Why we should be burying our power lines…

In the oldest cities in Europe they don’t have these problems- when the wind blows.

Only in the US- where we somehow think it makes sense to put “Public Utilities” into “Private” hands and leave our infrastructure in the stone age.

Note the difference between these two “providers” of utilities:

Dayton Power & Light Inc. NYSE:DPL is reporting that as of 5 a.m. Monday 225,000 customers were without power in the company’s coverage area. A message on the electric company’s Web site says power restoration would be a multiple-day effort. The company has 300 crews working to restore power in the area and expects to have 500 crews working on Tuesday, a company spokeswoman said. DPL is calling back crews that are in Texas helping restore power caused by Hurricane Ike.

Vectren Corp. NYSE:VVC, which provides service underground, was not effected by the wind storm, according to a company spokesperson.

Nearly 400,000 still without power, three killed by storm – Dayton Business Journal:.

Of course, we can’t manage to keep two trains off the same track in this country either (something most 6 year olds are able to accomplish with their model train sets) so I wouldn’t hold my breath.

When you take 400,000 people’s refrigerator contents, plus lost productivity- you quickly see this is a very expensive outage. Instead of “rebuilding Iraq”- maybe it’s time time to rebuild our infrastructure.

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42 Responses

  1. In the 'burg September 15, 2008 / 3:15 pm
    First things first! We can’t be bothered with improving the infrastructure in our own country; not when there are still so many countries that we haven’t bombed the snot out of…

    :-(

  2. David Lauri September 15, 2008 / 4:14 pm
    Burying the power cables would also stop people in the Oregon Historic District from whining when DP&L sends crews out to butcher, err, trim their trees away from the power lines. Except that then they’d whine about their streets and yards being dug up.
  3. Joel September 15, 2008 / 4:20 pm
    I’ve always wondered why we don’t bury power lines.

    I guess the appropriate reason is that “we are dumbasses.”

    Knowing what I know about my countrymen, this explanation somehow fits nicely.

  4. David E. Bowman September 16, 2008 / 11:51 am
    David,

    I could not agree with you more on this one. It is insane to me that wind can knock out power for over a million Ohioans. Ironic that this same wind represents a huge and largely untapped source of energy.

    With all of us becoming increasingly reliant on technology to manage our lives, the need to secure our power grid is critical. It is not the same as when we were kids in the 70’s and the power went out. There was simply much less of our lives that required it. The impact was far less severe. Now when the power goes out, our local economy comes to a grinding halt.

    It would not be particularly difficult to bury the lines and at least improve the situation. Hopefully our energy providers will take note and take action.

  5. Drexel Dave September 16, 2008 / 12:23 pm
    But will the entire empire crash before we get enough brains, balls and ovaries to do anything about it?

    America is ridiculous. True patriots realize this.

    Love,

    DD

  6. David Esrati September 16, 2008 / 6:32 pm

    Instead of worrying about bombs in our shoes at the airports- I’d say lets try to “harden” our energy delivery infrastructure.
    Instead of paying the CEO of DP&L millions- (like, he has to think to run the company) – we should be putting the power underground.

  7. tg September 16, 2008 / 11:05 pm
    Our power lines are underground – at least in our sub division of Beavercreek (and many others). So explain why we were without power for 54 hours and many parts still haven’t been restored?

    We’ve had lots of conversations in the dark about it would be really nice if our infrastructure here was as nice as I hear it is becoming in Iraq.

    And now the US government is going to own 79% of AIG?

    I think the Universe is trying to tell us we really need to vote for Obama!

  8. David Esrati September 16, 2008 / 11:18 pm

    Explain why the CEO makes millions and you have your answer- TG.
    Sorry your power is out- but before it goes into the ground, it goes overhead.

  9. Gene September 17, 2008 / 9:44 am
    it cost about 6 to 8 times as much to put in new underground power lines compared to the overhead variety- according to some geek on the radio. But then again you folks love to spend other people’s money.

