Wham! Power Out   

How Dependent We Are …

At Lampasas Radio, we were in the middle of what was to be a short meeting on procedures and things we gotta’ do when, suddenly, there was the abrupt background silence and dimming of light that tells you something is wrong. Uh-oh, the power is out. We went on, knowing there was nothing we could do. The UPS units would keep the computers and satellite receivers going for a few minutes and maybe it would be back on. We tried to ignore it ‘til then and went on with our discussions.

Meanwhile, city utility crews were rallying at about 12:40pm to find the problem and soon showed up at the substation north of town where most of our town’s electric power had been shut down. They discovered an arc over – at a point where the LCRA’s electric supply fed into Lampasas. An insulator was blasted away and breakers kicked. There were the remains of a bird – probably the combination of a weak insulator and a bird lighting in just the right place to help the insulator break down. Bad luck!                                                             Now, even though the crew had found the problem, they would have to wait for the LCRA crew to come in and coordinate before it could be switched back on.

Oh well, by now the UPS were beeping so we finished our meeting and headed off to find lunch outside the building. Driving down Key we saw doors standing open and lights off, work crews were sitting on benches outside businesses.

Suddenly we crossed Sulphur Creek and spotted lights inside the Schlotzsky’s. Yes, there’s power, and food, south of the creek! (It turns out there’s another substation on Naruna Rd. that connects to LCRA independently and takes power to much of the area of Lampasas that’s south of the creek.)

We got a sandwich in the drive thru and went to Brook Park to eat and watch the ducks. Somehow the sandwich was that much better for the finding – like an oasis in a dry desert. And somehow being forced away from the electric plug into the park was another kind of relief.            It’s like when you were a kid at school and it was springtime and boring and suddenly the alarm went off and you had to head outside for a fire drill – rescued!

We returned to work just as the power came back on at 1:52pm (by our clock) and there were computers to reboot and transmitters to turn back on. The telephones would work again and the AC would soon recover and our world would get back to normal.

Just the day before, we had been crippled in our work because somebody cut a cable again. Some said in the Liberty Hill area. At any rate it knocked us out of telephone and internet service for a few hours and every time we thought about this project or that…we needed telephone or internet.

All this to say what we all know, “Life oughta’ be simpler. Don’t you wish we could just cut all our cables and go outside.”