My morning adrenaline rush

As I was riding the bus into downtown Seattle to go to work this morning we stopped at Yale and Stewart for a traffic light. Initially I thought there were gunshots close by. Then as I did a “playback” in my mind and observed the subsequent sights and sounds more carefully I realized the flashes were white. Muzzle flashes are red/orange. Multiple explosions? But the flashes from explosives I am familiar with are reddish too. I was on the far side of the bus from the source but I ultimately located the origin.

A NW bound truck on Yale had tangled with a power line, and broken a power pole holding three transformers. The sounds were the breaking power pole, arcing of the power lines, and the exploding transformers. The truck stopped for a bit then left. Our bus remained stopped at the intersection and most of the passengers exited out the rear door and walked around the intersection. Some stupid and/or ignorant people walked OVER the downed power lines. At least one person turned around and took a different route after I yelled not to walk over the wires.


The bus in the picture above is the one I was on.

I was late for a meeting at work.

Update: Ry sent me an email with this link to the news story.


6 thoughts on “My morning adrenaline rush

  1. Lucky the re-closer didn’t fire for those idiots that decided to walk through the lines. Luckily the ground looks a bit damp.

    Many don’t realize that voltage radiates around the point of contact from the lines. Your body can be a lower resistance path than through the ground. Guess what happens when that happens, it’s not good folks, you become crispified.

    You know, that bus with it’s rubber tires is a very nice place to be when around medium voltage distribution lines when they’re on the ground… Just sayin’.

  2. Transformers going BOOM! have a pretty distinctive sound, but it usually takes me a second to “replay it” and make it register properly. Had a squirrel become a short-circuit on a transformer less than a hundred yards from the house. FLASH-lights out – UPS on – BOOM! Call the power company. Smoked Rockey.

  3. We were blocked in by partially downed wires in front and traffic. We left because (at least in my case) I didn’t want to wait for, potentially, an hour or more before getting to work. There were pedestrians in no apparent distress much closer to the downed lines than the rear exit so I didn’t see much of a risk to leaving.

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