    I found no electric a refreshing change. It was not the end of the world, girls.

  10. Shannon September 17, 2008 / 9:50 am
    Even with underground powerlines to our property, we are still without power. DP&L lines are down out at the street, now the neightborhood sounds like a damn campgrounds, generators running all night!

    Found this in the Troy Daily News paper! http://www.tdn-net.com/main.asp?SectionID=152&SubSectionID=255&ArticleID=88561

    “In case of spoiled food, Ohio Direction Card holders can contact their local Job and Family Services office to be issued another card”.

    Where do we go to replace the $300 worth of food we lost?

  11. David Esrati September 17, 2008 / 9:52 am

    Gene- over time, that initial investment pays back in less maintenance- less outages- and having a wind proof system.
    Try being dependent on a ventilator- and we’ll see how much electricity is worth to you.

  12. Gene September 17, 2008 / 10:19 am
    maybe they should not have smoked.

    overtime a lot of things make sense and are cost effective. I think it would be a great idea. But if you start putting lines underground you will stir up a lot of other problems. You need to see beyond the wind storm. It was a few days. We must have the biggest pussies in Ohio. It really was not that bad.

  13. Dad September 17, 2008 / 10:27 am
    I was 10 years old when I arrived in the United States in 1937. I thought I had just descended into a technologically backward country. (I arrived from Tel Aviv, which was then and still is the world’s most modern city. The U.N. has designated it a cultural landmark.)

    In America, you walked into a dark room, tried to locate its center, and then pulled down a thingamabob to turn on the lights. Woolworth’s sold a luminescent thing you could hang on the thingamabob so you could locate the pull. In Tel Aviv, we reached around the door jamb and clicked a switch.

    In America, you had to struggle with double-hung windows. In Tel Aviv we had windows that swung open.

    In America, the faucets on the bathtub were near your feet (where you could not reach them). In Tel Aviv, they were on the wall.

    In America, the electric cables were overhead. In Tel Aviv, they were buried.

    But it was not all bad. I marveled at the Merritt Parkway, thought escalators were the cat’s meow, and thought the World of Tomorrow at the New York World’s Fair was basically a look at Tel Aviv.

  14. Gene September 17, 2008 / 10:47 am
    who has $300 worth of food in the fridge? Is it all Kobe beef? I threw out my stuff and calculated the total cost, and it was in the $125 range – and it was packed. Do we not eat “fresh” anymore?

    Put the lines underground – and they will increase you bill by 50%. Bitch and moan about that! IT NEVERS ENDS WITH YOU MARSHMELLOWS.

  15. Rob D September 17, 2008 / 10:51 am
    I live in a home and neighborhood built in the 20’s. Power has been out since mid day Sunday, but my good old analog phone running of a trusted twisted pair of copper wires strung overhead has never been out.

    Alexander Graham Bell…YOU ROCK!

  16. Melissa September 17, 2008 / 11:29 am
    Gene,
    I agree with you about the lack of TV/electronic doodads being a refreshing change. However, not everyone on a ventilator was a smoker, in particular, that little girl in the paper today who needed a c-pap machine to survive at night (yeah, i was a little surprised they didn’t have a generator of their own, but realize it must be extremely difficult, financially and otherwise, to have a medically fragile child).

    However, I had to laugh at your use of “girls” – I’m sure you meant it as a a slam, but c’mon … ;)

  17. Drexel Dave September 17, 2008 / 11:51 am
    Several of the kids on my school bus commented how great it was to do all of the stuff they never get to do when they have to sit indoors and watch television.
  18. Gene September 17, 2008 / 12:40 pm
    I feel sorry for the sick. I really do. But they need to have backup plans. They just do. I would. I will when the day comes. We can’t hand hold everyone.

    I thought it was great to see a lot of kids OUTSIDE and PLAYING. Get a Frisbee, football, toy gun, whatever and enjoy the days off.

