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Old Oct 9, 2019, 02:02 AM   #1
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SubCog
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Default Wind storms & power outages in Northern California

Apparently the power company is turning off the power for the next couple days to much of the bay area, to avoid possibilities of forest fires. I guess something similar happened last year and they got their pants sued off, so they're not risking it again.

My address isn't slated to lose power, but we're exactly on the border of the dead zone (like neighbors across the street won't have power), so we'll see what happens. I picked up some emergency supplies just in case.

All the schools out here are cancelled for the next couple days. We'll see how things go. Hopefully my neighbors won't resort to cannibalism...

Stay safe folks!
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 02:26 AM   #2
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"Given the prolonged period during which the wind event will unfold, and the large number of power line miles that will need to be inspected before restoration, customers are being asked to prepare for an extended outage," PG&E said in a release.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/us/pg...nia/index.html

it maybe a week or more

stay safe and good luck
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 04:20 AM   #3
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This is weird. We have bushfires / insane temps every year and I've never heard of them shutting down the power as a precaution. I guess the wind must be really bad.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 07:09 AM   #4
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So when are they going to figure out you can bury transmission lines?
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 07:58 AM   #5
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PG&E is a monopoly in California and can pretty much do whatever they want, including avoid maintaining their electrical and gas supply network enough to prevent explosions and fires during a bit of wind. IIRC they were negligently responsible for the gas explosion in San Bruno that leveled a neighborhood and killed several people, plus the fire that wiped out the town of Paradise. Hence the lawsuits and now the overabundance of caution that will turn the power off on millions of people. Oh, and they keep raising rates to cover the costs of lawsuits.

I don't have the a big enough facepalm image for this news.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 10:09 AM   #6
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PG&E is a monopoly in California and can pretty much do whatever they want, including avoid maintaining their electrical and gas supply network enough to prevent explosions and fires during a bit of wind. IIRC they were negligently responsible for the gas explosion in San Bruno that leveled a neighborhood and killed several people, plus the fire that wiped out the town of Paradise. Hence the lawsuits and now the overabundance of caution that will turn the power off on millions of people. Oh, and they keep raising rates to cover the costs of lawsuits.

I don't have the a big enough facepalm image for this news.
PG&E is a publicly traded utility though right? Aren't they 100% required to put shareholder profits above all else? Sure they're pretty heavily regulated as a utility monopoly, but that just makes their options for meeting shareholder demands even more problematic and tricky to navigate.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 10:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SubCog View Post
Apparently the power company is turning off the power for the next couple days to much of the bay area, to avoid possibilities of forest fires. I guess something similar happened last year and they got their pants sued off, so they're not risking it again.

So, basically they're going to punish CA for having the nerve to sue them? Haha.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 11:17 AM   #8
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it will be interesting who's power is still on and who's isn't in Gotham
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 11:34 AM   #9
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PG&E is a publicly traded utility though right? Aren't they 100% required to put shareholder profits above all else? Sure they're pretty heavily regulated as a utility monopoly, but that just makes their options for meeting shareholder demands even more problematic and tricky to navigate.
Of course. Their customers are at their mercy (and suffer) as they strive to maximize profits. So glad I’m no longer in their territory. Our local utility is a co-op and is incredibly cheap and reliable.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 11:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Canesfan2020 View Post
So when are they going to figure out you can bury transmission lines?
Overhead transmission is about $1 million per mile.

Underground is $3 to $5 million per mile.

Those costs get passed onto the customers.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 11:48 AM   #11
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So when are they going to figure out you can bury transmission lines?
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 12:54 PM   #12
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Not a particularly well informed opinion from me, but I've heard while they are shutting down parts of the system because of the stated reasons, if they were fully functional and up with their maintenance, it wouldn't be necessary (and why it isn't seen elsewhere). So it's a bit of a bandaid fix at the expense of the customers (though, I suppose they also won't be making anything if no one's getting power) because of previous maintenance/modernization neglect.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 01:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SubCog View Post
Apparently the power company is turning off the power for the next couple days to much of the bay area,

