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Picture of Caterwauller
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Did anyone else suffer any set-backs with the weather this week? We had a big, bad windstorm (55-75 mph winds) Sunday evening and the largest black out in Ohio's history ensued. Simon's been off school all week due to power outages. We got our home electricity on at 2:30 am today (since Sunday evening around 5), and my library branch is just now getting power again.

I am very fortunate. We had only a few minimal dings to our house and property, and only lost about $50 of food in the fridge. Very lucky us!


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asa Lovejoy>
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Knowing how easily ol'Ma Nature can kick all out butts is indeed humbling! Several folks who usually frequent the model airplane forum I do are unaccounted for. Probably don't have power yet.

Having felt, then seen Mt St Helens blowing its top in 1980 was very humbling. Mile after mile of total devastation. Just hope Yellowstone doesn't blow soon, or the entire east coast is gone!
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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Major problems caused by strong winds are always reported in terms of the number of Electric Company customers who are powerless due to downed utility poles. Strong winds are inevitable, but much of the destruction they cause is preventable through underground installation.

Engineers say underground installation of utility hardware pays dividends after three years because of decreased maintenance costs. This benefit endures into the unforeseeable future.

The esthetic benefit is immeasurable where beautiful landscapes are marred by utility hardware.

Why are utility companies reluctant to bury their hardware? Here in Hawaii they say the rocky terrain precludes it, which causes us to wonder why the Water and Sewer Departments don't put their pipes up on poles.

The thousands of members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers present a strong force for keeping the status quo. Eliminate the poles to be climbed and the linemen in the IBEW are out of a job.
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Richard English
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I seem to recall that we had this debate a while ago. In the UK most of our utilities, including power and telephone, have been buried for many years - and disruption due to the elements is minimal.

Outside the main conurbations, though, there are still a few places that still have local overhead electricity supply - Partridge Green being one such place. The supply is far less reliable here than it was in my previous house in Reigate (which had underground supply) - so much so that I have had to buy an uninterruptable power supply for my computer, which will otherwise crash whenever we get a short break in supply. A year ago we had an outage that lasted three days when a tree fell across the line and all of Church Road was out.

It is my understanding the National Grid are trying to bury more cables, but I suspect that the long-distance high-voltage transmission lines will remain overhead for a while yet - although damage to them by storm is relatively rare and alternative supplies can often be switched in.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jerry thomas
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quote:
(Richard wrote ...
I seem to recall that we had this debate a while ago.



Correct again, Richard. The topic was discussed here a year ago last July. I did a search for "utilities" and found it.

At my age (78) I find that my memory is getting more and more faulty. Maybe I should do a search before opening my big fat mouth.

(Now I am wondering if the topic of Memory Loss Among the Aged has been discussed already_)

~~~~ jerry
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Kalleh
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Jer, if we all worried about what was discussed here in the past, we'd all go nuts! Don't worry. It was a subject worth bringing up again, and I am sure that's all Richard meant.

BTW, I learned a new word from Richard, "conurbation." I think it's a useful one, too.

CW, to answer your question, we had terrible flooding in Chicago. Many were displaced from their homes, and all our expressways were completely flooded. We had more rain last Saturday (6.5 inches approximately) than we've ever had in one day. It rained all Sunday, too. It all came from Ike.

The funny part is, I am in San Antonio now, which is about 250 miles from Houston's disaster. They had absolutely no fallout from the hurricane, they say. Yet, look how far Chicago and Columbus are! There are throngs of people in our hotel, with pets and all, from Houston as they wait for power to be restored and flood waters to go down.
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Richard English
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quote:
It was a subject worth bringing up again, and I am sure that's all Richard meant.

Indeed. And I think it's a topic that's well worth debating.

I would mention, incidentally, the reason why the electricity and telephone companies often use overhead supply systems is because they can, relatively cheaply. Gas and water supplies require much more substantial and heavy carriers - which would need much heavier and substantial supports. These would cost more than digging a trench does and so such supplies are usually (but not invariably) buried.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Proofreader
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Rain? Wind? No gas? No electricity?
You young’uns don’t know anything about deprivation.

Why, when I was young, there was no water. When we spit, we spat dust. And it’s a good thing because we didn’t have dirt.

And gas? We had to generate our own gas --- God! the smell was awful. And the only water we had was when God Flooded the earth.

Wait a minute.... I have to chase those damn kids off my lawn......


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 6005 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Asa Lovejoy>
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quote:


And gas? We had to generate our own gas --- God! the smell was awful.


Hence the term, "Old Fart?" Or do you mean good old carbide lanterns? Now THERE'S a stink for you!
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Is it true that they add something to gas so that you can identify the smell?
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Richard English
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I believe this is the case with natural gas, but I think that coal gas has a stink of its own. So far as the smelly acetylene produced from calcium carbide generators, that certainly stank - but I believe it was the impurities in the carbide that caused the smell, not the acetylene itself.

Mind you, if you read my OEDILF definition of acetylene lamp, you will learn of another, less widely advertised, reason for the smelliness of carbide generators ;(


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of arnie
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From the World Wide Words newsletter:
quote:
Kay in Denver reports, “As Hurricane Ike barreled towards Texas last Friday, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer stated that the residents of Galveston should ‘leave or possibly face certain death.’”


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 10930 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BobHale
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Love it, arnie.
 
Posts: 7866 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Today is the 70th anniversary of the Hurricane of '38 which devastated RI. It's also my wedding anniversary. Coincidence?

RI had a procession of hurricanes hit during the '50s and '60s, including Carol, which once again flooded downtown Providence. The city decided to erect a barrier to close off the bay in the event of a storm surge, at a cost of several million dollars. Naturally, once built, it was never used since hurricanes took different paths as though to confound the experts. A few years ago, a minor storm headed this way. To prepare for it, the city tested the gates on the barrier and found they wouldn't close because of disuse and poor maintenance. Luckily the storm was a dud.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 6005 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jerry thomas
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Congratulations on your wedding anniversary, Proofreader !

Perhaps there is something to be said for longevity in matrimony.
 
Posts: 6710 | Location: Kehena Beach, Hawaii, U.S.A.Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The longevity doesn't impress me -- it's the consecutiveness.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 6005 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Kalleh
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quote:
possibly face certain death
Yep, we Americans really know how to use English. Wink

Some of them did face certain death, unfortunately, though the luckier ones merely faced possible death.
 
Posts: 23304 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
Is it true that they add something to gas so that you can identify the smell?

Yes, it's called an odorant. Methane is odorless, which is why it is so dangerous in mines.
Obligatory Word-Related Content: poisonous gases in mines, before they were chemically identified, were given names like firedamp, blackdamp, afterdamp, and stinkdamp (damp had an older meaning of smoke or vapor). Firedamp is primarily methane released from the coal. My guess is that it is called firedamp because in the right concentrations the methane will burn in the vicinity of a candle flame with a halo effect. Afterdamp is the gas that remains after a fire; blackdamp (or chokedamp) contains high amounts of carbon dioxide (1-20% range, where normal is 0.03%) and causes headaches at low levels, unconsciousness and death at high. Miners would check for it by lowering candles to the floor; CO2 sinks, so if the candles went out they knew it building up. Stinkdamp contains hydrogen sulfide.
 
Posts: 1245 | Location: San FranciscoReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Some of them did face certain death, unfortunately

Don't we all face certain death?
 
Posts: 1245 | Location: San FranciscoReply With QuoteReport This Post
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