    Put the lines underground! But expect to PAY FOR IT! Yes, that means higher prices.

  19. David Lauri September 17, 2008 / 12:54 pm
    Melissa, Gene did mean his use of “girls” to be a slam, a sexist homophobic slam. It’s his kind that are homophobic, and I do mean homophobic as in fearing homosexuals, because as a sexist pig of a straight man he knows how he treats women, or “girls” as he calls them, and anything that would undermine his male heterosexual privilege scares him.
  20. Gene September 17, 2008 / 1:12 pm
    I should have said KIDS, not girls, or I could have said boys but then that might get most of you too excited. It was an itty bitty joke. Grow up clowns. Browns. Towns. Frowns.

    How can I be homophobic when I am gay? Am I scared of myself?

    I love when other people answer for me. Just like everyone on this blog. You also love to tell people how to spend their money. Losers, boyz……..

    I wish we did not have power. I wish we could learn to live with out it. I can. I did. I do when I go camping on my land in Tennessee.

  21. Melissa September 17, 2008 / 1:50 pm
    Yeah, I wish I could have had the days off, too! For sure it’s been gorgeous fall weather the past two days. Glad the kids got a chance to go run around for a bit.

    One thing I really DON’T get, though: What was with the stampede for ice? I understand cool beverages are a nice thing to have, but we’re hardly in the dog days of summer. And food isn’t suddenly going to not go bad with ice.

  22. Melissa September 17, 2008 / 1:51 pm
    Ugh, I meant to say “food isn’t going to unspoil with ice.”
  23. Drexel Dave September 17, 2008 / 2:29 pm
    Yes, but ice will keep it from spoiling. Of course ice isn’t going to reverse the damage.
  24. David Lauri September 17, 2008 / 5:42 pm
    Well goody for you, Gene, that you’re gay. You’re still sexist if you think calling people “girls” is okay.
  25. David Esrati September 17, 2008 / 5:45 pm

    Please stop name calling on this site.
    The typical edit by me is to turn what you say about others- and make you sound retarded.
    Best advice is to ignore Gene.

  26. Gene September 17, 2008 / 6:12 pm
    What is wrong with being a girl – lord knows I have been called one often. Again, it was a little joke, but then again little brains can’t pick up on little jokes.

    David never defends me bc he knows I am gay. Should I cry like you Mr Lauri?

  27. Gene September 17, 2008 / 6:24 pm
    If you are the type of person to pat yourself on the back with a “look at me” web site I suggest you at least make yourself look good.

    Average is for losers. Average may be a compliment after the BS I saw.

    Do you ever get on a roller coaster and think, ” Geez, I can fly!” Well I am here to tell you that you can not fly.

    Cheers. Beers. ……….. you know the rest!

    Obama is fumbling the ball. Can’t we blame Bush on this power thingymajig?

  28. Donald Phillips September 18, 2008 / 8:52 am
    What does Tel Aviv, “the world’s most technologically advanced city” have to do with all this? Why did ‘Dad’ leave this “high-tech oasis” in 1937? Did lack of freedom and economic opportunity have anything to do with it?

    Berlin was also a “technologically advanced city” in 1937. You needn’t be so opaque in your ingratitude towards such a “technologically backward” nation as the United States–which by the way saved you from a certain grim fate.

  29. David Esrati September 18, 2008 / 10:18 am

    Donald,
    My father,”Dad” did indeed leave Berlin in 1933.
    The reason they left- was because they could, and there was a war coming. As to the “technologically backward” nation that saved my family from a certain grim fate- how about the cold shoulder it turned to many other Jews? How about the debate about bombing the incinerators so more Jews wouldn’t be killed- which we didn’t do?
    This country needs some humility- starting with you.

