Hurricanes and power outages … somethings not right.

Since Hurricane Irene wasn’t as bad as predicted … and since my electricity has been out … I’ve had plenty of time to sit and ponder the power outage.

Some semi-random thoughts:

  1. Though the storm was of relatively low severity  (for a hurricane), over 2 million homes lost electrical power.  Why isn’t the system more robust than that? What if the storm had been worse?  Or, what if the system had been targeted by terrorists? It’s frightening how fragile the system is.
  2. Yeah, yeah, yeah … I know that trees fell on the power lines and knocked them down.  It’s 2011.  Why aren’t all the power lines secured underground.  Before you tell me that it costs too much, add up the cost of resetting the fallen lines …. over & over again.
  3. Head-scratcher: Why do utility companies have to be called to tell them that power is out?  They put boxes on sites to throttle back usage when demand is peaked.  Can’t those boxes tell them when power is out?
  4. Head-scratcher: When attempting to drive to a nearby friend’s house yesterday, I was blocked by a down power line.  I u-turned.  Behind me was a BGE repair truck.  He u-turned, too, stopped and called the dispatcher.  The down line that he was assigned was beyond the one he encountered – so the dispatcher sent him (after about 15 minutes) to another site (I hope).  Why didn’t the jabrones just fix the line that the repair crew literally ran into?  Geez, that’s why it takes so long to restore power.
  5. On the same trip, I passed a couple of homes with really big trees fallen on them.  Big time damage, Had sympathy for the folks and stopped whining (for a few minutes) about my power being out, I guess the storm’s severity depended on how hard YOU got hit.
  6. Damn generators.  Yeah, power out is an inconvenience.  But, enough to warrant an auxiliary generator?  My view: not unless there’s a medical reason. And, there’s a social cost: Those things are so loud that even I – the soundest of sleepers – had trouble dozing off.  Now, that’s an issue for our crack Congress to go after.
  7. I figure that I spent about $250 on rope, batteries, etc., that – it turns out – I really didn’t need since the storm didn’t match the hype.  Hope that stimulative spending saved or created a job or two.
  8. Still amazed by the job Home Depot and Wal-mart did positioning product for hurricane prep and recovery.  Shouldn’t all retailers be on the same type of program?

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