A bunch of cunts, mostly in the Australian sense. Except that one guy.

WINTER SUCKS!

In case you hadn't heard, New England had a small blizzard yesterday.

Because of the heavy snow, a tree fell across my dead end street, taking the power lines with it and trapping everyone on my block in our cold, dark houses.

They removed the tree by 8:30 pm, but the power didn't come back on until 4:07 am. (Thank you to the heroes at Northeast Utilities who work in unimaginable conditions!)

I am so glad to be back at work in a warm, well-lighted place. One can only do so many Soduku puzzles by candlelight.

Can't they bury the power lines or something? We're still using 19th century pole-and-wire technology. This type of disaster seems unnecessary.
Permalink Dana 
January 4th, 2006
Small?

It snowed for fucking 15 straight hours. Wet, heavy, fucking snow.

I had to shovel my driveway TWICE. Once at 5 am for my fiance to leave. Once at 8 pm so she could get back in.

Yes, shovel. Shovel snow. Each shovelful weighing at LEAST 50 lbs if not more, while my (useless with heavy slush) snowblower idled 5 feet away.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 4th, 2006
But I didn't lose power. Hurrah.

We had a tree come down in the ice storm 2-3 weeks ago, but it missed all of the lines.

Which is good, because at my house when there's no power there's no water, either.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 4th, 2006
The power lines in NYC are buried, I think only the phone & cable TV lines go above ground, and that's only in the outskirts of Brooklyn where I live, in the heart of the city all of it is probably underground.

In the country, it's probably an economics thing. Digging a trench probably costs a lot more than sticking a pole in the ground and stringing a wire.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006
So get a diesel generator.

And the problem with underground powerlines is that they have to be heavily isolated (which is tough enough with a 380V phase line, not to mention a 10,000V mainline). And all isolation decays in ground. I think you can see the problem with grounding a mainline.

Plus it's much easier to pull two wires from the power line to your house than it is to dig underground.

Overall, underground power lines would be a lot harder to maintain and malfunction a lot more than air lines.
Permalink Flasher T 
January 4th, 2006
Bleck, hope its nicer when I head to CT in a few weeks.
Permalink Phil 
January 4th, 2006
After Hurricaine Katrina, a bunch of people went back to their homes, stuck generators in the closet, and died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Fun stuff.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006
There's a very easy way to avoid that. Don't run a diesel engine indoors. :P

Although when I was in Cali, there was a bit of a mishap when somebody stole the company's emergency generator (for the server room), which was moored into some concrete at the back of the building...
Permalink Flasher T 
January 4th, 2006
Yeah, don't run it indoors is pretty obvious. But after a hurricaine, it's possible that there aren't that many places to put a diesel engine outside. I'm not sure how many spots there are after a blizzard either.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006
Well, the idea is that you buy it before. (Although considering that you didn't get a snowblower until a snowstorm, this concept may be alien to you. :P)

You need to wire up the generator to the house grid anyway, so the best way is to have a lockbox at the back of the house, outside, with the generator inside.
Permalink Flasher T 
January 4th, 2006
>Overall, underground power lines would be a lot harder to >maintain and malfunction a lot more than air lines.

In The Netherlands all power lines, except for some of the high voltage lines, are underground and over the past 40 years I have never noticed any malfunctions other than those caused by digging.

Storms do not take out power lines except for on railways, because the high voltage lines that are abouve ground, are so high up that even if there are trees in the vicinity, they can't do damage.
Permalink Practical Geezer 
January 4th, 2006
All domestic supplies are underground, the pylons carring power across the country have it swinging in the air of course.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 4th, 2006
I demur on that, Simon. In UK cities most of the power distribution is underground, it is true, but as soon as you get into suburbia and even slightly rural areas you will see the 11 kV and 33 kV distribution lines strung along the top of wooden poles. They are the ones that look a bit like telephone cables with three wires side by side, except they have big zigzaggy looking insulators holding up the wires and red plastic insulation on the cables whenever they drop down under the ground.

And unfortunately, those 11 kV and 33 kV distribution circuits do tend to be vulnerable to trees and other mishaps.

The argument is always cost. It is cheaper to string wires through the air than to bury them under the ground. Buried cables have two problems: cooling and extra power losses. The problems increase as the voltage increases, so it is rarer to find 132 kV lines underground, and rarer still 250 kV or 400 kV. I believe the high voltage transmission lines use paper insulation through which high pressure nitrogen is pumped. The nitrogen provides both electrical isolation and heat removal.
Permalink Ian Boys 
January 4th, 2006
I love winter. I've documented it once before. Spent last week in Big Sky Montana skiing. Bought my son some Atomic Big Daddy powder skis for Xmas. I stole them from him for an afternoon. Damn, they were awesome. Each day was a minimum of 6 inches new snow.

I frigging love winter. Up to Stevens pass this weekend.
Permalink hoser 
January 4th, 2006
Did anyone else read this as "WARNER SUCKS" ?
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006
get yourself a generator...after all the hurricanes we've had here in coastal NC...i bought a 20kW LP/Natural Gas generator, installed for about $8000.

It runs one of the Heat Pump units, water heater, fridge, well pump, and a few select circuits (tv/stereo room, bedroom, and wire closet of course).
Permalink Yo! 
January 4th, 2006
In Sri Lanka, monsoon time, the power goes down once a week. Maybe onece a month outside. Coconut trees falling on the line. Same goes for telephone wires.

In rural Virginia the main enemy of your telephone lines are squirrels.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
January 4th, 2006
Funny, I thought in Rural Virginia your main trouble came from high-winds and heavy rains. Which take down trees, which then take down your power lines and phone lines.

What do the squirrels do?
Permalink AllanL5 
January 4th, 2006
> It runs one of the Heat Pump units

I was wondering whether or not the heater and/or thermostat was electrically controlled, and how she'd handle a multi-day outage.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 4th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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