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View Diary: [Updating Intermittently] Hurricane Ike Media Brownout Info Diary - Day 6 (283 comments)

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  •  I'm not at the scene. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kate mckinnon, mint julep

    I'm in Tyler. (Safe and sound, feelin a little guilty, in fact.)

    I live right up the road from Kenifick -- I don't know about the spelling. There are really good updates on www.i-dineout.com about the areas you've mentioned as well as 99.9 radio website.

    I work for Liberty school district and have a little info regarding that. School's out at least until next Tuesday.

    There's something strange about Liberty power. They get it through Entergy, but then provide to the City through the City. They're anticipating it taking longer in Liberty (city of) because of downed "trunk lines," I think. Not sure about that, but have heard something along those lines.

    •  what I heard 2 days ago (9+ / 0-)

      from the Sam Houston Electric Co-op crew, who happenned to have parked in a line right in front of my home, was that getting the power lines up was not the real problem, that crews were making amazing progress with cutting trees and repaing lines..he told me the real problem was that power stations supplying those lines were down.
      I do not understand how the stations, with all that tight security, could be the problem.  It just sounds very fishy to me.
      We had a week to prepare.  So did they.  Something went wrong.
      SHECO gets power from somewhere around Kenefick.  This time, they tapped in to the station in Willis.
      I am not in a flooded county.  Maybe Liberty had surge problems we did not have..execpt that does not explain that all 4 stations who supply us here were down.  All of them.  How did that happen?

      Cowards die many times before their deaths... Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar, II, 2

      by on the cusp on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:24:19 AM PDT

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      •  No idea. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AmericanRiverCanyon

        I'm actually pretty new to Liberty County, so I was still trying to figure out why we had a mandatory evacuation there when they didn't in Houston. It appears to be well inland on a map, but they apparently got hit pretty hard with Rita and are saying they got it worse with this.

        I don't know if it's thin infrastructure or what. We are adjacent to Chambers County, which was apparently reeeaally hit, though.

        We lost the pressbox at the high school football field and my department head had 2 trees on his house and 1 on a vehicle. The pictures look like Liberty got a ton of wind and a ton of water, though I don't think it actually flooded anything out. I could be dead wrong about that, though.

        •  schools open in San Jacinto County on Monday (5+ / 0-)

          Liberty county is just low lying, swampy in places, a prairie in places, and just a hard rain floods liberty and Dayton.
          They were hit hard by Rita, and were out of power for weeks, as I recall.
          Several people died of heat stroke inside their cars during the attempt to leave on highway 321 during Rita.
          I do not know their evac routes, but none of them would have been good without a very early start on it.
          I have been trapped inside the courthouse in Liberty during a hurricane..it was sometime in the late 90's..it knocked out the power, and everyone left the building, except the judge had not given me or my client permission to leave!!!!  A lone custodian found us in the courtroom, told us to get out!  I floated in Dayton on the drive home.  My little Camry did not stall out, although my brakes got wet.
          I promised myself I would never go to court again during a storm, and they could just send a cop and throw me in jail for contempt.  I would rather be jailed than drowned.
          That judge is now retired, and now a very good friend of mine.  I passed his test.

          Cowards die many times before their deaths... Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar, II, 2

          by on the cusp on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 10:58:36 AM PDT

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        •  flooding (6+ / 0-)

          Liberty has a huge history of loss of life from flooding.  The bayou area....They also get it if they have to dump water through the Colorade.  Say, if  Austin, etc.. got heavily dumped on.  No flood retention dams Lake Travis.

          Evacuating Liberty is a good thing.  

          We are all Droogie....f*ck the AP

          by crazyshirley2100 on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 11:33:41 AM PDT

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      •  That's inexcusable, the power companies are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, bhlogger

        .... supposed to have contingency plans in situations like this where they move the command centers out of harm's way.  Something is wrong.   I can see cutting power until they are sure all the down lines are made so they do not cause fires or shock hazards, but the plants need to have these emergencies planned for per state laws as hospitals fire police etc must have power.  

        Okay, so what do the power plants burn in Houston?  Probably natural gas and or fuel oil.  So the pipelines must have had their supplies disrupted.

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 11:07:19 AM PDT

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        •  I'm wondering if all this suspicious (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon, seattlegirl

          behavior has something to do with oil, off shore oil to be specific.

          Any news on pipelines or oil spills?

          McCain, Republican Party, Palin = Captain, Sinking Ship, Anchor.

          by Pescadero Bill on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:10:29 PM PDT

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        •  If railbeds are flood damaged, coal fired plants (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon

          have train supply issues.  Nuclear plants needing fuel might also be waiting on trains.  

          Nuclear plants near coasts or in flooded areas may also be waiting until their cooling water sources are within safe tolerances.

          Another factor might be hurricane damage to the main high power transmission lines that spider across a service territory.  Even if plants can operate, power isn't moving anywhere until primary high power lines and towers are safely restored, and downstream transformers are ready to handle the load.

          When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

          by antirove on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:13:16 PM PDT

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      •  probably flattened (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bhlogger, Brooke In Seattle

        If the substations are damaged, they'd have to be fixed before the power would be back. Transformers, towers, high-voltage lines: those are more difficult. (I have family in the Houston area, mostly west side. I don't know how they're doing.)

      •  Could be safety concerns and natural gas fears. (4+ / 0-)

        What is the possibility that businesses and homes damaged by floods and high winds may also now have gas line leaks? Perhaps there are even leaks in trunks or main gas lines.  Turning on electric feeders and circuits before inspecting for gas leak hazards might be a deadly mistake for those remaining in the area.  This alone might be a sufficient public safety reason to delay live current feeds.  Your own house might not have a gas leak, but a leak in the street or next door neighbor's house still could lead to tragic consequences, and for you too.

        Plus, when restoring power, it is necessary to bring up load in a consistent, balanced, and redundant manner, or there may be a need for expensive rework restoring equipment and service.  If the many volunteering power company crews don't have access to up to date GIS maps, or the 'standard stock' used in a region, and are making 'ad hoc' field substitutions for normally prescribed equipment and cable, it is likely they'll proceed with great caution, and delay in setting up final power conduction until circuits, as repaired, are reviewed and deemed safe and sound by qualified electrical engineers.  

        This isn't like stringing up Christmas lights.  Replacing transformers, fuses, and substation feeder equipment originally put in place decades ago, with current stock isn't always a 1,2,3 plug and go sort of scenario, and substitutions can require rework far upstream.  And if SCADA managed systems are involved, there can be computer system and electronic hardware communication issues as well.  Electrical engineers and hardware/software staff are probably working around the clock making sure that the components and cable available to crews are being deployed in the field safely, soundly, if not efficiently.

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 12:05:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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