Well, that blew, and sucked

IMG_3911.JPG Just back after three and a half days without power due the storm in the Northwest. Our place was among the last 5,000 or so that Tacoma Power reconnected, because we’d had three or four trees down within a few hundred feet of the house, all conveniently across power lines and not homes. Here are the two photos I took before the camera went dead (note to self: Keep the camera battery charged.)

The power workers did a great job getting three quarters of a million homes back online (about 240,000 are still in the dark), and continue to do work at an unbelievable pace given the cold. Did I mention that after the power failed, temperatures dropped into the 20s? Needless to say, we moved to a hotel and contributed to the Red Cross, which has opened shelters across the region.

These are thumbnails that can be enlarged by clicking.

You can see how much fell where trees didn’t come down. It was like a conifer slush two feet deep around my car.IMG_3912.JPG

Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.

4 thoughts on “Well, that blew, and sucked”

  1. I’m curious whether Tacoma Power’s smart grid helped them restore power faster. Most electric utilities have no intelligence in the field, and rely on people calling in and other techniques to figure out what’s wrong. They have no granularity of information — they might (MIGHT) be able to tell a given substation is done, and that’s it.

    When Tacoma Power built a network-wide fiber optic/coax hybrid network, they said it was primarily for monitoring and future smart appliance/load balancing work, with broadband resale being a nice extra.

    So I wonder if their relatively sophisticated ability to pinpoint trouble actually turned into a faster response, thus saving them and their customers money (and discomfort)?

  2. Glenn, we live outside the Click! network coverage area, so when I was talking to the TP guys out on the street they did not know whether, once the line was re-energized, what part of the area I live in would get power and where additional interruptions may still exist. I don’t know whether, where Click! is running, that it helped speed repairs.

  3. Congrats on surviving the big storm, Mitch! Just FYI, your GnomeDex Q for Edwards is getting a bunch of attention on dKos now that Edwards is doing exactly what you told him to do. (click my name for pointer to the thread).

  4. Hey, Raines! Thanks for the pointer. Hadn’t seen any of the linking, but it is great to see Senator Edwards doing the right thing with this medium.

    We were lucky, having only cold and lack of power to deal with, and for just a few days. There are still about a quarter million people (100K homes) without power, but the big story nationally is two climbers lost of Mt. Hood. Why? Because that story is concentrated in a parking lot at Mt. Hood and easier to tell than the one about power outages spread all over hell and back around Seattle.

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