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Dangerous Storms Spoil Halloween, Leave Half A Million Without Power Across Northeast

Dangerous Storms Spoil Halloween, Leave Half A Million Without Power Across Northeast 

A powerful storm swept through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast overnight in a spooky fashion, producing 50 mph gusts, damaged powerlines, and has left more than a half-million customers without power on Friday morning.

Approximately 613,00 customers, with the bulk of the power outages in New York (216,00), Pennsylvania (202,00), Connecticut (84,000), Virginia (63,000), and Maine (48,000) were left without power after severe thunderstorms produced damaging winds and torrential rainfall across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Thursday night, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported. 

Residents in the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area were placed under a tornado watch on Halloween evening through midnight. There were no reports of any tornadic activity, though powerful winds up to 50 mph knocked out power to 20,000 customers as of 5:30 am est. Friday. 

Tornado advisories were also published for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Bloomberg notes that winds up to 79 mph were recorded in Mount Mansfield, Vermont, as the storm swept through late Thursday night, canceling plans for many who were attempting to trick or treat.

According to NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD, the dangerous storm that swept through overnight will give way to “cold high pressure over the Lower Mississippi Valley/Tennessee Valley will move into the Mid-Atlantic by Friday evening.” 

As November begins, many are wondering what Old Man Winter has in store for North America. Weather reports from Reuters’ commodity desk suggest a “cold season” for many parts of Central and Northeast US.

“The North America winter outlook suggests a cold season across the central/northern US. If this scenario develops, it would point toward elevated winterkill risks for winter wheat, though deeper snow cover than normal could offset the risks.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Thinking Outside the Grid

Thinking Outside the Grid

Gorelick comments: “About 10 years ago I wrote something for our local food coop’s newsletter, and it touches on our home energy use. Even though IBM is no longer running “smarter planet” ads and LED lights have superceded CFLs, everything else in it still feels current.” Yes, this subject is very current, especially to Californians, who are now facing a future of frequent electrical blackouts.

Twenty years ago, a friend of mine published a book called 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save The Earth. It described the huge environmental benefits that would result if everyone made some simple adjustments to their way of life. Six hundred thousand gallons of gas could be saved every day, for example, if every commuter car carried just one more passenger; over 500,000 trees could be saved weekly if we all recycled our Sunday newspaper; and so forth. The book was immensely popular at the time, at least partly because it was comforting to know we could “save the Earth” so easily.

Just recycle!

Unfortunately, the projected benefits of these simple steps were actually insignificant compared to the scale of the problems they addressed. Saving 600,000 gallons of gasoline sounds impressive, but it’s only about 1/1,000 of daily fuel consumption in this country. Half a million trees every week sounds like a lot too, but the sad fact is that about 1.5 acres of forest are being lost every second, despite all the Sunday papers that are now routinely recycled.

50 Simple Things is no longer in vogue (you can buy a copy online for 1 cent), but its core assumption – that our most urgent crises can be solved by tinkering around the edges of modern life – is as popular as ever.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

PG&E’s Rolling Blackouts Could Leave 1.8 Million Californians Without Power

PG&E’s Rolling Blackouts Could Leave 1.8 Million Californians Without Power

Parts of California are seriously starting to behave like a third world country. No, we’re not talking about the poop, homeless, and opioid crisis on the streets of San Francisco, we’re talking about rolling blackouts from the state’s electric company, PG&E Corp.

The next round of blackouts are expected on Tuesday, as 1.8 million Californians will experience their fourth planned power shutoff this month.

The warning of the next big blackout came late Monday as PG&E restored electricity to nearly one million residents after the company cut power over the weekend to prevent windstorms from knocking over its powerlines and sparking fires, reported Bloomberg.

With another windstorm expected for Tuesday, PG&E will reduce power to 605,000 homes and businesses in the Bay Area, California’s wine country, and several regions around Sacramento to minimize powerline accidents that could spark wildfires.


https://www.pscp.tv/w/cIeJjDkzODA0NDl8MUJSS2pxQXZWZ3d4d1U3la9SE5mo_CEcIGO1BKpY0t36Nt_uT5pPv5XWxlVE …PG&E @PGE4MePGE4Me was LIVEpscp.tv209:12 PM – Oct 28, 2019


The Kincade Fire, currently burning in Sonoma County, started last Wednesday after a PG&E high-voltage transmission line was blown over by a windstorm.

