This was the line of storms that delivered the lightening strike that knocked out the power, blew up the electric fence control panel, and required an electrician to restore power to the back of the house a week later.
I was sitting in the tiny house riding out the storm when there was a blinding flash of light in the living room and the loudest pop i’d ever heard. If i didn’t know better i would have thought someone had fired a gun in the living room. I knew where the light had come from. I had been sitting right next to it. It was the electric fence control panel. I walked across the room, occasionally lit up by flashes of lightening and retrieved the big lantern. I turned it on and set it on the floor in the middle of the room. The dogs were terrified. They huddled around the lantern licking their snouts nervously. Before this particular storm Cashew was never really fearful of weather. Sili was terrified but Cashew was fine. After this particular storm Cashew was a wreck at the first sign of any weather. Somehow i had broken my beautiful guard dog. She had sensed the lightening strike before it happened. Right before the wall panel blew up and the the lights went out Cashew had stood from the floor and paced rapidly around the house, whimpering and bobbing her head. I was actually in the act of telling her to calm down when the living room lit up like a christmas tree. She knew it was coming and i did nothing to protect her from the electricity. Ever since that day, if a storm was coming through, i crated her immediately before she descended into a shivering mess of ptsd. Being in a confined space seemed to help her. I left her in the crate unless it was time to get under the bed to avoid tornados. Sili, though terrified, was still collected enough to follow my commands during a storm and in the absence of her sister’s usual machisma, somehow became the brave dog.
After everything else that had happened in 2020 it only made sense for the electric fence control panel to blow up. I mean, why not? Everything else was imploding. It was only fair that the fence be allowed to join the party too.
Half of the thing was green and half of it was singed black where the electricity had come through and traveled across the board. There was a little black singe mark on the inside of the plastic cover. I contacted the guy that had installed the fence in the first place. It would be several hundred dollars for a new control panel and i would have to wire it into the wall myself, as nobody was making house calls at that time due to covid-19.
The power did eventually return to the house and i was pleased to realize that the front of the house was untouched. This meant that the refrigerator and the oven still worked! I immediately contacted an electrician to see how much it would cost to install a surge protector on the utility pole in the yard. It was imperative that i have a working refrigerator. The seal on mine was limping along, but it was working. The food was staying cool most of the time. I needed that. I couldn’t be trying to replace all the appliances at once in the middle of a pandemic. The surge protector was a must and i would feel a whole lot better once it was installed. Being at one of the highest points in the town meant that if the river flooded, my property was probably going to be okay. It also meant that my property was very prone to lightening strikes.