California's electric grid shutdown - welcome 21st Century technology

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Oct 9, 2019 #1 of 17
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    If you haven't read or seen anything about it, about half-a-million Californians will have their power turned off for "up to 5 days" to "prevent wildfires". Or not, if you are in an "iffy" area like we are. This screenshot of a map offered by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has one but their website isn't working adequately to meet the demand). It indicates the extent of of the power shutdown as of around 10 am with more likely after noon:

    [​IMG]

    If you've never considered the impact resulting from such a decision, think about what businesses in your community likely would be closed just from no power. Then it's the little things, like internet and cable TV service going down. And in an extended situation cellular service backup power will go down. Backup generators which many have acquired need fuel - most don't even have a 24 hour supply, much less 120 hours. And many homes storing that much gasoline around the house is more dangerous than the old electrical grid.

    As you might expect, the "Twitter-verse" (and other social media) have gone nuts. Here's a link to a Facebook site of the Redding, California, newspaper which serves an area that has been hit badly by wildfires in the past three years.

    Many factors have contributed to this, yes including greed but whose greed? When you have an electrical infrastructure 50+ years old serving high tech customers, the reality is nobody including testy ratepayers is without blame.

    Remember, California leads the nation.... [​IMG]

    (Personal note: we are in an area that has an "iffy" notice. So we wait to see what happens. We have a generator connected to our house propane which is fed by a 500 gallon tank which was just filled last week, so our frozen foods will easily survive "up to 5 days" if....)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  2. Oct 9, 2019 #2 of 17
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    Good luck !
     
  3. Oct 9, 2019 #3 of 17
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Thanks. It's interesting. The Sheriff's Office just sent out an update notice with a link to their website. Of course, their website crashed so no one can see the notice. [​IMG]
     
  4. Oct 9, 2019 #4 of 17
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    So far we still have power.

    IMHO it is not high risk fire weather - the high temperature was 58° at our house but according to numerous weather stations on various weather sites it did get into the upper 60's in some locations within 10 miles. Winds have been normal westerly off the ocean -meaning higher humidity with gusts less than 10 mph- though the forecast for highest winds regionally is 8pm to 8am tonight.

    In the meantime, schools closed today for thousands of kids disrupting normal schedules. With traffic signals out, accidents at intersections have increased including injuries.

    The LA Times headline Californians fume over PG&E power outage: ‘A humongous inconvenience’ sort of says it all. And the article says: "About 234,000 customers in Alameda, Alpine, Contra Costa, Mariposa, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and parts of Mendocino and Calaveras counties are expected to lose power by the evening."

    That most certainly could include us. Or not. I'm trying to be accepting of this experiment, but.... [​IMG]
     
  5. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    yeah … take care and get tested generator(s)
     
  6. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper

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    You can blame the type of firestorms such as the November, 2018 Camp Fire (caused by a Electrical Transmission Lines) and the resulting bankruptcy filing from PG&E for this. I believe that the firestorms experienced also have relation to the poor land management practices causing combustible materials to accumulate. It's because of this BLEEP that I'm glad my mother and I left California earlier this year.

    Actions have consequences. Sometimes, those consequences are unplanned, unintended, and unexpected.
     
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  7. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    This.
     
  8. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Glad to see you have the generator. Most folks there must have them? We have one, it's rarely used but it's a nice safety net. We got the gennie because we live so close to a river and had flooding issues.

    Rich
     
  9. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    A sad bit of news. Earlier today confronted with building Santa Anna Winds Southern California Edison began shutting down power in Southern California. Then this happened:

    On a day when utilities turned off power to millions to reduce the chance of a spark and authorities limited where vehicles could park in case a fire broke out, a dump truck driver who hastily offloaded burning trash Thursday on the side of a Riverside County highway started the fire everyone was hoping to avoid.

    The burning trash was dumped at Calimesa Boulevard and Sandalwood Drive, where the flames spread into nearby grass before Santa Ana winds pushed them northwest into the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park less than 1,000 feet away.

    Over the next two hours, the fire moved from mobile home to mobile home, ultimately destroying 74 homes and buildings and damaging 16 others, officials said. Multiple residents were injured in the fire, but details were not immediately available.​

    SoCal Edison hadn't even cut the power there yet. I'm not sure what the moral of the story is, but obviously shutting off power won't make California fire free.
     
  10. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Those poor people. And that truck driver - wow.

    Recent news out of California makes it look more and more like a third world country instead of the 'Golden State'.
     
  11. Athlon646464

    Athlon646464 Yada Yada Yada DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Ha! I just read this story over at Engadget:

    Lyft offers free rides to relief centers during PG&E blackouts

    The sub headline really got to me - the government is providing you with a place to sit during blackouts. Hmmm...

    Just got to thinking - if my house burned to the ground and I lost all of my possessions - yup - I would turn to the government for a place to sit for sure - no way I'd find one of those on my own.

    Maybe they want organized sitting, like this:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019 at 7:22 AM
  12. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    That truck driver needs to be made into example of what happens when you do that. A good long prison term ought to make him (along with the loss of his CDL forever) think about what he did and the consequences would be just the ticket.
     
  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    What would be the difference between following the rare procedure done by this driver (dumping the load) or letting his truck burn up on the side of the highway and catching the same brush on fire? Is there a law against the emergency procedure followed?

    Burning down a trailer park was not the intention of the driver. It sounds like the procedure is common (and accepted in the industry) but rare.
     
  14. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    He should have called the fire department and in those conditions found an area without grassland and asked for guidance from the fire department on what to do before he made the choice himself.

    An elderly died in that fire.
     
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  15. scooper

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    I could forgive being overweight because of firefighting water in the truck much more readily than setting a wildfire (even unintentionally).
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    The driver might have panicked and did the first thing he thought of.

    Rich
     
  17. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Well, it's looking more and more like the Saddleridge Fire in Southern California that to date burned 8,000 acres, destroyed 17 structures and damaged 58 others was started by power lines.

    The fire was first reported under a transmissiontower, the first firefighters at the scene reported it was “a quarter-acre under the power lines,” LAFD investigators report the area of origin was a 50-foot-by-70-foot rectangle under a high-voltage transmission tower, there were 29 mph sustained winds and up to 53 mph gusts and 5% humidity, and Southern California Edison reported that its system was impacted near the reported time of the fire.”
     

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