What does CATASTROPHIC mean today??

1 Jun

It didn’t seem like that bad of a storm … A lot of rain, but not that much pop.  Heh … heh … heh …

It all started with a phone call from our alarm company to Bill around 6:15pm.  There was an alarm going off and someone needed to meet the police.  He rode up to the church and found all of the a/c power on campus kind of at half-voltage.  NOT GOOD FOR DELICATE ELECTRONICS.

Bill surveyed the campus and found one of the three phases of electricity BLOWN OFF OF THE POWER POLE where it comes in to the church.  BLOWN OFF THE POLE.  Everything was operating on partial voltage.  Did I mention that is NOT GOOD for electronics?

Drew, Diana and I rode to the church and found Robbie and Bill running about unplugging everything they could.  And there was a definite smell of burned plastic in my office.  Funny thing about my office:  For YEARS it has been the nerve center of our campus computer network.  Not typical for a church pastor, but there is a story behind it.  This Sunday will be my 15th anniversary at Ebenezer.  For 10 of those years, I’ve been in that office.  When I got to EBC, we were on a co-ax ethernet wiring backbone.  I slowly moved us, starting with myself, into the 20th Century (yeah 20TH) with Cat-5 lines.  Over time, it ALL ended up in my office.

The Progress Energy linesman got there with bad news … In his opinion, this was a DIRECT HIT.  From my days in IT, an old addage rings true again:  NOTHING CAN STOP A DIRECT HIT OF LIGHTNING.  We are somewhat on the end of a line.  THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING FOR EBENEZER.

Robbie called me after 9 and said he couldn’t get the switches back up in my office.  Sometimes I’ve had to do strange things to get them back up, so Drew and I rode back up there.  Dean came and met us and Bill stayed with us until we made him go home around 11.  And we did have to MAKE him go home.

EVERYTHING …. was down.  EVERYTHING.  Phone system.  Network.  DSL and main switches were a TOTAL LOSS.  My desktop computer:  TOTAL LOSS.  We had to start at the beginning and work our way out.

We worked.  And worked.  And worked.  And had some failures.  And had some successes.  And at the end of our technologic pajama party, we now have a PILE of fried equipment in my office and a LONG LIST for our insurance agent.  And I am sitting here on three hours sleep.

What does CATASTROPHIC mean today??  THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN IT DAMAGE ALONE!  We don’t even know what other elements of our physical plant might or might not be damaged.  As an IT guy in a previous life, I have helped build this network, WIRE BY WIRE and DEVICE BY DEVICE.  I am thankful and blessed to have Dean and Robbie in this fight with me, now for quite a while.  But I have probably had my hands on EVERY DEVICE on that network.  (It really has been therapy for me, UNTIL NOW).  My nice little network IS NO MORE.

But before we left, we are operational.  Weekday is able and ready for the day.  The church office is ready and able.  I hope our insurance agent eats his Wheaties today!!!

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