PG&E has been routinely criticized for its faulty equipment sparking a string of wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that killed dozens of people and destroyed hundreds of structures with estimated damage of $30 billion. PG&E has since filed for bankruptcy as its stock has crashed 95% in 25 months.

Bloomberg notes that 3 million Californians are still recovering from last week’s blackout, with at least half of those folks without power through Monday night. Most of these folks without power will likely remain in the dark as the next round of blackouts starts Tuesday morning.

“This event will start to impact the same people again in certain areas,” PG&E utility chief Andy Vesey told journalist Monday. “It is the weather — it’s not something we can control.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Over 1 Million Californians May Be Affected By Imminent Fire-Prevention Blackout

Over 1 Million Californians May Be Affected By Imminent Fire-Prevention Blackout

Californians will once again get to ‘enjoy’ a pre-industrial lifestyle this week as state utilities gear up for another round of intentional blackouts aimed at reducing the risk of fires, according to Bloombergwhile PG&E claims that over to 1 million residents may be impacted by the shutoffs. 

On Wednesday, PG&E will begin cutting power to approximately 179,000 California households in 17 fire-prone areas, beginning at 2pm. The outage includes Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Kern, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo Sierra, Sonoma, Tehama and Yuba counties. 


PG&E: 1.2 MILLION POWER CUSTOMERS IN FIRE WEATHER WATCH AREA

Every time the wind blows California will become Venezuela


urther south, Edison International’s Southern California utility announced that 162,276 customers may be affected by a similar blackout, while Sempra Energy may cut power to 24,000. 

The potential for an outage comes at a time of year when the landscape is dry and fires spark and spread easily. Northerly winds are expected to pick up Wednesday evening into Thursday morning in the hills of the East Bay and North Bay, delivering critical fire risk. Winds between 35 and 45 mph with some 55 mph gusts in localized areas are forecast for Sonoma and Napa counties.

The National Weather Service has a Red Flag Warning in effect for the North Bay mountains, valleys and coast, noon Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday; the East Bay mountains and valleys, 3 p.m. Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday; and the Santa Cruz Mountains, 7 p.m. Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday. –SFgate

PG&E had originally planned on cutting power to more than 209,000 households before dialing back the figure. They have provided the following website for those who may be impacted. Hopefully it doesn’t go down this time. 

PG&E May Sporadically Cut Power To Californians For A Decade

PG&E May Sporadically Cut Power To Californians For A Decade

Californians trying to justify living in the Golden State might be updating their pro/con list by occasional candlelight for up to a decade, according to PG&E. 

On Friday, the state’s largest utility announced that intentional power outages aimed at preventing wildfires may continue for up to a decade. 

CEO Bill Johnson later clarified during a Friday meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission, saying “I didn’t mean to say we’d be doing it on this scale for 10 years. I think they’ll decrease in size and scope every year.” 

Any of PG&E’s 5 million electric customers can be affected by the practice known as Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), which cuts electricity to avoid causing fires during high winds and dry conditions.

California Public Utilities Commission said it held the emergency meeting specifically to hear from PG&E’s executives regarding “the mistakes and operational gaps identified in the utility’s latest Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) events and to provide lessons learned to ensure they are not repeated.” –CNN

Last week nearly 800,000 Californians lost power after PG&E shut it off to lower the risk of wildfires caused by the company’s equipment. The outage cost the city of San Jose at least half a million dollars, according to the mayor. 

According to PG&E, however, “dealing with wildfires is the new abnormal within California.” 

The utility faced harsh comments during Friday’s meeting, with Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer saying she was “astonished” at PG&E’s lack of modern technology and services – citing the fact that even their website crashed during the shutdown

“This is not hard,” Batjer told PG&E execs. “You guys have failed on so many levels on pretty simple stuff. You need to get there now. Not at the end of the year. Now.” 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Did Not Go Well” – PG&E’s Rolling Blackout Sparked Chaos In Bay Area

“This Did Not Go Well” – PG&E’s Rolling Blackout Sparked Chaos In Bay Area

Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) historic blackout plunging hundreds of thousands of customers into darkness last week was a massive communication breakdown that sparked criticism over the two-day blackout that was designed to avoid wildfires, reported The New York Times.

