, with his supervisor of course, and chatted with my Dad. Obviously, the Bobcat guy was pretty upset and of course so was his supervisor.

Funny thing is that the State guys told Dad “We hate mowing over here. It’s a real pain in the ass. But every year, someone calls and complains about the weeds…we’ve thought it was you this whole time…”

Dad told the guy that he’s never complained. In fact, he likes the weeds because his brother likes to collect bugs and butterflies from over there. Dad suggested maybe it was the other old crochety neighbor a bit down the street.

So, at least they got that cleared up :slight_smile:

My power is back on, obviously. Who knows how long it’ll take them to get Dad’s street (5 houses) straightened out. And when he’ll get the power attached to his house again. I might be hosting a sleepover tonight.

Crazy shit, man…

Wow, lucky no one was hurt! I assume your dad will be compensated for his car, right?

I always thought those cables were just to hold it in case of heavy-duty storms. I never thought that if one went, a whole bunch of trouble could ensue!

Hope your dad gets lots of stories out of it, after all , it is his right!

The guy wires are there to balance the load placed on the utility poles by the actual utility lines (whether they’re electric, cableTV, or telephone). You’ll see the guy wire attached to a pole anywhere the utility line dead-ends or turns. If the guy wire (or the utility line) is suddenly severed, the load on the pole is suddenly all on one side, and the pole can snap. This puts slack in the span of lines running to the next pole; you can lose a whole string of poles that way. The best I ever saw was 5 poles in a row that went down like giant, slow-motion dominoes.

That’s why when you remove telephone cables, you’re supposed to support them, and let them down easily with a come-along, as you disconnect them from the pole attachment hardware. (We used to call the short-cut technique of just cutting them loose ‘twanging the cable’…fun, but risky. If you wiped out stuff that wasn’t scheduled for removal, you’d get suspended.)

With power involved, it was definitely luck nobody was injured.

Yeah, there was a lot of snapping and crashing, damn straight it was lucky no one was hurt!

Dad realized later that the wires had been laying on the state’s metal fence, to which his metal fence was connected, which was connected to his house. Dad coulda been zapped from his house!

We all watched in horror as a guy from the state come down from the freeway and lean on the metal fence. Luckilly, the power was already off by then.

The one neighbor 2 doors down stood there and told the cops he really wanted to go back home, it’d be no problem because the wires were not touching the ground - he could just walk under them and go home. The cop pointed out that the pole in his yard could come down and crash into his telephone pole and then into his house. About 10 mins later, the pole came down (but the telephone pole stayed up, thank goodness).

Weird shit. My folks are still without power, they stayed here last night. Couldn’t get anyone to fix the connection to their house in short order. Mom wanted to go home and do some work around the house (she took the day off work) but of course today it’s utterly dark and rainy while yesterday it was very bright outside.

And yes, the state guys took some pics of Dad’s car and he’ll be getting some things taken care of.

Reminds me of this new book. “Nothing EVER happens around here! No way! No how!” Bored and angry, a small boy kicks an empty cat-food can up a tree and does not notice the exciting uproar all around him on the city streets. The can wakes a snoozing cat, which gets chased by a dog into the zoo, where an elephant escapes; a painter falls off her ladder and sploshes red paint on the sidewalk, which makes the baker slip and send his pies flying to hit all kinds of people in the face, which sends a ball to upset a pile of bouncing oranges, until the cat comes flying to land in the boy’s lap and transforms his glowering fury into quiet, smiling bliss."

You would THINK that nothing exciting ever happens around here - we’re the sleepiest little middle class suburban neighborhood ever. Far removed from Wisteria Lane.

But last summer, the bridge went out (or really, got flooded over).

People harass me sometimes for buying a house just down the road from where I grew up, but really this is a GREAT place for those of us in to standing and gawking :smiley:

Reading the OP reminded me of Joe Diffie’s Third Rock From the Sun.

Nothing much happens here either, but once they put big planks down across a bumpy covered bridge near me. A van crossing it came off the planks and that was enough to send her crashing out the side of the bridge into the river. Everyone was OK, but let me tell you that keep tongues wagging for a while. Then there was the kid who held up the tiny bank…

I totally am picturing a little kid physically holding up a little piggy bank over his head :smiley:

Care to share?

Howsabout a newslink?

Heh. Here it is. “Took two employees hostage” could read “took the two employees hostage”, since it’s only the manager and one teller. The manager retired after this incident. My friends filled me in on whose kid this Eaton was (I’m a flatlander and haven’t been around long enough to know all the progeny).

The bank is still there and amazingly, they’re getting a competitor around the corner where (weep) my pizza place used to be. I wouldn’t think there are enough people here to warrant two banks.