Tuesday, October 8, 2019

electric highway

After several incidents in previous years in which autumn winds or storms have knocked trees into rural electric transformers and caused what became huge fires, the utility has decided to be mercilessly proactive. Strong winds are predicted for the next day, so they're shutting down all electric transmission in wide swathes of the state.

This would be bearable except that, since they can't tell without looking what damage might have been done to equipment that's been turned off, they'll have to check each piece by hand before turning the power back on, and this could take up to a week.

They've put out a map showing the affected areas. To my surprise, as I don't think of myself as living in the arboreal wilderness, the marked shutoff zone comes within about a quarter-mile of my house. Nor am I sure how precise these geometrical zone lines are. For instance, the border passes through the middle of campus of the local community college. Is it going to lose power just on the west half?

What's more, I'm about to take a long drive through some of the most heavily affected areas. Will I be able to buy lunch, pump fuel, even use the restroom facilities? Guess I'll find out.

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