They just happened to be interviewing a woman stranded in her car in
the middle of the hurricane, when a transformer blew right in view of
the camera. It was VERY spectacular. Looked like fireworks.
Everything went dark, except for the tv crew lights, and the reporter
got rather excited, but immediately said it was a transformer. The AC
hum was something else !!! I wish I could see that news clip again.
Immediately after they showed a huge piece of roof steel entangled in
the wires behind them. so that was most likely the cause. Those
reporters are often pretty wreckless. What started out as a pretty
mundane interview turned out quite spectacular. Of course those
reporters love stuff like that....
Like all major storms, power is out to 1,000,000 people. Well, since they
know that is going to happen, why don't they shut power off to the affected
areas before hand, so they don't have to replace all the blown up
Is it a liability issue; they would be sued if they cut power, so they let
nature do it?
We had a major ice storm here 14 years ago that took 2 weeks to recover
from. Someone I knew went to a hill overlooking the town and watched the
transformers blow up all over town; said it was spectacular.
just because there are a lot of sparks etc, what makes you think that a
__transformer__ blew up?
every see what a high voltage (not a 120 Volt line) line does when it
touches the ground?
They spend a lot of "time" replacing transformers but most power is
restored by simply replacing fuses.
The real problem is when the lines and poles are destroyed., That
really takes time, money and labor.
Or they just gave a 'simple answer' to the media. Better to just say
something people can grasp instead of something they'll misinterpret.
Telling them it's just a matter of manually resetting a breaker or replacing
a fuse might encourage some jackass to start climbing up poles to do it
himself and present a whole other rats nest of hassles.
In an ice storm you're screwed more by the weight on the wires pulling them
down or loose from their connections. That sort of problem wouldn't be
saved, really, by turning off the power. Think of it another way, if the
power was off and the lines failed, when power was turned back on they'd
still end up tripping or blowing something up. Better to have the dead
spots already detected by letting them blow out rather than have to hunt
them down one-by-one as you return power.
Fundamentally, unless the communities work to bury the lines properly
there's not much worth doing. The balancing act of long-term reliability vs
short-term trenching costs and disruptions always seems the end up the
latter. People are too stupid to recognize the long-term benefits. As long
as power doesn't go out 'too often' they only whine about it but do nothing
to get it solved.
Well, actually it does eliminate a sizable fraction of the
weather-related outage causes pretty effectively. It isn't practical
for really large lines nor for some areas for other reasons such as too
much stuff already buried or too much infrastructure in the way that
requires excessive initial cost, though...
Transmission cables can be traced pretty well w/ TDR, etc., for break
location and so on and it's not that much worse to dig than it is to
work up on a pole in freezing rain or high wind. Overall, I'd estimate
it's about a wash...
If your worst fear is trees or ice I agree, when it is 6 feet of salt
water you really want those wires up on a pole.
It is also a lot easier to work in a bucket truck than to dig in a
crowded right of way. You don't accomplish much if you fix the power
line and take out a phone fiber.
Only if you are on the beach. Inland water comes up and goes down
faitrly slow. The concrete poles will usually even hold up on the
beach. In large parts of Florida (and other Gulf coast states) you
also have a water table that is a few feet below ground, hence no
basements. A manhole is a small swimming pool.
No, not too stupid, just to cheap to pay for it.
Down he road from me there is a community of about 40 houses with
underground wires. Problem is, they are fed with overhead wires that go
down in a breeze so they are often without power. No one is willing to
change it yet though. Not just reliability, just stop and look at the
overhead mess in some areas of the city.
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