The trunk is actually split down the
middle for about two thirds of the way down from the break.
What runs across the back property line is a single high voltage feed
line (right to left) to a transformer two poles to the left (west).
Below that is the 240 volt feeds to a group of 8 or 10 houses. Next
down is cable TV. I hadn't looked for some time but there seems to be 7
or 8 of the aluminium hard line feeders in the bundle. Why more than 1
or 2? Next down is a phone cable. I don't know for sure (but I'd like
to find out) but I think this is probably a 50 pair cable.
The tree took out the high voltage line and yanked pretty hard on all
the rest. So hard in fact that the pole that is about in the middle of
my back yard was snapped off in the middle (where the 240 volt lines
attached). This also yanked the entry service off the side of my house.
In the photo below Ohio Edison has already reattached the service to
the house end. I did get an electrician to come out Saturday and put
the meter and "mast" back up so I could get power back as soon as
Since I didn't think of photos sooner I didn't get a photo of the
broken pole. Here is what is left though - with the cable TV stuff
I have to say I was impressed with the response of Ohio Edison. They
were out around 3 AM with a tree crew (private contractor). I was
hoping for a bit more sleep that night but it was not to be. By 3:30 I
was up and took a walk out to see how it was going. They had the tree
cleared and had hacked down what was left of the old pole and had it
cut up into transportable size pieces.
They brought in a Bobcat with an augger and drilled the new hole next
to the old one. They then switched the Bobcat attachment to this claw
thing and picked up the new pole, raised it over the Bobcat and brought
it to the back yard. They set it in the hole and packed dirt around it
and took off to find breakfast. Here's a photo taken later in the day
(when it was light out):
It's still dark (about 4:30 AM) and not a lot to do with no electric or
phone (or DSL!).
I figure it's about time to fire up the generator and get the
refrigerator running. Wheeled it out of the garage and ran the 50 foot
extension cord (number 12) to the fridge and got it going. This is the
first time I really used it for an emergency situation and it performed
By 10 AM Ohio Edison had the power all back on. Pretty good considering
the extent of the damage.
When things got light out it was easier to see some of the problems.
The telephone tap off near the pole with several attached phone drops
(including mine) was laying on the ground:
SBC didn't fare as well for promptness.
The first guy showed up about 10 AM and said something like "Oh my!"
(no doubt thinking something much stronger). He was taken by surprise -
which should not have happened. I made a point of calling SBC a second
time Friday night after I saw the extent of the damage. I was very
clear about how serious it was. The guy taking the report obviously
The guys from SBC did do their best to get things patched up
temporarily though. By the time Cathy and I got back from Mansfield
after midnight we had a dial tone, but no DSL. Too late to try and
guess why so I went to bed for much needed sleep.
By the morning my subconscious had planted a suspicion and I tested it.
I picked up the phone and called my cell phone and ... it wasn't my
phone number. No wonder no DSL, they had the wires hooked up wrong.
They did show up Sunday morning and started getting it straightened
out. It's still a very temporary "patch" job:
You'll notice this is only about 3 or 4
feet off the ground and just covered up with a piece of plastic (when
it's covered). My drop and others are still just lying on the ground
but it works.
The reason they're leaving it this way is that they plan to replace the
900 feet of cable down the line. It has something like 25 or 30 places
where it has been opened up and either tested or patched. It's long
overdue for replacement and it's supposed to get it sometime this week.
That's all for now. I may have a couple of more photos to add later as
things get "finished" up.
It actually took over 2 weeks for
SBC to finish the job. They ended up replacing about 1500 feet of cable
and it took quite a while to get it in and put new hangers on all the
poles involved. And guess what? When they switched over to the new
cable they botched which line I was again. Fortunately I was right
there this time and as soon as they told me it was ready I tested it -
and told them it was the wrong line. They did get it straightened out
pretty quick though and my alerting them of the problem probably
avoided them making several other misconnects.
It wasn't until May 31 that the crews came in to clean up the offending
tree remains. They did this from the property behind my neighbor with a
crane from OVER TOP OF the utility lines. They had to remove a
perfectly good walnut tree from that property to accomplish this too.
I'm not sure if this was a voluntary removal or forced on the homeowner
there but I'm sure the wood from the walnut tree was worth quite a bit.
I hope they were suitably compensated. They got the part of the tree
from above the break over the utility lines before I got any photos so
I don't have anything of that but here's where they were cutting down
the part below the break:
It was quite an operation as the chain
saw they brought wasn't really big enough to do the job and it took
some doing to make sure it fell the right way too. Once it was down
they cut it in half and hoisted the two parts over the utility lines:
From the above photo you can see how
hollow the thing was pretty clearly.
Here's a good photo of the crane in operation. The new pole
appears just to the left of the crane boom. Some of the walnut tree
trunk is still standing appearing just below the log section the crane