PG&E officials said over the weekend that most of the power had been restored to everyone except for 2,500 customers across several Bay Area counties and promised to fix communication channels with customers.

“We’ll get better in the next month and better in the next year,” PG&E CEO Bill Johnson said Saturday.

“Communication to customers, coordination with state agencies, website availability, call center staff, that’s where you will see short-term improvements.”

Last Wednesday, PG&E triggered rolling blackouts for nearly 735,000 homes and or businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area amid the threat of strong winds and dry conditions that would’ve damaged transmission wires and sparked dangerous wildfires, similar to what was seen last year. Most of the residents were restored by Friday afternoon, but 99.5% of its customers saw full power by Saturday. 

PG&E Blackouts Spread Across Northern California

The shutdown caused widespread confusion about the planned power outage, and according to some experts, billions of dollars in economic losses were sustained by local businesses during the two-day blackout.

PG&E’s website and communication network that relayed essential data about the blackouts crashed, leaving many without details about what was happening. 

“There were definitely missteps,” said Elizaveta Malashenko, a spokesperson for the state Public Utilities Commission who was in the PG&E control center. “It’s pretty much safe in saying, this did not go well.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Is The Third World”: Up To 3 Million Californians To Lose Power As PG&E Begins “Unprecedented” Blackouts

“This Is The Third World”: Up To 3 Million Californians To Lose Power As PG&E Begins “Unprecedented” Blackouts

As previewed last night, PG&E Corp., California’s largest (bankrupt) utility, began shutting off power Wednesday to an unprecedented 3 million people in Northern California in the face of hot, windy weather that raises the risk of wildfires. While the high winds are forecast to subside by late Thursday, the company will undertake extensive inspections of its equipment before turning electricity back on, meaning outages could persist into next week. 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.

Half a million homes and businesses in Northern California have already lost power as PG&E orchestrates the biggest-ever intentional power shutoff to keep its lines from sparking blazes. The company was scheduled to shut service to another 234,000 customers in cities including Berkeley and Oakland at noon local time, but told city and county officials that those cutoffs will instead start Wednesday evening. Strong, dry winds that heighten the risk of wildfires are picking up later than forecast, the company said.

PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center in San Francisco 

According to Bloomberg, 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, even as the city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley appear spared. The undertaking is key to fairly new strategy by PG&E for preventing power lines from sparking another deadly – and costly – conflagration.

“This is unprecedented in terms of what all of us are facing as a community,” PG&E Vice President Sumeet Singh said at a media briefing Tuesday night. “We are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on our customers’ lives.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Vulnerable Are America’s Power Grids?

How Vulnerable Are America’s Power Grids?

America’s electricity grid powers our lives, but, as The Epoch Times’ Chris Chappell points out, because it was never built with attacks in mind, it has plenty of vulnerabilities. 

Everything from malware cyber-attacks, to geomagnetic storms, to nuclear detonations in the atmosphere above the US, even sophisticated electronic weapons from Russia and China – all these threaten to shut down our grid and sow chaos. 

So what, if anything, is being done to counter this threat?

PG&E Outage Leaves 60,000 People Without Power In San Francisco

PG&E Outage Leaves 60,000 People Without Power In San Francisco

Embattled utility PG&E reported a service interruption on Friday that cut power to 22,000 customers – about 60,000 people – in San Francisco and stranded riders on the city’s Muni rail service.

One reporter said problems with PG&E Substation A had likely caused the outage, which started just before 8 am PT. The utility is hoping to have power restored by 10:30. By 9:50 PT, power had been restored to some 7,000 customers, leaving 15,000 still without power.


DEVELOPING: PG&E power outage in SF impacting some 22K customers (appx 60K people). Utility officials on scene say it’s related to problems at Substation A near the Dogpatch neighborhood. Electricity out for traffic lights and Muni subway. Power should be restored @ 10:30.

