Editor Daniel Hubbard and Eric Goodman email@example.com
4:07 pm on Friday, November 2, 2012
The two sides of town are not served by the same lines. Where was the 12/3 date from and what part of town does it refer to? JCP&L shows 40 percent restored in Jefferson so far and heard they were working around Cozy Lake today.
3:53 pm on Friday, November 2, 2012
$12 million per year buries 6-12 miles of overhead lines per year depending on location and what the ground is like. In 5 years you'll have spent $60 million and buried 30-60 miles of lines. Hardly making a dent in the total JCP&L territory.
"Do it more efficiently" -yeah, find a way to dig up all those roadsides and bury the lines without having to worry about traffic control, excavation, underground conduit, insulated high voltage wire, switches, fuses, concrete, safety codes, working with Verizon, Cablevision, etc. Just figure out a way.
Once the lines are buried, they are more difficult and expensive to perform regular maintenance on, so you can tack on another surcharge to maintain the underground lines. What was a simple switch mounted on top of a pole becomes a large steel enclosure on a concrete pad in somebody's yard, which they'll undoubtedly complain about. Each transformer that was on a pole becomes another steel box in somebody's yard, which they'll undoubtedly complain about. If cable and phone go underground, that's 2 more boxes to complain about. And you get to dig up every homeowner's yard to replace the lines to their house, on whose dime?
Then, if there is a problem with the line, you are digging it up to replace it, again at a greatly increased cost. And time/cost to repair problems increase dramatically when the lines aren't accessible.
There's no be all end all solution for all this. That's why these are called natural DISASTERS.
7:47 am on Friday, November 2, 2012
"Bury the lines underground" - who's paying the $1 million or more per mile to do that? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/25/why-most-cities-dont-bury-power-lines/)
"The power company should just be able to reroute power wherever they need to in order to make it work" - this isn't the movies, the entire US is running on decrepit infrastructure that nobody wants to spend the money to upgrade. When people raise holy hell about the most minuscule increase on their bill, how are companies going to raise the billions of dollars needed to modernize the power grid? "The government should make them!" "Keep the government out of private business!" "Let the market take care of it!" People can't make up their mind. The problem goes way beyond JCP&L and PSE&G, it's a national epidemic that won't be cured unless there is a serious shift toward funding infrastructure improvements in the US.
"Mandate that gas stations have generators" - great suggestion now, but if it was suggested two weeks before the storm it would have been called the government grossly overstepping its bounds and imposing even more costs on businesses and customers (Plus that $2000 estimate is more like $5000-$10000 for a legally installed generator with the capacity to back up all the pumps, lights, etc.
"Give us a map with detail down to the house on when we'll get power back!" - so that when you're not restored at 5:57 like the map said, you can scream even louder?
8:20 am on Thursday, November 1, 2012
If this place is this much of a riot after 2 days without power, it'll be amazing to see what it's like a week from now when many people still don't have it back. When these systems are initially installed, the planning and design goes months if not years, lead time for equipment can be 16 weeks or more, and the labor time to install is not insignificant. Then a storm the likes of which the region hasn't seen in a hundred years (forget about Irene and the snowstorm, this beats the pants off both) hits the area, decimates the infrastructure, and everyone is screaming when the power isn't back on the next day.
Top to bottom, the regional utility employees are working 18+ hour days. Hundreds of crews are heading to NJ from upstate NY and other areas. But the labor is only one piece of the puzzle. When a substation that took a year to plan and design the first time gets flooded or trees fall on it and wreck the components inside, the linemen are supposed to magically be able to fix it in 24 hours while also obtaining the specialized components needed to rebuild it and maybe if they're lucky, have enough time to make sure the thing won't blow up again as soon as it's re-energized with 30k+ volts.
It's not surprising if you haven't seen crews on your street or your part of town this soon after the storm. While the crews are trying to get substations and transmission lines back up that serve thousands, they are not going to be fixing individual streets and houses.
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Editor Ariana Cohn-Sheehan, Andrew Corselli, Rebecca K. Abma, Daniel Hubbard and Eric Goodman, and Eric Goodman,
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