Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday: A Break in Routine - and in a Gas Line

It's been quite a day.

I overslept, putting me behind schedule for the day's tasks. Behind or not, I took a break around mid-afternoon, to get sweaty at Fitness Guru.

We've been parking in the back yard ever since the Ash Street Project stated work in front of the house, so I went out the back door.

I heard a loud rushing sound southwest of me, somewhere on the other side of the garage, but didn't think much of it. The construction crew's been running water, sometimes in large quantities, and this sounded quite a bit like a very smooth-running flow of water.

I hadn't taken a look at south Main Street for a while, so after rounding the Stearns County Fairgrounds, I crossed Main, took a side street toward downtown, rejoined Main and headed back south.

Doing that today put me in position to see what looked like half the Sauk Centre Fire Department, including a tanker, scream down Main Street and turn left on 10th. That didn't look good, so I went back around the fairgrounds, parked, and walked around to the front of the house.

I saw one of the guys with the fire department walking by, pulling that heat-resistant jacket on.

He asked me if there was anyone in the house, and that we should evacuate.

That got my attention. I asked him what direction, and how far. They must have been getting set up, because he had to ask someone else before telling me north, and a block and a half.

I went inside, told my family the exciting news, and they left. So did I, after making sure there wasn't anything particularly hot running on the ground floor. I think those emergency drills my wife has the family do from time to time helped. That's a level-headed bunch.

We got together in a shady spot, about half-way to Our Lady of the Angels. I think #3 daughter was peeved to have her afternoon disrupted this way. Either that, or she used that as a way of releasing tension.

After a while, I noticed that the rushing sound wasn't there any more, and that the crew was starting up their equipment. Also, the one fire truck we could see had driven away.

I strolled back, hung around a spot where one of the tractors would go past, and the driver told me we could go back. Which we did.

Particularly since nothing particularly unpleasant happened, I enjoyed the break. We got out in the fresh air, and met someone from the neighborhood we hadn't run into before: a young man who was coming back to check on his dogs.

After the excitement, I walked over to see where the break had been. Somehow, at least one of those one-inch gas lines that feed the houses had gotten severed.

That's a lot of sound coming from such a little plastic pipe.

A crew from CenterPoint Energy was finishing up the process of putting the gas lines back together when I got there.




The break was two or three doors down from us, making me profoundly glad that the gas hadn't touched anything hot in its escape.

Other than that, it was a pretty business-as-usual Friday. The high points were my learning that #3 daughter had picked up a weight set at a rummage sale, and learning that the ladies had brought my old Cub Scout shirt back from the Red River Valley.

That shirt fits #3 daughter very well.

My son tried it on - he's a bit big for it already. I'm quite sure that he's going to grow taller than me. Probably by quite a bit.

4 comments:

polybore said...

That could have been very nasty. I hope they learned their lesson

Brigid said...

Well, they did respond rather fast. Accidents to happen. Thank heaven it wasn't more serious.

I'd like to see #3 in that cub scout shirt. (And I can, too, eventually, since I'm #1. ^_^ )

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

polybore,

Yes, although the small feeder lines aren't anywhere near as dangerous as the mains.

As for 'learned their lesson' - I think I know what you mean. Still, these crews seem to be pretty careful, and the backhoe operators are precise operators.

The difference between what they do, and what I do is: when I write bad code, visitors have trouble reading a page; when they are off by an inch or so, a couple of blocks get evacuated.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

That you will - and that you are.

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