DAYS?!?!?
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 02:47 PM   #14
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So when are they going to figure out you can bury transmission lines?
Many lines are buried, but only in relatively new areas. There are millions of miles of old lines cluttering the skyline and PG&E can't/won't justify the cost of retrofitting existing infrastructure to the shareholders. Heck, they can't even maintain what's out there, much less improve it. The joys of for-profit utilities.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 02:55 PM   #15
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somehow hydro-quebec built towers and lines to support up to or over 100mm of freezing rain, im sure cali can figure something out
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 05:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Higgy10 View Post
somehow hydro-quebec built towers and lines to support up to or over 100mm of freezing rain, im sure cali can figure something out
somehow Arizona that is much hotter and has habbo dust storms winds doesn't have this problem
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 05:31 PM   #17
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somehow Arizona that is much hotter and has habbo dust storms winds doesn't have this problem
Or Texas which has hurricanes and high humidity with very hot weather too never has this problem. Hell, we don't even shut power down during hurricanes...the storm usually does that for us.
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 06:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Munkus View Post
Many lines are buried, but only in relatively new areas. There are millions of miles of old lines cluttering the skyline and PG&E can't/won't justify the cost of retrofitting existing infrastructure to the shareholders. Heck, they can't even maintain what's out there, much less improve it. The joys of for-profit utilities.
Are their shareholders stick figures? What's the cost of cutting off the greater part of a million people for days?
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 06:27 PM   #19
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Something else not being considered are that there are a lot of people that require breathing machines like C-PAPs among others where they HAVE to use them every night or risk troubles breathing. What about those people? Many don't have and cannot find a generator (now) so what are they expected to do for the next week? This power company either doesn't care, or didn't really think this decision through (maybe both).
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 06:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by xCLAVEx View Post
Something else not being considered are that there are a lot of people that require breathing machines like C-PAPs among others where they HAVE to use them every night or risk troubles breathing. What about those people? Many don't have and cannot find a generator (now) so what are they expected to do for the next week? This power company either doesn't care, or didn't really think this decision through (maybe both).
a lot of people need power for a lot of life threatening medical conditions
death and lawsuits over this

and the looting will kickoff at sunset
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 07:19 PM   #21
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Saw this on the local news... I didnt even know electric companies had the choice to do something like this. It just never occurred to me that they would do something like this. :shrug:
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 08:18 PM   #22
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Well, as far as I can tell, power in my neighborhood is still up. Also, no wind so far. Maybe tomorrow?
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 11:24 PM   #23
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A Bay Area police department made a viral joke about the PG&E shutdown … and people have strong opinions
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/10...rong-opinions/
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Old Oct 9, 2019, 11:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
The company told reporters late Wednesday that it has begun shutting power in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The outages are expected to spread to Berkeley, Oakland and elsewhere as dry winds leave the region at high risk of fire. Utilities in the Los Angeles and San Diego area are also warning of service cuts. More than 3 million people may be eventually affected, based on city estimates and the average household size. The economic impact may reach $2.6 billion.

Never before have California utilities intentionally cut power to so many people for their own safety -- and never has a shutoff affected such major metropolitan areas. The city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley are expected to be spared. The undertaking is key to fairly new strategy by PG&E for preventing power lines from sparking another deadly -- and costly -- conflagration.



https://finance.yahoo.com/news/pg-e-...081615160.html
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Old Oct 10, 2019, 02:09 PM   #25
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This is stating to remind me of Atlus Shrugged a bit.

Sue the company for service going down due to weather.
Sue the company for service going down due to man made events.
Hate company for making money so sue for that.
Sue company for service being down due to events taking service down for and needing repairs.
Hate company for service being down so rally and sue.
All people working at said company must be evil so hate them as well.
All people that own said company are for sure evil so sue them for sure.

These states now have tons of people with no power because of out of have lawsuits. I wonder what the next step might be.
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Old Oct 10, 2019, 02:36 PM   #26
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Well, still no wind. I kindof expected to wake up with my street covered in fallen trees and corpses.
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Old Oct 10, 2019, 03:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Athena View Post
This is stating to remind me of Atlus Shrugged a bit.

