I can appreciate the liability, but the power is going out anyway in a Cat 4
or 5 storm. Shut down ahead, it would be restored much faster for the rest
of the population. I'd think that at least some sections would be taken
out, away from hospitals. Many hospitals have backup power anyway for just
Different areas of a citie's electrical distribution system have circuit
breakers which when tripped, can be seen from the ground (that they are
When we have had wind storms in my area, some lines will be knocked down and
will trip the circuit breakers for that area.
When they restore power, they drive around and inspect the circuit breakers
for each area as well as the main distribution lines. And visually inspect
all the lines which they will be powering up. (Could be something damaged
which did not trip a breaker.)
They bypass looking at areas which have tripped circuit breakers for the
Then they restore power to the main distribution lines. At this point, they
can pick and choose who gets their power restored first. Vital areas
(hospitals, etc.) have first priority. And will then inspect those specific
So seems to me that if power were not on during the wind storm, no breakers
would have tripped where lines came down, and it would take longer to
inspect everything (could not bypass looking at areas where breaker was
And then there is the legal thing. I suppose someone would sue them if they
deliberately turned off power.
The coolest thing I ever saw was in high school at football practice.
Our kicker was practicing field goals and the ball hit one of the live
wires on the poles. For whatever reason, the two hot wires on the pole
were close enough together that the football caused them to get close
enough to arc. As the wire started oscillating, there were sparks
flying between the wires from pole-to-pole. It was the most awesome
thing I have every seen. After it blew out the power on the adjacent
street, some redneck lady came out of her house across the street and
shouted something to the effect of "Whoever did that better turn them
damn lights back on". Yea right lady, like that highschool football
player is going to climb the pole and fix it.
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