Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More eventful days at the lake

As if the Murphies didn't cause enough fuss at the Reservoir on Saturday with the auction, or on Sunday as people came and went picking up the items they had purchased, on Monday, half a dozen trucks from NYSEG, Time Warner and Frontier arrived to fix the utility wires that sagged so low between the house and the lake.

The wires are part of a utility easement that runs from a pole by our apple tree, a looooong way, maybe 500 feet, to the next pole in the woods on the lake shore, and on to the houses on the east side of the lake.  The NYSEG wires on top of the poles were high enough, but the Time Warner and Frontier wires hung lower on the poles are bundles of heavy cables that sagged so low that Dad and I measured them at the lowest point at about 9 1/2 feet off the ground.  I started by contacting NYSEG, but they were no help.  On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, I found a contact-us-for-help email address for Frontier.  Somebody got back to me promising to help within an hour, on a holiday weekend, and within three days a Frontier engineer named Heather had visited the place, looked the wires over and agreed to fix them.   I had hoped they could be buried, but that turned out to be too expensive to make any sense, so instead, Heather arranged to install a new pole in the utility easement, halfway down the loooooooong span between the two existing poles, to lift them higher off the ground.

It took some coordinating on Heather's part to get all three utilities on board and make it happen, and then the storms in early July required a postponement.  But finally, the day came.  Here goes the pole truck, backing into the yard on fiberglass mats intended to protect the wet ground from tracks and ruts.

Pretty long pole!

Here's the auger for drilling the hole:

This picture shows just how low the wires were hanging.

Now for the dramatic part.  I wasn't there -- Dad was taking pictures and supervising.  Notice those orange things that all those guys have on their heads?  Dad did not have one of those orange things on his head.   The workers had trimmed some branches out of the way before bringing in the pole, and unbeknownst to Dad, they left one great big one far overhead, partially cut off and hanging by a strip of bark.  Nobody warned Dad that a half-cut branch was still hanging, and nobody stopped him when he walked, hard-hat-less, past the other workers and down to the area where the Sword of Damocles was hanging right overhead.  Wham, down it came, on top of him and one of the workers.  It knocked off the other worker's hard hat but luckily -- as Dad, you will recall, was not wearing one -- did not strike his head or otherwise maim or murder him.  Here's the branch.  It's bigger than it looks here:

As he says, what a lawsuit it would have been!  (But I'm fairly sure I'd rather have a husband.)  It fell from one of these spots:

After that, the pole went in without incident, and all the utility people attached their wires, and teh job was done.

The result?  An amazing improvement.  The wires are at least twice as high as they were, and neat and tight.  The whole lawn seems bigger and cleaner without those heavy things drooping just overhead.  And the view of the lake from the living room window is no longer bisected by two heavy black horizontal lines:

So, that's fixed!  Thanks, Frontier!


dad said...

I heard a whoosh and then I was surrounded by leaves.

Mom said...

It could easily have been, "He heard a whoosh and then he heard nothing more."

Claire Newbold said...

Wow what a story!! Glad you're still with us Tom.