Transterrestrial Musings

Defend Free Speech!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type 4.0
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« I Always Suspected It | Main | The Chicago Way »

Exciting Afternoon

But no blogging, until now.

About 1 PM, a huge cell drifted north out of Broward County, and hit us with a major squall. There were gale-force winds, and lightning. One bolt struck seemingly next door (I know that there was no delay between flash and boom, and it was pretty damned loud), and then the power went out.

When the rain and wind let up enough to see, I looked out in the front yard, and saw a line drooping in front of the house. Its end was in the next-door neighbor's yard. Fortunately, it had fallen from the live side, so it wasn't hot.

I called Florida Power and Light to report the downed line. To add to the fun, there was a work crew across the street putting cement shingles up on to a roof, with a huge truck sticking out of the driveway, with other workers' trucks around, making it harder to get the power company's cherry pickers down the street.

It wasn't that big a deal--we're always prepared for a hurricane here--but it meant no work involving computers or the Internet, which pretty much, for me, means no work, other than making a few phone calls. Also a good opportunity to hang out in the neighbor's driveway, drinking cold brews, King-of-the-Hill style.

Anyway, power's back up, obviously, and I'm back on line. And back to work.


0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Exciting Afternoon.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Jay Manifold wrote:

Are all your appliances and A/C OK? They're usually the first casualties of a near-miss ...

Rand Simberg wrote:

No appliances were running at the time. A/C wasn't either. It's what passes for winter here. The temps were only in the low eighties, and we had all the doors and windows open.

We've only run the air a couple days out of the last two or three months. It's my favorite time of year here, at least temperature-wise. It actually doesn't get any better than this, because the temps are pleasant, but we also get occasional fun thunderstorms (unlike the summer, when we get the thunderstorms, but the weather is otherwise miserably hot and humid).

Not to imply, of course, that it doesn't suck continually, because I'm in south Florida...

Fletcher Christian wrote:

I'm curious. Why doesn't America bury its power cables? I'm talking about the local distribution ones, of course.

In the UK, we bury power cables to avoid the sort of thing you describe in your post - and we have much less reason to do so than does Florida.

Jay Manifold wrote:

An apt question. The biggest part of the answer is probably population density, which even in American cities is low by British standards. The one data point I have seen is a quote of $300 per household to bury lines as of 2002 for Independence, MO, one of the larger suburbs of KC.

The topic comes up in this part of the country once or twice a decade, after an ice storm takes out electric power for a few hundred thousand people for anywhere from a few hours (if the breaks are near substations) to a couple of weeks (if the breaks consist of electric meters ripped out of walls when tree limbs fall on power lines in back yards). A bunch of people ask "why don't we bury these things?" and the power companies say "we'll do it for $____," which usually ends the discussion. I understand that some newer housing developments with larger, more expensive houses do bury them.

It's one more reason to hope that all those stories we're seeing about cheap photovoltaics are true enough to permit significant decentralization of power generation in the near future.

Andrea Harris wrote:

Some local neighborhoods, at least in Central Florida, do bury their power cables. Of course you have to deal then with the neighbors digging in their yards and accidentally cutting the lines... and of course the lines are connected to the rest of the grid, most of which is still above ground.

Rand Simberg wrote:

The other trade off is that it's much harder to troubleshoot an underground line when something does go wrong.

Mike Borgelt wrote:

Kind of OT but.... Hooray! You said "it wasn't that big a deal"

Just where did the increasing common "it wasn't that big *of* a deal" come from?

Leave a comment

Note: The comment system is functional, but timing out when returning a response page. If you have submitted a comment, DON'T RESUBMIT IT IF/WHEN IT HANGS UP AND GIVES YOU A "500" PAGE. Simply click your browser "Back" button to the post page, and then refresh to see your comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 6, 2008 2:07 PM.

I Always Suspected It was the previous entry in this blog.

The Chicago Way is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.1