May 27, 2024

Storm Damage Sunday Morning

I was watching the F1 race in Monaco and started to lose satellite tv signal Sunday morning. I pulled the fireplace out enough to reach in there and get that antenna that tapes on the wall so I could see the Indy race on NBC. I knew that antenna would work, as all the four network channels are in HD quality. While I was leaning against the wall the loudest clap of thunder I had ever heard shook the wall I was leaning on.

I headed back to the bedroom and computer room to shut the windows since it was raining hard outside. I noticed the computer was off and there was no light on the power strip so I had lost power. I went to the kitchen to get my phone and while I glanced outside the patio door I saw those ATT cables laying across my yard. NO trees on the berm had fallen but when I looked out the window to the left of the tv I saw this.

Utility pole on the ground, so those thin wires were "hot" electrical wires and they were laying across my patio and in the yard.

At first I thought that side of the fence was just leaning toward the yard and would be loose poles ... but I was wrong. Those heavy AT&T cables had tweaked the fence and all the posts on that side of the fence were slightly bent at ground level with the fence leaning towards the left. Of course the gate was ripped out of its locking mechanism. I was in more disbelief than I was angry. "Not again" rang through my head since my last fence damage was November 2021 after having it installed in June or July 2021.

Those first two wires are "hot" ... I was on the phone to the utility company by this time.

From this vantage point the fence looked like it was just leaning forward although that was hard to imagine since each post is in 18" of concrete. I guess I was hoping for the easiest, cheapest fix.

After the rain stopped I was able to step outside and see that the electric power pole was still straight and inserted into their electric meter. I was expecting worse. Since my friends up the street didn't have power either, we met at the Donut Shop for coffee, conversation and we could recharge our phones. Before I left one CenterPoint guy showed up and left, then another. He told me he had ordered a pole and they would probably get it installed late in the afternoon. Honestly I really wasn't expecting much to happen on a holiday.

Well as I return from the coffee shop at 1:30, there are four trucks parked in the street and they had already installed the new pole. One of the utility workers told me to call and tell them my yard was damaged from the transformer hitting the ground and the tracks from their machine. CenterPoint will fix all of it. I will do that this morning. 

Honestly I was shocked the response was so fast. My neighbor seemed to think it would be days before they would come out here. I was still confused why that tree had blown over because there just wasn't that much high wind while I was watching the race, at least high enough to blow that tree over. I did not know until I went over to tell him that AT&T was on their way ... that another tree on the other side of their house had blown down and pulled more power lines and AT&T cables to the ground. The utility company outage map showed 150 customers without power due to this mess.

Once they had the power turned back on and had left ... I zip tied my gate, raised the AT&T Fiber wires to fence high and off the ground, zip tied those to my fence .. I let the hounds and dogs out for the first time since the storm in the morning. They were happy to get outside as they all relieved themselves at the same time.

I was pretty sure that none of them would try to break out of that gap in the gate, and they didn't show any signs that they wanted to get out of the fenced backyard.

CenterPoint cut the bottom part and the upper part of the pole and took that with them, leaving only the piece where the AT&T cables and and the wires from the pole to my house were attached. Those bright blue sunny skies in the afternoon turned into tornado warnings and the warning siren going off last night.

Below is an older photo showing what that pole looked like before the bolt of lightning took it down. My neighbor across the street saw the lightning bolt from his house.

Even though I was not happy, things were pretty good actually. With permission from AT&T, I lifted that cable over my fence and let it hang back there out of the way. It was low to the ground before I did that. Now the dogs can go outside when they want like they always do.

The black cables are too heavy to move but they are still higher than the top of my head, barely. Watson and Ava checked out all the fence line for any other damage.

You can see how the corner of that fence is bent towards the left. 

All the hounds and dogs were really good yesterday with all the activity going out outside their fence. Even Sunday night when we had more severe weather, none of them were freaking out. In fact all 4 slept through the night of tornados that were about 12 miles north of me above I-64 and across the Ohio River in Kentucky. That is the usual path of these storms. About 40 miles north of here, tv weather was reporting multiple funnels that had touched down.

These wires are safely out of the way for the hounds and dogs. I was happy to see no damage to that power pole on the roof that connects to the power box. AT&T will be here this afternoon between noon and 4pm to hang their cables back on the new utility pole.

I called around 9am to report the damage. Sometime around 1pm they were here installing a new pole. By 3:30pm I had electrical power, AT&T Fiber internet and Directv to watch the Indy500 after they had delayed their start of the race for hours due to the storms passing through Indianapolis.  

This should work until a new gate is installed.

All of these are AT&T lines that go from the power pole to the house. The reason my internet works is my modem worked when the power was turned back on. The fiber internet lines are still connected in their system, even if mine are laying on the ground. So I have internet.

