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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Post-explosion ramblings

The State Journal-Register has an article on yesterday's explosion at Springfield's City Water Light & Power electric plant: CWLP plant damaged by explosion.

This a municipally owned coal-fired electric generator. For many reasons, not the least of which is accountability to customers (as opposed to shareholders), we are very fortunate to own our own electric plant.

The plant usually generates more than enough power and sells its surplus on "the grid." Because of last night's damage, we are now on the grid.

The Dallman units are named after V.Y. Dallman, who for 35 years edited the former Illinois State Register, a predecessor of The State Journal-Register. Dallman, who was instrumental in supporting establishment of CWLP, died at age 91 in 1964. (Today's SJ-R; sorry, I can't find a link.)

When the house was shaking and the windows were rattling, and despite hearing the blast, for half a second I thought we were having an earthquake. Then, for another half second I thought a plane had crashed. After my mind stop racing, my instinct told me something had happened at the power plant.

When the shaking stopped there was this secondary noise. It was like, pop-pop pause pop-pop pause pop-pop and on and on like that for what seemed like a couple of minutes. In retrospect, I don't think the sound I was hearing was actually pop-pop. It was probably a series of pops, each followed by a report.

Then, there was the roar of gushing air, which we now know was the plant letting off steam. That I would like to have seen.

My news sources when this was happening were WMAY radio and the SJ-R. The paper's excellent web coverage during the event is highly noteworthy since it wasn't so long ago when its readers wouldn't have known what happened until the next morning. Whoever at the paper got this on the web so fast deserves a big fat raise for keeping the community informed. I understand the local TV station had some coverage, but that's not where I go for breaking news.

Thankfully, no one was injured. It appears things were kept under control by plant personnel. So, while this could never be called a non-event, it's barely a blip on the radar of our lives.

Posted by Marie at November 11, 2007 2:59 PM


Marie, I have to apologize. The explosion at the power plant was caused by a wedding reception going on directly across the lake. We were just partying too hard. I think it's when we cranked the system up to 11 and I started break dancing. You think the power strip would have given out before the power plant did. Oh well, only getting married once. Won't happen again.

Posted by: shoo at November 12, 2007 12:47 AM

shoo, You shook my house! I saw some of your photos. When I saw the one of the new smoke stack in the background, I knew you must have had something to do with the explosion. Congratulations to you and gtg. I'm so happy for you. You're going to have a great life together.

Posted by: Marie at November 12, 2007 1:21 AM