View image on Twitter

Muni service was impacted in both directions.


UPDATE:

Power outage has impacted #MuniMetro rail service in the subway in both directions. We are organizing bus shuttles as quickly as possible to support svc b/t West Portal & Downtown. https://twitter.com/sfmta_muni/status/1175066231872733184 …https://c/status/1175065718083088389 


Here’s what the outage map looked like at its peak, with southeastern San Francisco the most heavily impacted:

PG&E is advising drivers to use extra caution and to treat traffic lights as four-way stops.

The utility said the cause of the outage is still under investigation.

Power Grid Chaos Jolts Texas On Friday, Energy Costs Triple Amid Heat Wave

Power Grid Chaos Jolts Texas On Friday, Energy Costs Triple Amid Heat Wave

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has been asking customers to conserve energy this week as spot power prices in Texas triple to a record on Friday.

The state’s power grid operator that serves most of Texas declared an energy conservation emergency for the second time this week, the first on Tuesday when temperatures exceeded 100 degrees, and customers cranked up their air conditioners to escape the heat.

ERCOT asked customers this week to reduce energy use between 3 and 7 p.m. Here is what they asked Texans to do:

  • Increase thermostats 2 to 3 degrees
  • Program thermostats at a higher temp when not at home
  • Use a fan, it can lower temperatures by 4 to 6 degrees
  • Use appliances less (dishwashers, washers, and dryers) or only in the morning hours.
  • Run pool pumps in the early morning or overnight hours and shut them off between 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Keep blinds and drapes closed during the hottest part of the day.

ERCOT reported no rotating power outages.

“High temperatures have resulted in record electricity demand over the last few days and may result in a new record today,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness. “Consumers can help lower energy consumption by taking some simple actions between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

First NYC, Then DC…More Power Outages Are Looming: Could Your Area Be Next?

First NYC, Then DC…More Power Outages Are Looming: Could Your Area Be Next?

Anyone reading this probably knows that our American electrical grid is like a groaning, arthritic old man who just keeps on pushing through. We’ve had more than just this one article about massive grid failure.

It seems like we’re seeing more and more power outages this summer for “no reason.”

Last week there was a blackout in NYC.

Last week, New York City suffered a blackout in the heat of summer. Con Edison, the city’s power provider said:

Con Edison said the blackout that plunged parts of Manhattan into darknessSaturday night was due to a substation’s relay protection system that “did not operate as designed.”

The utility company said the faulty system was at its West 65th Street substation.

“That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults. The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability,” Con Edison said in a statement on Monday. “In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.”

Con Edison said the blackout that plunged parts of Manhattan into darkness Saturday night was due to a substation’s relay protection system that “did not operate as designed.”

The utility company said the faulty system was at its West 65th Street substation.

“That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults. The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability,” Con Edison said in a statement on Monday. “In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.” (source)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?

What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?

Russia and the US are engaging in tit-for-tat hacking of each others’ power grid, the New York Times is reporting, in what is really a kind of cyber “cold war” where the hackers from each country’s military and intelligence services load electronic “explosives” in the computer systems of critical infrastructure of the other, that in a crisis or war could be “detonated” to create chaos or bring down electric grids.

The Times article, the publication of which President Trump decried in a tweet as “close to treason,” was disturbing for a number or reasons. One was that sources told the Times the hacking by the US Cyber Command of Russia’s power grid had been conducted without the president’s knowledge, for fear that he might act to prevent it or might disclose it.

In other words, an action — the hostile hacking of another rival country’s essential infrastructure, which the US government has warned other nations would be viewed as an “act of war,” is being taken by the US military, without the President’s or Congress’s knowledge!

That should be enough to send shivers down the spine of any sane person. In fact, the that could lead to a US “military response.”

If the Times is correct in both its articles, the current US hacking of Russia’s power grid is evidence of a US military establishment run amok.

