SO … Edison was scheduled to do “routine maintenance” to some of the wires in our neighborhood and we were notified of a scheduled power outage. It was to take place between 9am and 2pm yesterday. Thank the Lord I happened to think about this yesterday AM before leaving for work, so I walked around and unplugged some things (TV, alarm clocks, etc.). I couldn’t reach the plug for the computer, so I just turned off the surge protector. I left the washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, and microwave all plugged in...
Nothing like coming home from work to a street full of fireman and unhappy neighbors!!! Apparently, the guy Edison contracted this job out to, had somehow screwed up and mixed something up and sent double the current power into 16 homes. Everything that was plugged in was fried (and by fried I mean either A) all black and smelly or B) completely melted to the ground and smelly). 16 HOMES! All appliances – gone. TV’s were smoking, our neighbors computer tower was just a mushy pile of melted plastic on her desk, garage doors won’t open and a few houses are completely black on the inside.
Our house has the least amount of damage because the majority of our stuff was unplugged. Our neighbors directly next door have the most amount of damage.
The fireman walked through all the homes, wrote down damage, and shut all of our power back off (we had it on briefly for about a ½ hour). The concern then became the fact the wiring in these homes is older (our houses were built in 1949) and most likely they were all fried also. The fire captain told us that if the wires are indeed fried, that the minute we send power back through them they could ignite. …NICE…
Edison then comes back to “fix” the problem, but get this – they inform us that once they are done it is up to US to turn our breakers back on. Anything that happens AFTER we turn our breakers on is our responsibility – NOT Edison’s. Edison agreed to pay repairs for everything that was damaged during the first serge, but WE are responsible once we turn on the second surge. The fire captain and Edison man argued for awhile and each spoke to their respective “big guys”, and then they declared the situation a “man-made disaster”. We are all then told we are not allowed to turn our breakers back on without having each individual house inspected by a certified electrician (mind you, it’s like 8pm now). An electrician WE hire, Edison will not have any part in this. They offer us Red Cross (gee, a cot in the school gym, anybody????). We all decide we can find somewhere to go and decline the cot offer. So, basically – we were evacuated, and told to take everything “irreplaceable” with us.
Koby was shipped to grandma’s house and we spent the night and Greg & Beks. All ‘irreplaceable” belongings in hand. I spent the night dreaming of a firemen telling me our attic was slowing smothering & would burst into flames at any moment.
In the end, all I can say is THANK GOD that no one was injured, and that our homes are all still standing (well, they were when we left last night). We have an electrician coming to our home today to check our inside wiring (though I've been pondering how they check inside wiring, if the wiring is INSIDE the walls?). IF it the wiring is fried, then the whole house will have to be re-wired, before the breakers can be turned back on. We’re filing a claim with Edison (and probably State Farm) today. We need our microwave and garage replaced for sure. Our washer, dryer, computer, and refrigerator are being checked out today and will either need to be repaired or replaced. All courtesy of Edison.
So, we might be out of a home for awhile, or things might turn out to be all good for us today. In any case, our poor neighbors aren’t going to be able to come back home for awhile. And I’d hate to be that contractor today – I can’t even imagine the cost of re-wiring 16 homes and paying for pretty much everyone’s large appliances. Ouch.