Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Apocalypse Now

Wow. It really did remind me of the apocalypse. Half of the crew was still outside feeding us a length of three-inch power cable as the guys inside were snaking it through the ducts and passageways. All of a sudden, the outside guys just dropped the cable – even halfway on the other side of the building you could tell something had happened because there was none of the “give” you have a crew is working together to move heavy wire – it was just dead weight.

So I ran downstairs to see what the matter was – my fear was that someone had gotten hurt (it’s happened before). But I found most of the crew safe, just inside of the doorway, all talking at once. It seems some type of sand storm had rolled in and they were debating whether or not to go back out. Well, we’ve worked through a bit of blowing sand before, so I had check this out for myself.

I thought they were being over-dramatic when three guys grabbed the big wooden doors to let me out, but they had to struggle to get them closed again - it was really blowing. It was almost pitch black out, except for the street light bulbs glowing an eerie orange, like floating orbs of light. The wind was buffeting me from all around, and large globs (globs, not grains) of sand were flying through the air, sticking to the wall and stinging when they hit skin. My cover flew off just as the lightening started with a CRRRaccck!

The power of weather has always amazed and scared me. I had never before seen nature’s strength so close, and I will admit that this demonstration un-nerved me more than a little. But I was also fascinated. A sand storm had apparently run into a thunderstorm, and it was literally raining mud. Thunder seemed to shake the sky, and lightening bolted between the clouds. And for just a moment, the haunting image of Albrecht Durer’s The Four Horsemen came vividly to mind.
(Afterward: not wanting my guys caught in a lightening storm while holding a three inch-thick, hundred foot-long conductor in their hands, I decided to cut the pull short for that night)


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