(…leaving a big chunk of the city in the dark…)

Mother Nature had a hissy fit yesterday, with lots and lots of rain and high wind all over the place. It was a wild wild day in the wild wild West…leaving a big chunk of the city in the dark.

Despite a lot of large trees dropping onto people, cars, and buildings here and there, there were few reports of serious injuries or damages. As for all that rainfall pouring down on us that was mostly beneficial…besides clearing all the trash off the streets (including the kind roaming around), it did refill those reservoirs somewhat, while the creeks and rivers barely flooded over, but as usual, here and there, there were some pockets where even sandbags at the doorways, couldn’t keep the waters out. Better still the snow pack was made deeper and probably wetter for later on. Even so… while we’re not out of our dry “drought” spell yet, it was a good reminder that this was just the first of a series of wet ones we can expect over the next few months in what passes for “winter” in these parts.

The biggest shock from it all happened in the city, however, when one of its key underground transformer vaults got short-circuited by water, making it go boom, with a big flash bang, sending its manhole cover sailing off like a frisby…and leaving a big chunk of the city in the dark. This is not the first time that’s ever happened, but it was the most extensive loss of power impact yet experienced here, one which lasted almost 12 hours, most heavily affecting the business heart of the city…the economic ripples of which will probably linger on into the New Year.

One would think that those responsible for designing our urban facilities could figure out ways and means to prevent such underground installations from getting…wet…while still remaining accessible for routine care and maintenance. One of these days one of those flying manhole covers is liable to hit someone…or worse. It just goes to show how fragile our urban environments really are.

Well, that was one way to kick off the holiday season. Let’s just hope the rest of it passes with a better dose of good cheer.