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Butch


We in the Northeast and the New England States experienced "mother natures" wrath starting on the 11th of December, as heavy rain started to fall, not bad in itself, but then the temperature started to drop at ground level. Ice began to build slowly on everything the rain fell upon. At two AM, on the 12th, the electric power ceased as the power grid collapsed due to the weight of the ice on wires and trees. At this time the ice was over 1/2 inch thick and was still raining. Trees were crashing to the ground throughout the neighborhood, causing heavy damage to all that was below, wires, homes, vehicles, and people. The devastation was beyond comprehension. The rain, now having produced 3/4 to one inch of ice, changed to snow later in the day, but was only about 3 inches, and the storm slowly pulled away from us in eastern New York to continue into the New England states. The real problem was that the temperature dropped overnight, to the low teens, and then the problems multiplied for all involved. In the "capital district area", the cities of Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and their suburbs, well over 350,000 homes and business were without power. Electricity is the life blood of modern society and without it we have nothing...business closed down, can not function. Our own little world ceases to function....you just exist. There are three power companies involved, and the one that serves us had over 700 line crews working to rebuild and restore service. There are outlying areas here that still do not have power, five days afterward, but should be back on line within the next couple days. Was told yesterday that New Hampshire got hit so hard that some will be without power until some time next week.
As we heat our home with wood... we were warm, and dry, and could cook some simple meals on the wood stove. Our son bought a small generator, and as he lives close by we would share the generator to re-cool our refrigerator and freezer so as not to lose our foods. Was somewhat like dry camping......but a humbling experience to say the least.
pianotuna
Hi Butch & Kathy,

I wonder how long the water would remain "on" with out power. I surely would go into conservation mode.

My RV didn't come with a generator--so I have added a proper transfer switch to my house--that way I can power most of the "important" circuits like the Fridge, Freezer, Furnace, as well as some lights and entertainment devices such as the TV and computer with my trusty Kipor 2800 watt generator.

I do rely on natural gas for heat--and again I wonder how long that might last in the event of an extended electricity outage.

I also wonder about telephone service in such conditions. Just how many days can the back up generators at cell phone towers "hold the fort"?

We are never told this sort of information--until it is too late.

I guess the best Christmas present all those without power can get is restoration of service asap!
RetiredFA
One more thing. Cordless phones don't work when power is out. Always best to have at least one "corded" phone in the house.

And, I hadn't thought about cell towers, yeppers, don't know how long they would stay on. I guess there is always an argument to keep a land line.....

JJ
westernrvparkowner
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Dec 17 2008, 06:32 PM) *

One more thing. Cordless phones don't work when power is out. Always best to have at least one "corded" phone in the house.

And, I hadn't thought about cell towers, yeppers, don't know how long they would stay on. I guess there is always an argument to keep a land line.....

JJ

Cell towers have pretty substantial battery backup and many have a standby generator. Cell service will generally stay up for a long time. However, many more people will be using it at the same time so you may get an occasional "all circuits are busy". Stay warm
Lee and Fran
No matter how we look at it mother nature will always have the last say. And no way we can argue with her.
Best to ya Butch. May your remaining winter days be much better.
wpr
Hi Butch,

A back-up generator is great, as you found out! In 1987 we were in the huge ice-storm with 3 inches of ice. We were without power for 21 days and had only two fireplaces to heat our home. Not very good! Now we have a 5000 W generator, a wood stove and a kerosene heater. One learns quickly in an emergency. Our power company sent 50 teams of linemen to help out, mostly to New Hampshire. We all remember the help we got from the neighboring utility companies when we needed it.....
John Blue
Butch,

Life can be a trick at times. Remember the good people down in New Orleans? No power. water, food, or anything for months. Mother nature can be a mess a times. Down here all cell towers have back up power systems that runs off propane with large tanks. All telephone cables to cell towers come in on fiber under the ground. All telephone offices have diesel gen sets the size of a train engine. About all telephone cables and wires to peoples homes or business are also in ground. Lots of AC power cables are in ground as well. Trees have been cut back that are close to AC power lines in the air. Are we safe, no way. Next storm could wreck the hold system in short time. In 45 plus years now we have had one power outage that run for three days. Power plant had a system fault in Dec. years ago and loss the hold plant. FL has sent crews up to help rebuild the lines and get power back on. I hope it gets better soon!
pianotuna
Hi John,

Apparently the back up system is not used all over--and is not even 8 hours.

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/2008120...backuppowerplan
John Blue
Don,

Yes, we know other places do not have any backup system in place. I worked in telephone work 43 plus years and spend tons of time looking at all the possible problems that can take you down or out of service. We spent tons of money here in GTE/Verizon system to guard the network from any damage. You will never block out everything like lighting hits, high winds loads, flood waters, crews digging in ground, fires, people driving into a telephone systems on side of the road and so on. One hold telephone office was moved one mile off coast to higher grounds due to site flooded. One office was hit by lighting and killed the hold office, no backup here and lighting rods were on build. I see problems out west and other parts of USA due to no backup system in place. It all comes down to dollars and what you plan to do if system fails.
nedmtnman
I lived in the mountains of Colorado surrounded by National Forest for 13 years. I was on a well and heated with a wood stove mostly though I did have central heat using propane. The power would go out now and then for up to 8 hours so I adjusted. Heating snow on the wood stove for water and cooking on the wood stove. When the Y2K panic hit I thought long and hard about getting ready for the giant problems that were predicted to occur and realized I had been ready for Y2K for 10 years. I went to town and got a gallon of water.
Chuckl
We went thru the Okla ice storm last year and were without power for over 3 weeks (live in the country so we were one of the last to get it back on) . I now have a 8 KW gen and 20 gal of gas when we lose power i crank up the gen plug in the extension cords and have every thing but the over head lights. Furnace, refers, tv washer dryers and then we say we are roughing it rolleyes.gif
T Lynn
QUOTE(wprigge @ Dec 17 2008, 10:33 PM) *

Hi Butch,

A back-up generator is great, as you found out! In 1987 we were in the huge ice-storm with 3 inches of ice. We were without power for 21 days and had only two fireplaces to heat our home. Not very good! Now we have a 5000 W generator, a wood stove and a kerosene heater. One learns quickly in an emergency. Our power company sent 50 teams of linemen to help out, mostly to New Hampshire. We all remember the help we got from the neighboring utility companies when we needed it.....



We got hit by an ice storm in 1998 on Christmas Eve and were without power for 5 days. Then in 2003 we were hit by Hurricane Isabelle and lost power for 10 days. We had a large portable generator that kept refrig/freezer running along with the pump for our well. Right then and there we decided we would never be caught again in a power outage. We had a standby generator installed on our home and that has been the best investment ever. During the installation of the generator we decided to install a propane tankless hot water heater which would eliminate any pull on the generator and allow us to run our two zoned AC/Heating units. We also have gas logs in our fireplace. Three days after the generator was up and running, another hurricane came close and we lost power for 4 days. What a godsend that standby generator and propane water heater were. We also have no worries about power outages when we are away for any length of time traveling in our RV. We know everything is ok at home. biggrin.gif
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