kitchen table math, the sequel: still no power

Saturday, November 3, 2012

still no power

Still no power; house is down to 51 degrees. We were set to move to a studio apartment at NYU tomorrow but have just learned that 90% of the town has power so school opens Monday. Andrew is desperate to get back to school.

Paranoid at the moment because we've heard endless reports about how there will be "pockets" of people who don't get power back for days and weeks --- wondering whether we just drew the short straw -----

Our power situation, btw, is galling because our power survived the storm.

Then Con Ed sent a team out to turn it off the next day.

We were on pins and needles the whole storm, as the lights flickered off and then back on again, and we were fantastically relieved to have made it through with power intact....

Pretty sure writing a post or two about grammar will make me feel better.


allison said...

by what means is your house heated if you had power?

does your home have a fireplace? a modern wood burning insert is a good back up means of heat in the future.

amazon sells generators.

i know you are mad that "your power was on", but the reality of 21st c. power generation on the east coast is: the system has zero tolerance for big mishaps, no ability to quickly bring on line new sources of power, no way to handle above-ground transmission systems in big storms, and no alternative delivery systems. there is no way to compartmentalize you getting power when people on other parts of your network have downed lines that would be live hazards. electrocution is bad for people. live downed lines kill, and cause new problems. substations can fail to handle the overload when other subsystems fail--the whole thing has no tolerance for big changes in load.
he are some articles on the issues:

Catherine Johnson said...

That's not the issue.

The issue is that Con Ed did nothing but chop up trees and clear streets for 3 days. I do mean clear streets, not prevent electrocution: street-clearing so police & ambulances can get through is the focus of the emails we've had from the village.

According to a Con Ed person we talked to, Con Ed argued with village admin over the tree-clearing issue for 3 days. Con Ed wanted to clear essential roads & cul de sacs, then restore power, then clear side streets. Village insisted they put all resources into removing all trees on all roads first, which was basically what they did.

Mayor says Con Ed guy is wrong; there was no dispute. Everyone agreed trees take priority over electricity.

I'll see if I can get to the bottom of it.

In any event, I do know that in the Bronx Con Ed cleared main arteries, then restored power. It's an option.

Another thing: our own road was completely blocked. We had no way to drive out in either direction (we could walk out). So we were actually in the category of people whose roads should be cleared before anyone's power gets restored.

Con Ed came out, cut power, & left. Didn't clear the road & didn't come back. One neighbor owns a chainsaw so the men chopped down and sawed up the HUGE tree that had fallen across the road. Ed & the neighbor cleared the road in the other direction.

The other issue: we've been told repeatedly that there will be "pockets" of people who don't get electricity, & that those pockets will be determined by numbers. If a lot of people are out of power (e.g. Manhattan, where power has been restored), Con Ed will turn your power on. If you are just an individual, or a small group of individuals, tough luck. It's Too Big To Fail applied to disaster relief.

So now of course we are terrified we've just fallen into a pocket. Or been pushed, rather. 90% of the town has power; we don't. Mayor yesterday told town we can send him emails if we like, but only for "therapeutic" purposes. He will not intercede with Con Ed on behalf of constituents. If we want our power restored, we need to call Con Ed.

Which we are now doing. Con Ed is going to be our new best friend; we are going to be talking to Con Ed every, every day, and we are going to be updating the mayor, too, for therapeutic purposes.

Catherine Johnson said...

House is freezing (50 degrees) & we finally decamped. We're at Debbie's house - heat & light!

Catherine Johnson said...

No one can get generators now & no one will install & there's no gas anyway.

Wood fireplace now an option .... Though we're nervous because the one time we lit it, it set off the fire alarm. neighbor says it's useable...

lgm said...

Folks are driving north for gas. I wish I had a camera for the sight of truck beds filled with 5 gal containers. Craig's List has generators for sale but they go quickly; people are selling ones they used once and don't need now. You could advertise for one and get someone from out of the area to come in and install.

Our district held school on Friday despite some staff and students not being restored. I think they appreciated having a heated place to go and the opportunity for a shower.

lgm said...

Did your town help clear the streets?

We had seen a town truck pulling a wood chipper around Tuesday, but they never stopped in our neighborhood to take the downed trees, so we disposed of them ourselves this weekend. I don't know if it is part of their job, or if they were just helping friends, family, or employees.

Glad you found heat.

Anonymous said...

Tuckahoe sent out its own workers with the ConEd people so they could clear and restore power all at the same time. Upshot, Tuckahoe had power completely restored 2 days after the storm. The towns around it still are mainly out.

Katharine Beals said...

Yes, glad you found heat! Let me know when you have your landline back!