While taking the photos of the AT&T wires I thought I'd take a photo of the tree roots, to see if there was much of a root system. Without hearing or seeing any high winds during that time outside my patio door, I am still not sure what toppled these trees. There were no signs of burn marks on the tree from lightning. The utility guy did say that lightning struck the utility pole.

It was just last Thursday the neighbor and I were talking across the fence about how long it took to clear their berm that looked like mine. I asked "why didn't you cut that tree down" (the one on the ground now) and he said it was healthy, looked good so they left it. 

This tree is left standing but you can see is rotting at the base. They need to cut that down or later we will be playing this same storm damage again. This is on the other side of my neighbors house.

Now here is the shocker ... totally rotten ... This is the 2nd tree that had fallen which was on the other side of my neighbors house

This neighbor was out of town for the weekend but their brother was at the house. It is said that the neighbors had requested the power company to cut those fallen trees down in the past but that never happened as you see. I was told the power company only cuts tree limbs 6' away from their power lines and nothing else.

Watson wasn't too stressed about the whole situation but he missed having the ceiling fans blowing cool air around the room. With no electrical power we had no AC and I do not have a generator. I was not able to open the windows until later to cool the house down.

Like he did a year or so ago when storms were severe, Walter warned me yesterday about 25 minutes before the lightning strike and thunder so loud and close that the wall behind the tv shook. I was trying to get the small wall antenna out from the back of the moveable gas fireplace and was leaning against that wall when it happened.

For the first time in many months Walter jumped up on the couch and stood close to me. His eyes would look straight ahead and then over to me as I talked to him. I was jokingly asking him if the storm is coming ... I guess it was. But in the morning it was nothing more than a hard summer rain with that big bolt of lightning. Walter is now 2 for 2 in this severe weather prediction.

I called my insurance company last night ... no matter if I decide to file a claim or not, based on the fence builders estimate for repair ... it is going to be costly to my pocketbook. (again). In November 2021 one section of that fence cost $400. Back then they installed a new post and added two new sections. I am not looking forward to the final figure for this. I admit that I have been thinking how many more times do I want to go through this. Older neighbors that have been here for decades don't seem concerned as it is just part of living here in a nice neighborhood.

There is damage to repair, yet things are good here, maybe even better than in November 2021. The hounds and dogs can and have gone outside in the backyard at their own free will as they normally do. The area 90 miles north of me where I use to live got hammered last night. 

Storms seem to be more frequent and more severe than I recall just five years ago. It's quiet this morning with the windows open and the birds sounding off filling the air. It is a cool 68° ... This afternoon should be interesting when the AT&T crew get here. I am not sure the person taking my information really understood what they have to work with as I explained it over and over to him. We will see what happens I guess.

I pulled this map from a CNN article. These are areas without power this morning but it also shows where tv weather was reporting tornado action last night (shaded areas) ... I am located in Evansville, so like I said earlier, everything was south and north of me as usual. All our local channels report weather and news for the "Tri-State area.

Fence damage again here but we are luckier than most here in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.


  1. I wondered how you did last night. We watch Ryan Hall Y'all on you tube. Best weatherman out there

    1. I only watch tv weather when there is a tornado warning. I'll check him out.

  2. That had to have been scary with hot wires in your yard but how fortunate the utility crew got to the house so fast. Three weeks ago we had a tornado in our area and clean up is still ongoing.
    Hope your fence can get repaired soon.
    Thankfully no damage to your home.

    1. That was the way I looked at it, no damage to my home. The fence will get fixed eventually, after everybody does their part in the process.


  3. Happy to hear you and the gang are safe, but sorry to hear of your damage. Old trees are always suspect to rot. I had a huge fir tree (base was nearly three feet in diameter) in my yard that was dying from the top, the arborist felt it was diseased and it was taken down. The whole center of the tree was rotted. At the same time, had to take out a Ponderosa pine that was 108 feet high that died due to the turpentine beetle. Fortunately Edison (our power company) took them out because if they fell on their own they would take out the Edison lines. Edison is very pro-active here due to the high fire risk here in the mountains. BTW when Edison trims trees here that are near their lines, they clear 12 feet.

    I would think that since the power pole going down caused the damage to the fence that your power company would be responsible for the expense of repair. JMHO, Good luck.

    1. That will be the first question I ask them first thing in the morning, their pole and their expense for damages. Seems logical BUT back in the small house up north ... the utility company blue sockets out and killed anything electrical in houses within a 7 mile radius ... their answer ... use your homeowners insurance. SO ... I don't have a lot of confidence that will happen.

  4. Well now I know you are about 250 miles due north of me. That lets me get a better feel for where to look when I am looking at area weather patterns. thanks. Good luck with the repairs.

    1. Thanks Barney. It will be interesting to see what happens after talking to my AT&T guy a while ago and my neighbors Spectrum cable/internet guy earlier today. That down utility pole took out a lot of internet/cable accounts I am hearing. This is not going to be as simple as the time where the tree downed the cables in November 2021. That crew had the wires and cables back up on the utility poles by 2:30am