Thursday, September 1, 2011

National Grudge

And thus, after 91 hours without power, National Grid finally restored our electrical service.

I'm pissed off. What if this had been a major storm? Assessments have already determined that the region had FAR more power outages in this storm then we did in the next most powerful storm on recent record. Why? Why is our infrastructure suddenly so much more fragile than it has ever been? Or is it merely incompetence?

I've heard story after story of people who, like myself, heard transformers blow up in the very opening minutes of the storm. How could that be? My entire family and I were on the porch enjoying the BREEZE when the one in our neighborhood blew out. Can I expect the next time we have a passing rain shower that the town sewers will overflow? We felt the distant tremors from that earthquake in Virginia. Why didn't our roads collapse into sink holes?

The fact there is some major stinkin' noobery going on down at the power company. You don't lose an enormous percentage of your power grid to a storm that was as mild as this one was without some serious asshattery being the cause.

1 comment:

Hoss said...

I have to place a "this opinion does not reflect the views or policies of the company that I work for" caveat.

My company generates a significant amount of the power in New England. I track a number of issues in local/regional papers to get a flavor of the political news and the zeigeist concerning power issues.

Here's the story:

Your infrastructure is old. Old transmission (big tall power lines) and distribution (the smaller overhead lines in neighborhoods) infrastructure is much more susceptable to damage from falling trees and tree limbs.

Why? Newer transmission lines are taller. The NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) folks have killed alot of your new transmission projects through local siting protests.

Newer distribution lines are buried. Because your power rates are so high already, your state officials are unwilling to spend the dough necessary to dig up old neighborhoods and bury the lines.

We face some of the same issues here in the Old Dominion. It takes will, money and compromise to fix infrastructure problems. I'd liken it to driving an old 'beater' pickup lives with the occasional breakdown, crappy mileage and unpleasant odor because it's cheaper than a car payment. If one wants a snazzy new ride, then the vacation on the Cape and the addition to the manor may need to be put on hold for a couple years.

Peace my friend.