The Neighborhood Power Transformer Went Kablooey

This morning was interesting for being more than too hot. I woke up to a loud “ka-POP” noise at 6:30AM. It sounded like a left over firecracker from Fourth of July. The filter in my 25-gallon fish tank started gurgling. The three UPSes for my computers sounded a three-alarm beep that the power was out. Trying to sleep through that racket and the heat was not possible. The overhead lights had power but there wasn’t enough juice for anything else plugged into the wall sockets.

After checking the circuit breakers and turning everything off, I took a cold shower in the dark and went to the gym. The other buildings in my apartment complex didn’t fare any better. Some emergency lights had power at full brightness, some were flickering on battery power, and a few had no power at all. When I got back 90 minutes later, the electric company was checking out the ground-level power transformer at the end of my apartment building.

The electricity returned to normal after a while. I had to reset the power strip on my 10-gallon fish tank, power-cycled the network switches, and the computers came back up without any problem. If a power transformer blew up on the street, I don’t know where. Last year, at a different apartment complex, a nearby power transformer blew up and the neighbors saw blue flames shooting up and down the lines. Summer is here now.