Tag Archive: power outage

Image courtesy of Rose

Yesterday, the temperature hit 94 degrees here in Albany.  According to Channel 10 New’s Steve Caporizzo, we tied 1994 for the record temp on this day in history.  It was pretty warm for upstate New York in spring.

Every Wednesday, we ride with a meetup group called No Destinations.  Yesterday was no different, but it was a little bizarre.  We put on the gear (yes the jackets, boots, full face helmet and gloves) and set off on this adventure.  It was to be different that most days.  We usually leave here around 4:30 so we don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic on the Northway.  Sure, we get to the ride about an hour and a half early, but it beats sitting in traffic for an hour or two.

We left a little later than usual, probably around 4:45 or so.  The Northway was already moving pretty slow, so we jumped off exit 6 and picked up Route 9.  That wasn’t much better.  We hit every light on 9, and it seemed those lights took forever to change.  We were roasting.  I needed gas in the bike, so I pulled into the Hess in Halfmoon.  I got off the bike and Rose noticed a sign on the door that the air conditioning died, so they closed early.  The sign also said that the pumps were still on for credit card users.

Great!  I spin around to the pump and look at where the numbers should be, and there are none.  What the ?  I guess we wont be getting gas there.  As we rode up the street, we noticed a bunch of stoplights were out.  Not flashing, but out.  If you live in the area and know Clifton Park drivers, you will understand why that scared the hell outta me!

We headed up to Malta and grabbed some gas, then headed back to the Mill to wait for others to show up.  As we were heading up for gas, I saw the tire marks where my friend was riding and a van did a u-turn in front of him.  It was pretty eerie.  Word on the street is that he is coming home from the hospital tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

Back at the Mill, about 25 riders braved the heat for the ride.  We did a nice ride up to Saratoga.  We stopped at the Horseshoe Inn Grill & Bar.  It was a really nice place, just across from the Saratoga racetrack.  While we were there, I got a text from the Weather Service telling me a thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area.  I pulled up the Weather Channel on my phone and the radar showed the storm North and West of us.  Nothing to worry about right now.

When we got back to the Mill, the club had some meatloaf and mashed potatoes waiting for us.  We ate dinner and had birthday cake for our good friend Murph.  There was a sign up sheet for us to volunteer to help our friend that was in the accident, as he wont be able to do these chores for a while.  People signed up to mow the lawn, help with the pool and cook food.  That is why I love this group so much.  The list filled up quickly and people were more than willing to jump right in and help out a member who fell on hard times.  It’s like a great big family.  I am honored to be a part of it.

It was getting kind of late and it had been thundering and lightning to the north of us, so we decided to head home.  As I turned the key on to start the bike, I noticed this fine mist in front of the head light.  I took my glove off and felt for rain.  It wasn’t rain.  We got on the road and it was coming down almost like fine snow.  I joked to Rose through our communications device about volcanic ash.  It was really weird.  I chalked it up to being pollen blowing out of the trees because it was very windy.

Heading down the Northway, the lightning show was amazing!  I could tell that we were heading for some rain though.  Around Exit 8, it started to downpour.  At 70 miles per hour, the rain felt like needles on my skin.  It was crazy, but I loved every minute of it.  It was a great day.

See ya soon!

The sky is falling!

The driveway

The driveway

Well, maybe not the sky, but last July it was hail.  Big, giant hail fell that day.  I remember it very well.  I had been home from work about 45 minutes or so.  I was sitting in the living room checking my email when I heard two or three heavy thuds on the roof.  What the — ?  Within seconds, I knew what it was, without even looking out the window.

I jumped up and ran out to get Rose’s car into the garage so it didn’t get trashed.  As I got in, the hail was slamming the windshield.  I was surprised it didn’t crack it.  The noise was fierce.  I got her car in the garage and went back in the house.  At this point, the hail was pretty small,  maybe a 1/4 of an inch.

I went straight for my camera bag to get some pictures of the event and got even more of a surprise.  By the time I got out to the porch, the hail was much bigger.  It was a lot louder hitting the house as well.  I was standing on the porch taking pictures, and I could hear the thunder and lightning getting closer.  The storm was getting much more intense by the minute.

As I m standing on the covered porch, I keep hearing this loud surge and seeing a flash of light.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was.  Down the street about 50 or so feet, a power line had come down and the transformer was shooting sparks and the power was surging, until eventually going out.

The police and the rescue squad came to shut down the road, and a little later National Grid came and got the power back on.  I measured the hail in the meantime and it was 2 inches in diameter.  Huge!  I had never seen hail like that before.  I can’t believe it didn’t break any windows in the house.

After the storm ended, and the power crews finished up, I made a startling realization.  Just 45 minutes before that storm started, I arrived home on my motorcycle.  I can only imagine what would have happened had I been stuck in that storm on the bike.  I get chills just thinking about it.

The pictures below show the size of the hail.  If you look closely, you can see the layers that formed as the hail fell into the atmosphere.  I picked the bigger ones up to measure them so you could see how huge they are.  On one piece of hail, I put a quarter on top of it to show the size a little better.