  30. Donald Phillips September 18, 2008 / 10:55 am
    I don’t want to get into the mechanics of genocide, but the incinerators weren’t used for killing–just to cover it up. Executions were done with poison gas or bullets. As for ‘bombing the incinerators’, German industrial output peaked in 1945, this in spite of the two-year Allied bomber offensive, so what makes you think bombing would have halted well-organized homicidal maniacs like the Nazis? They would have repaired the damage and carried on. Most of these camps were beyond the range of Allied bombers–especially since the Soviets were hesitant to open up their territory for USAAF and RAF shuttle raids.

    Have you ever stopped to think how many Jews, Roma and Slavs would have died had ‘this country’ not defeated Nazi Germany?

  31. Joel September 18, 2008 / 11:04 am
    Welcome to esrati.com! Otherwise known as the place where a discussion about the short-sightedness of big business can devolve into a discussion about Nazi-Germany!

    At least no one has Godwin’d, yet. This is as bad as comments on a youtube video.

  32. Donald Phillips September 18, 2008 / 11:45 am
    You’re right, Mr. Joel. Stay on topic. Now what was that again? Ah yes…hypotheticals, suppositions and moot points.
  33. In the 'burg September 18, 2008 / 4:10 pm
    If you had read ANY of his books (like the one available for free on this site), you would know that “Dad” is an incredibly insightful and informed citizen. His observations and opinions are not ill-considered. They’re the product of a long and fascinating life that has been lived with guts and integrity. He’s a better “American” than most people who were born here.
    How about a little respect?
  34. Donald Phillips September 18, 2008 / 4:43 pm
    Dear. Mr. In the ‘bunk,

    Go ahead and play the comparative patriotism smear card on me. The ghosts of Roy Cohn and Jesse Helms smile upon you.

  35. In the 'burg September 18, 2008 / 5:19 pm
    I would have played the comparative intelligence card but it seemed like overkill.
  36. Jeff September 18, 2008 / 8:12 pm
    “German industrial output peaked in 1945, this in spite of the two-year Allied bomber offensive”

    Because the offensive wasn’t really directed at industrial output?

  37. Gene September 19, 2008 / 3:35 pm
    Tel Aviv is not the most modern city in the world. What “Hungarian” class did you attend that makes you think where you are from is so great (yes, I know Tel Aviv is not in Hungary, just a ref to the smartest and best people in the world.)

    I hope to hell we never have any real problems. DL is just a rock with a little fuzzy moss all around.

  38. Jeff September 19, 2008 / 4:56 pm
    ^
    TA was pretty modern in the 1930’s. Recall this was a brand new city, founded in 1909, and was settled by progressive people, open to new thinking, so adopted modern design.

    Check it out:

    http://www.white-city.co.il/hebrew/index.htm

  39. Donald Phillips September 20, 2008 / 12:26 pm
    Founded in 1909? You’re walking on dangerous ground, Mr. Jeff, as ‘founded in 1909’ precludes the prior existance of the Arabs and Palestinians who lived there for thousands of years. This is the rationale that has been used to disinherit many of the pre-1947 inhabitants of Palestine.

    Dayton was a ‘new city’ in the late 18th century if you exclude the Miami Indians.

    At least we’ve changed the subject from the Third Reich…

  40. Jeff September 21, 2008 / 12:58 pm
    Tel Aviv was indeed founded in 1909. Next-door Jaffa dates to ancient times, and was incorporated into Tel Aviv.

    A good US parallel is in New Mexico, where there are the first European (Spanish/Mexican) settlements and the new US settlement next door (Albuquerque is the best-known example of this)

  41. Gene September 21, 2008 / 6:40 pm
    Tel Aviv would benefit from advertising with an old picture of Andre the Giant and a bunch a midgets on him – what a rip of DD. How can you insult the greatest wrestler/drinker ever by using him – he is too great for even Drexel. Loved it anyhow!
  42. Drexel Dave September 22, 2008 / 1:05 pm
    You get around Gene!

    I think that picture reflects our spirit pretty well.

    And we are huge, no pun intended, Andre the Giant fans.

    Hope to see you at the show.

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