Hour of Chaos

Add in natural disaster with human error, and you get my afternoon yesterday.

There was a windstorm that swept through the area, and no one seemed to know just how powerful it was going to be.  But since I have a schedule to keep on Tuesdays, I was waiting to pick up Rerun from school as the wind was blowing.

As kids were being dismissed, someone noticed that a large tree branch had landed on the power lines that run in front of Rerun’s elementary school.  And noticed that the branch was smoking.  As I looked up, it had started to catch fire.  On the power lines.  Not good.

Teachers and parents were keeping kids as far away from it as possible (fortunately, the buses were loading further away), when –


Not one, but two HUGE electrical surges arc off the lines and light up the sky in front of the school.  The hundred or so kids standing on the sidewalk take that as their cue to start screaming.  More than one parent – me included – took that as their cue to call 911.  I honestly did not know what was going to happen next, because I had never seen anything like that in my entire life.  Honestly, everyone is fortunate that the power line didn’t break and start arcing on the ground.  It could have easily lit several cars on fire in the school parking lot if it had.

Amidst all the chaos, I still cannot find Rerun.  And then I realize – his bus has left.  I dash to his classroom (the entire school had lost power, no surprise there) and find the paras sitting in the dark.  When I ask where Rerun is, they tell me that they didn’t realize that he was parent pick-up today – they had a substitute teacher and he must have gotten on the bus.

And there is NO ONE at home to get him off the bus.  #$%^&*#$#@*!!!!!!!!

I immediately called the transportation dispatch line to confirm that Rerun is indeed on his bus, and then inform them that he was supposed to be picked up at school today – no one is at home right now, so I will have to let them know what to do with them.

Fortunately, Little Mo’s mom is home, and has clearance to pick him up off the bus, and she agrees to do so.  But I am now 15 minutes late picking up Tad from HIS school.  I drive in, dash out, drop Auntie’s coffee off as I’m running, fill her in about what happened with Rerun, the bus, and the electrical branch fire while I grab Tad and dash off again.

We’re really late.  And the wind has now knocked out the power on not one, not two, but THREE intersections on Lake City Way.  After doing a lot of stopping and going, I manage to get a call into Tad’s therapist.  Ever try telling someone that your kindergartener ended up on the bus because you were distracted by something lighting on fire and needed to call 911?  I’m sure I sounded crazy.  Fortunately, she’s known me long enough to listen to the whole story and believe me.

Shockingly, we are only 7 minutes late.  I then confirm that Ane has gotten home, picked up Rerun from Little Mo’s mom, the power is still on at home (but has blinked), and when Auntie calls Ane, she ends up coming over to our house to hang out for a little while, so Ane can do her homework and Auntie can entertain Rerun.  She stayed for a little over an hour, I think, before she needed to leave for another commitment.  The Webmaster beat me home (there was still one intersection out while I was driving home, and the backup was looooong), and finished making dinner for me.

Rerun was very happy to see me, after such a confusing afternoon.

I was happy to see HIM after all the chaos today.

Rule number one: never mess with power lines.

Rule number two: stand in front of the bus, so this never happens again.

One Response to “Hour of Chaos”

  1. Linda Lansberry
    March 2nd, 2016 08:12

    Chaos can reign has always been a side note in my mind…and, I only had one child to be worried over! But, no cell phones in those days!
    So glad everything turned out ok!
    Big hugs to all!