Flash Flood ended the Concert

Last weekend I went to an outdoor concert / festival. There was a rock band playing inside a metal pole barn-like building. I could see fierce lightning out in the distance, and then someone announced over the bands microphones that there was a severe storm approaching and everyone should exit the large tents, and either leave or come into that tin building. Most people came into the building and the band went back to playing music. All of a sudden I could see the trees outside bending way over and the lightning was close, and even the thunder could be heard over the loud amplifiers. Seconds later the rain came down in buckets and the water coming off that roof was like a waterfall, and someone closed all the sliding doors.
Now I still dont know where all the water came from, since that building was on the high end of the grounds, but suddenly there was a river coming thru the building. It only took a minute for the water to reach a depth of about 18 inches. It pushed the doors inward on the upper end of the building and outward on the lower end as all the water rushed by carrying all the trash from the ground with it. A few of the wooden picnic tables were afloat, but people began to stand on them and secure them. The band was on a 5 foot tall stage, so they were dry except gusts of rain that managed to blow in the cracks by the doors. The younger audience just played and danced in the water and were splashing each other, while us older folks just stood on tables or decided our shoes were dirty and needed a washing. No one seemed too upset, of course many were drinking. I had not been drinking and was cautious and watched the storm thru the cracks next to the door. I also noticed that there were people lifting mic cables and other wires that were hanging off the stage. That's when I decided I should go make sure they were plugged into GFI outlets. They were, so I figured everyone was safe. Thats when some official came onto the stage and told the band they were going to cut the power to the sound system. I also saw someone telling the food vendors to unplug everything.
While I so understand the reasoning behind this, and was more worried about the food vendors who were not on GFI outlets, and had extension cords all over the place to their cash registers, coolers, etc. But I really dont think the band needed to be stopped as long as they were plugged into GFI's. After all, that's the purpose of having them.
It was dissapointing, but was a night I will never forget. When people were leaving, some found their cars in the lower lot with water halfway to the roof, and covered with trash. I now suspect that the storm sewers backed up above that building. Regardless the amount of water coming off that roof, there was just too much water for simply what came off the roof and accumulated on the asphalt outside.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The equipment was protected, but not necessarily what was plugged into the euipment. A few years ago a pastor was killed during a baptism when he grabbed the mic while in the baptismal. It is still a hazzard even if plugged into a GFI.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Dobony wrote:

Another reason for wireless guitars/mic's.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I prefer wired shotgun mic for this application. Wireless mics are VERY expensive for anything worth buying.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Dobony wrote:

If you're a player they're more than worth the price to avoid a shock. You seldom know the electrical setup when you walk into a club or outdoor gig you've never been to before.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Idiot. When the electrical box gets filled with water, it does not matter what device the wires are connected to.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You want to explain that?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 18 Aug 2007 21:48:51 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Yes, please do explain that. What you said makes no sense. ANYTHING connected to the equipment which is plugged into that GFI is protected, unless something in the system is plugged into a non-GFI outlet. As long as the amplifier, mixer board, and any other accessories are plugged into a GFI, anyone touching anything connected to it is protected, whether that be a microphone, guitar, speaker plug, cd player, or anything else. It's the same thing as plugging in your power saw, drill, and an electric toaster into the same GFI. They are all protected. The only problem that could occur is if someone made an error when setting up the equipment and plugged some item such as a non-gfi outlet, such as a separate guitar amp. If the facility has ALL GFI outlets, then there is no reason there will be any errors in connecting the stuff.
Oh, ya, if the GFI outlet goes under water, then there is a problem, but since all of them were about 6 to 8 feet high and the water was 18 inches deep, it had a long way to go. On the other hand, I could see lightning being a problem since a GFI probably wont help in the instance of a lightning strike on a power line.
Ron
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Technically what you say is true...but if you are the AWIC and the saftey of these people ankle deep in water were YOUR responsibility, what would you do?
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.