Congress should be outraged and calling for immediate hearings to determine the chain of command that allowed this to happen. Either Trump is lying, and knows all about the hacking, or some high-ranking military officers who acted without his knowledge should be fired the way President Truman fired an insubordinate Gen. Douglas McArthur during the Korean War.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Has Never Happened Before”: Millions Without Electricity After Massive Blackout Cripples Argentina And Uruguay

“This Has Never Happened Before”: Millions Without Electricity After Massive Blackout Cripples Argentina And Uruguay

Millions of people and entire cities descended into darkness as a massive, unprecedented power failure kept Argentina and Uruguay in the dark on Sunday morning, the same day as provincial elections were to be held in parts of Argentina. Parts of Brazil and Paraguay also were affected, according to the BBC.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Ahora en Boedo se ve como CABA está sin luz, aún no hay información oficiall de @OficialEdesur . Estoy esperando al medicio a domicilio por mi hija de 2 años con 39 de fiebre. Vivo en un 9° piso. #SINLUZ #APAGON

According to Buenos Aires-based electricity supplier company Edesur, Argentina suffered a “nationwide” blackout, which also affected neighboring Uruguay, said the company’s spokesperson, Alejandra Martinez, adding that “Something like this has never happened before.”

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Replying to @carlosrsucho @OficialEdesur

Absolutamente todo sin luz!!! Increíble

The company had earlier explained that the massive power outage happened due to a failure in the electrical interconnection system. The blackout itself started at 7:07am local time on Sunday, according to Argentinian officials.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Treason!” NYT Story Reveals US Cyber Ops Against Russian Power Grid Hidden From Trump

“Treason!” NYT Story Reveals US Cyber Ops Against Russian Power Grid Hidden From Trump

President Trump has hurled the dire charge of “Treason” at the New York Times for its lengthy investigative piece alleging US intelligence has stepped up systematic cyber attacks on Russia’s power grid. “This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country…” Trump tweeted Saturday evening in response to the story which ran hours earlier. 

He then hastily added in a follow-up tweet in all caps, “ALSO, NOT TRUE!” — as if only then realizing his initial tweet seemed to actually vouch for the story. The follow-up further excoriated the Times for their reporting with “not even the slightest thought of consequence!”

Whether this means the president is outraged that a true and verified report could be detrimental to US credibility and national security, or that fake news could hurt the US and invite unnecessary cyber retaliation is still not fully evident, but Trump’s impulsive Saturday evening tweets appear to back the former. 

 · 12h

Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country…..

…..ALSO, NOT TRUE! Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today. They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!

And the Times was quick to respond to the “treason” charge as follows:

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Replying to @realDonaldTrump

Accusing the press of treason is dangerous.
We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns. https://nyti.ms/2FdpKV1

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Earth Offline: A ‘Solar Superflare’ Could Impact the Grid Sooner Than We Think

EARTH OFFLINE: A ‘SOLAR SUPERFLARE’ COULD IMPACT THE GRID SOONER THAN WE THINK

Scientists are warning that a solar superflare on the sun could take Earth’s power systems offline sooner than previously thought. New research suggests that our sun could be capable of shooting a superflare in our direction, and it might be relatively soon impacting our power grid.

Even though our sun is older and less active than other stars in the galaxy, that doesn’t mean it’s totally lost its power, according to Yuta Notsu, a visiting researcher at CU Boulder. Notsu and colleagues used Kepler Space Telescope data to check for evidence of superflares on other stars like our sun. “The Kepler results suggest that slowly rotating, sun-like stars can also have superflares,” Notsu said during a press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis on Monday.

According to a report by Forbes, Notsu said the type of superflares his team describes would be at least 100 times more powerful than the Carrington Event of 1859, which is said to have caused Aurora Borealis as far south as Hawaii and destroyed telegraph infrastructure. “Our study shows that superflares are rare events,” said Notsu. “But there is some possibility that we could experience such an event in the next 100 years or so.”

That would mean the power grid is potentially at stake. Depending on the severity of the super flare, we could have major problems that could stretch into months-long issues.

As humans, we are reliant on the power grid for almost everything in our daily lives.  If something goes wrong, and people lose power, we could have societal upheavals and massive civil unrest. While this scenario seems less likely than an all-out economic crash, it’s still important to have the basics of survivalism in the forefront of your mind.  Adopt a preparedness mindset and just consider the possible outcomes if we have problems.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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