John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
One would expect Ponca City to be leveled after this colossal transformer explosion. But life goes on.
One would expect Ponca City, Oklahoma, to be leveled after this colossal transformer explosion. But to judge from the gritty news feed at KFOR, life goes on in this community of 25,919 souls, with two people found murdered in a car and zombies running on the streets. Ponca City: The apocalypse slept here.
The earth-shaking eruption occurred at a diesel substation on Saturday morning, causing much of the city lose electricity. The culprit was a fritzing transformer that quickly went critical. If there were any fire fighters present they were right to keep their distance, because this was no ordinary transformer explosion. A mountain of fire belches from the stricken equipment, the result of an oil-based cooling system being ruptured.
For those who prefer their disaster videos with commentary from the local peanut gallery, there's also this footage (mild profanity warning). "That was awesome," indeed: