#1 CAUSE OF BLACKOUTS

jtr1962

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Yep. Outside of major, area wide blackouts falling tree branches have been the cause of every blackout we've had.
 

Monocrom

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I want to hear this one. How so? Before we proceed I manage the inventory for the utility companies in my area. Let's go. 😁
Fair enough. You live in a big city, there's more people to tax. More tax dollars equals more money for upkeep of utilities. Yes, there's more utilities. So things should balance out. But ironically they don't. In a small town with smaller budgets, you have a tiny crew that gets sick; upkeep gets delayed. Could result in small Blackouts. But in a big city, one crew gets sick; you have others taking up their slack.

It's like buying a new hunting knife. A custom shop usually is a one-man shop. He gets ill with the flu, your knife gets delayed. Possibly weeks. A large knife company? Completely different story! Someone gets sick, not a problem! You still get your knife.
 

bigburly912

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Fair enough. You live in a big city, there's more people to tax. More tax dollars equals more money for upkeep of utilities. Yes, there's more utilities. So things should balance out. But ironically they don't. In a small town with smaller budgets, you have a tiny crew that gets sick; upkeep gets delayed. Could result in small Blackouts. But in a big city, one crew gets sick; you have others taking up their slack.

It's like buying a new hunting knife. A custom shop usually is a one-man shop. He gets ill with the flu, your knife gets delayed. Possibly weeks. A large knife company? Completely different story! Someone gets sick, not a problem! You still get your knife.
Ahh but you forget that small areas usually supplement with multiple contract electric utitlity companies that are at our disposal to come if something bad happens. You are talking possibly about CO-OP utilities that will serve a smal area. Same deal though. They will use a contract group if times get rough. Also, most utilities in an area are owned by larger companies so they have the crews at other areas at their disposal.

We've got your back.
 

Monocrom

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I am wondering.... How thin do those crews get stretched out?
Especially after a natural disaster such as a tornado or hurricane that covers a very large county. Massive numbers of downed wiring.
 

bigburly912

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I am wondering.... How thin do those crews get stretched out?
Especially after a natural disaster such as a tornado or hurricane that covers a very large county. Massive numbers of downed wiring.
The tornado I worked earlier in the year we had most of the power back on the first night then the next day 7 or 8 crews came in to finish out tying everything back together. I worked 36-38 hours straight and I'm just a material guy. It's hard on everyone but we get it done. Take breaks as needed. If you are out and you see a line crew thank them for what they do. Probably the most dangerous job out there and they do it in all kinds of weather to keep us comfortable.
 

Dave_H

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Reminds me of an incident several years ago. Older above-ground wiring with pole-mounted transformers here. Around 2am I was not sleeping well and loud pop outside caught attention. I went outside with bright 3AAA (now 18650) zoomie flashlight, checked around. Immediate neighbours' porch lights were off, not mine as I am on a different feed. Pole transformer in nearby backyard appeared OK, no smoke, sparks, charring etc. Figured it was either a squirrel (lots running around, but that early morning?) or a branch touching wires, causing a line fuse to go (they make a lot of noise). Utility was called, they had it fixed within a few hours.

Dave
 
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Monocrom

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The tornado I worked earlier in the year we had most of the power back on the first night then the next day 7 or 8 crews came in to finish out tying everything back together. I worked 36-38 hours straight and I'm just a material guy. It's hard on everyone but we get it done. Take breaks as needed. If you are out and you see a line crew thank them for what they do. Probably the most dangerous job out there and they do it in all kinds of weather to keep us comfortable.
I definitely respect that level of hard work.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Evergy is my power company. They contract out the continuing tree trimming to another company, whose bucket trucks I see quite a bit in the streets. But Evergy is the one that responds when there is an outage--tree limb takes a line down, drunk hits a power pole, someone left the box up on a dump truck and drove through an intersection, etc. Local first responders are pretty good about calling for the utility companies to handle stuff. Power out, call the power company, house fire, call the power company, gas leak, call the gas company. So far, so good, as far as I can tell. When there is an area wide power outage, like from an ice storm or wind storm, we get crews in from all over, even out of state. I think it is great what these crews do, and in all kinds of weather. Yeah, it's expensive, but having power is well worth it. I love these folks. Thanks BigBurly912, for keeping the power on. I recently read the book One Second After, about a nationwide EMP attack, and the ramifications of not having power are truly horrific. Our infrastructure is of the utmost importance.
 

thermal guy

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Oh, if we "the US" we're to lose power even for a short period of time especially during the cold periods many lives would be lost. We are completely dependent on it. People don't realize that the stores will be empty in 3-4 days. I have always prepared for this and recommend to others to do the same. But mostly on deft ears.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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Oh, if we "the US" we're to lose power even for a short period of time especially during the cold periods many lives would be lost. We are completely dependent on it. People don't realize that the stores will be empty in 3-4 days. I have always prepared for this and recommend to others to do the same. But mostly on deft ears.
How many died in Texas and surrounding area from that ice storm/freeze-up a couple years ago? I know there were a few. Anyone know?
 

jtr1962

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Fair enough. You live in a big city, there's more people to tax. More tax dollars equals more money for upkeep of utilities. Yes, there's more utilities. So things should balance out. But ironically they don't. In a small town with smaller budgets, you have a tiny crew that gets sick; upkeep gets delayed. Could result in small Blackouts. But in a big city, one crew gets sick; you have others taking up their slack.

It's like buying a new hunting knife. A custom shop usually is a one-man shop. He gets ill with the flu, your knife gets delayed. Possibly weeks. A large knife company? Completely different story! Someone gets sick, not a problem! You still get your knife.
I'll also add that in large cities a lot of power infrastructure is buried underground. They haven't gotten to lots of eastern Queens yet, but it's supposedly going to happen here too. In rural areas, given the smaller number of people served per mile of power line, it's just not cost efficient to bury it.
 
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