Sue the company for service going down due to weather.
Sue the company for service going down due to man made events.
Hate company for making money so sue for that.
Sue company for service being down due to events taking service down for and needing repairs.
Hate company for service being down so rally and sue.
All people working at said company must be evil so hate them as well.
All people that own said company are for sure evil so sue them for sure.

These states now have tons of people with no power because of out of have lawsuits. I wonder what the next step might be.
No power because of the lawsuits?

Would you consider it the right decision to make if they realized their equipment had a chance of starting another forest fire but decided to leave the power on anyways?

PG&E isn't shutting down because of frivolous lawsuits. THEY KILLED 85 PEOPLE.

They weren't sued because "RAWR COMPANY + PROFIT = BAD"

They were sued because they caused BILLIONS in damages.

Quote:
The fire, which started on Nov. 8, killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 homes, businesses and other buildings. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said on Wednesday that, after a “very meticulous and thorough investigation,” it had determined that the Camp Fire was caused by “electrical transmission lines owned and operated” by PG&E. The company had said in February that its equipment had probably caused the fire.

PG&E, the state’s largest electricity utility, filed for bankruptcy protection in January, saying that it faced an estimated $30 billion in wildfire liabilities. In a recent filing to securities regulators, the company estimated it would have $10.5 billion in liabilities for damage caused by the Camp Fire.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/b.../pge-fire.html
This happened not because the poor helpless company was beaten down by the cruel and evil government and that "greed is good" like Ayn Rand preaches.

This happened because, quite simply:
Quote:
Last year, near Paradise, a live wire broke free of a tower that was a quarter-century past what PG&E considers its “useful life.”

Tower 27/222 looms almost 100 feet tall in the Sierra Nevada foothills, a hunk of steel that has endured through 18 United States presidents. The transmission lines that it supports keep electricity flowing to much of California.

On the morning of Nov. 8, a live wire broke free of its grip. A power failure occurred on the line, affecting a single customer. But 15 minutes later, a fire was observed nearby. Within hours, flames engulfed the region, ultimately killing 85 and destroying the town of Paradise.

The equipment belonged to the state’s biggest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric. To the company’s critics, the tower and its vulnerability reflect a broken safety culture.

Five of the 10 most destructive fires in California since 2015 have been linked to PG&E’s electrical network. Regulators have found that in many fires, PG&E violated state law or could have done more to make its equipment safer.

Long before the failure suspected in the Paradise fire, a company email had noted that some of PG&E’s structures in the area, known for fierce winds, were at risk of collapse. It reported corrosion of one tower so severe that it endangered crews trying to repair the tower. The company’s own guidelines put Tower 27/222 a quarter-century beyond its useful life — but the tower remained.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...?module=inline
They cut costs and avoided maintenance because, quite frankly: Shareholder profits.

Source: http://www.pgecorp.com/investors/fin...ual_Report.pdf

They were trying to meet expectations and match DOW Jones Utilities Index performance but in 2017 fell far below this because of all the forest fires they kept causing between 2015 - 2017.

So in 2018 they continued to ignore maintenance on a stretch of utility equipment that was 25 years past due for repair and replacement.

No one hates the company for making a profit. People are rightly mad at the company for causing billions in damage, destroying thousands of homes, and killing almost a hundred people. All in the service of shareholder returns.

Meanwhile, the shareholders dump their stock, walk away, and share in none of the consequence of having literally set California on fire to make a buck.
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Old Oct 10, 2019, 03:37 PM   #28
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California becomes 3rd world state
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Old Oct 10, 2019, 03:55 PM   #29
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Well good thing this isnt hitting SoCal as much. PGE is not my provider and I dont think they provide power to most of LA. Im not exactly sure what I would do for a week or two without power. Not even sure how stores and schools would cope? I guess kids get to stay home? lol
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Old Oct 10, 2019, 04:42 PM   #30
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Can't we just get Superman to fly and reverse the Earth's rotation enough to go back in the past and fix all of California's problems?
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