Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thunder and lightning....... a bit too close!

We get a fair number of thunder storms here in the valley. I am not sure it is to do with the big lake down in Lysvik, Fryken, or the large river, klarälven, a few valleys over to the east, or the massive lake Vänern down south of Karlstad, or the mountains of Norway, or more likely a combination of them all!!!! Anyway a week ago we had a big one. The rain came down so hard that I took the opportunity to watch what was happening to the surface water around the house and stood in the porch watching it flow when suddenly a lightning bolt that I heard sizzling and popping somewhere outside and almost immediately a loud crash of thunder. Then a shout from Alexis who was typing on his computer....... a spark rose from his computer, the letter X, about 5cm to his finger...... woah.......!!! We had switched ourselves over to the solar system so that we were not directly connected to the mains and somehow it had jumped across the switch! A few minutes later the phone rang and I though it was my neighbours saying that our house had been hit.... but it was their house which was blasted. They were sitting down to an evening meal when sparks started flying from the fuse box and also from the fan over their heads and all the power went out........ The photo below shows their fuse box. On the right you can see the wallpaper blown off the wall and black marks where the sparks flew out of the box. 



Here is a side shot showing clearly the box blown off the wall...... We went over to try and help, Alexis understands electricity more than the rest of us. We walked through torrential rain to their house clad in darkness to try and help. Many, many fuses had blown, even the really big ones. The main on off switch had been welded together in the on position, not an ideal situation but we managed to get power restored. The electricity was more crucial than normal for them as they had 100 eggs in an electric incubator and the first chicks were hatching out!! Perhaps they should be called "åska och blixtar" Swedish for thunder and lighting!

A few people in the village had problems, all the phones were zapped for about a week, and another house not too far from our friends lost a lot of electrical equipment. One of the phases (we have 3 phase here) was blown in one of the main power companies box. Oh the power of nature to rid us of our electrical gadgets!!! 

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