Loud Explosion

About 25 minutes ago (10:15pm), I was reading in bed and heard a loud explosion outside followed by what sounded like the roaring drone of a jet engine. That’s odd, I thought, it doesn’t seem to be stopping.I stepped outside to determine where the sound was coming from. It sounded like it was a few miles away to the northwest. It’s got to be quite loud at the source, as it can easily be heard indoors.Jennifer and I flipped on the TV and radio stations but haven’t heard anything about it. I’ve hit the local news sites to see if they’ve got the scoop.I called the Rochester Hills/Oakland county sherrif department to see if they had any information. I could barely get a word in. “Hi, I live in Rochester Hills and I heard a…” “If you’re calling about the explosion, we’re already on it and unless you’re injured, I’m going to have to let you go.” “Do you know what kind of explosion it was?” “Gas” “Okay, thanks.” I wish I had asked where it was and whether it was dangerous for residents in the surrounding area but I didn’t want to stay on the line any longer than necessary. I haven’t heard the local emergency siren sound yet.It’s kind of frustrating not being able to get any information on this! It would be helpful to know if we should be evacuating the area or not!Update: 10:55pm – Just called the Fire Department non-emergency line. They said there is a gas leak and to monitor the TV for any evacuation notices. I asked where it was and the woman I spoke to said she didn’t know!Update: 11:22pm – The local 11 o’clock Fox news has a “breaking news alert”. Initially they didn’t know much except that it was around Squirrel between Dutton and Silver Bell. People have called in reporting what they hear, see, and smell. People from about 10 miles away (Rochester and M-59) could hear it and causing the ground to shake. No flames, just lots of noise and vibrations.They believe it is some kind of compressor. They’re now saying they’re evacuating the square mile between Squirrel and Adams, Silver Bell and Dutton to the local high schools.Update: 11:25pm – The sound has stopped. Channel 7 is reporting that Consumers Energy is saying a 12 to 26 inch gas main has been patched. Evacuations have been called off.Update: 11:40pm – For a while they were saying people who had been evacuated best not go back to their homes, but now they are saying they can. No injuries have been reported.They’re not sure whether it was a gas main or a gas well (which is use to relieve high pressures in a controlled manner).More info on gas lines is available on the Consumers Energy site.News reports:Detroit Free PressOne station confirming it was a 26″ gas main.Update: 12:01pm – Another station confirmed it was a “reg line” (or “city gate” as described on the Consumers Energy link above) – where unscented gas was coming in to be scented. Explains why few people were reporting a scent.Update: May 2 – Detroit Free Press follow-up
Detroit News
Oakland Press

April update

Well, the whole month of April has gone by and I haven’t made a post to the blog. We can’t very well let that happen.So what have I been up to? I’ve been doing a bit of research on digital SLR options for backpacking. I haven’t found many resources that focus on this… either they are focused purely on photography or purely on backpacking. I’m in the middle of documenting my findings so I can save some time for others who are in the same shoes. Look for it on this site soon.I’ve also been doing a bit of hiking. I try to take Kaija out at least once a week for about an hour in the Kelty backpack carrier. Jennifer actually does the same about twice a week as well, so Kaija is quite the traveller! Today I also went on a hike on the Paint Creek Trail from downtown Rochester to Adams Road and back (north of Goodison)… 11.8 miles in 3.5 hours. I stopped for 10 minutes for dinner shortly after I turned around. There were quite a few birds along the trail (robins, cardinals, red wing blackbirds among others) and I saw 3 packs of dear (8 deer total) around dusk. Rain was predicted all day long but fortunately it held out until the last half mile of the hike.