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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…

How to Deal with Rolling Blackouts: Notes from South Africa

How to Deal with Rolling Blackouts: Notes from South Africa

Editor’s note: By now, just about everyone has heard about the difficulties occurring in South Africa. The violence is palpable, the corruption is an everyday fact, and utilities such as water and electricity are no longer a given. Not only that, but the cost of these utilities has become prohibitive, so conservation is a necessity. Backup power, such as solar or generators, have become a necessity for many families.

Now people in California are dealing with rolling blackouts due to PG&E’s new policies during wildfire season.

In this article, a regular reader from South Africa shares some of the tips for starting out with generators and backup power that have made it easier to deal with the continuous rolling blackouts and outrageous prices for electricity.  ~ Daisy


Living in South Africa we have had our share of rolling blackouts nationally. The cause: nefarious activities. The result being us forced to find ways to ensure we are not affected as badly.

The problem is better now, but it has highlighted that it is not just a South African problem, but in actual fact a Western world problem. We all are totally reliant on a massive aging infrastructure that can come tumbling down like a house of cards, with or without help.

Another problem is the cost to keep the national system operational. In some areas, it is not a priority to resolve the regular failures.

For getting started with backup power, remember that NEEDs vs WANTs –  a huge price difference.

  • UPSs – with like 2 up to 8 100ah batteries. Good for a number of hours depending on use – most cost-effective solution
  • Generators – works for some, but cheap ones cost more as they damage some electrical appliances over time.
  • Solar inverters and panels – power failures, what is that? And you save a lot of money afterward IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

 …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…

California Hit By Dual Shock: LA Gas Prices Spike Above $5 As Residents Learn Solar Panels Don’t Work In Blackouts

California Hit By Dual Shock: LA Gas Prices Spike Above $5 As Residents Learn Solar Panels Don’t Work In Blackouts

Millions of Californians may have just suffered an unprecedented, induced blackout by the state’s largest (and bankrupt) utility, PG&E, just so it isn’t blamed for starting even more fires causing it to go even more bankrupt… but at least the price of gas is soaring.

According to Fox5NY, citing figures from AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Los Angeles County was $4.25 on Wednesday, 4.5 cents higher than one week ago, 57.6 cents more than one month ago and 37.1 cents greater than one year ago. It has also risen 86.4 cents since the start of the year. What is more troubling is that as California gas prices reached the highest level in the state since 2015, some Los Angeles area gas stations are charging more than $5 a gallon.

The gas price spike started last month after Saudi Arabia oil production facilities were attacked, and accelerated after three Los Angeles-area refineries slowed or halted production due to maintenance issues and no imported gasoline was available to make up for the shortfall, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.


Only in California…

View image on Twitter

The shortage was made worse after local refineries cut back production of summer-blend gasoline in anticipation of switching to selling the winter blend beginning Nov. 1.

But wait, there’s more: America’s most “environmentally conscious” state got a harsh lesson in electrical engineering when many of the tens of thousands of people hit by this week’s blackout learned the hard way that solar installations don’t keep the lights on during a power outage.

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

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.

Preparedness Author Michael Mabee Warns of Grid Threats: “It is not enough to be the only prepared family”

Preparedness Author Michael Mabee Warns of Grid Threats: “It is not enough to be the only prepared family”

In the U.S. we are literally on life support, plugged into the electric grid. If somebody unplugs us, everything necessary to sustain life stops: food, water, fuel, transportation, medical care, communications, financial – everything.

The grid is vulnerable to numerous threats. The U.S. Senate said that in a long-term nation-wide blackout, millions of citizens could die. After a few weeks, we would die in droves from waterborne diseases, starvation, and societal collapse. What if the grid went down for longer than a few weeks?

Why isn’t anything being done about this threat?

We have known this for over two decades from numerous federal reports and hearings, but nothing has been done about it. Why?

“The grid is self-regulated,” author Michael Mabee explained. “The only federal agency with the authority to act, FERC, is run by industry insiders.”

For the past 15 years, commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have been cut from the same bolt of cloth. All but two were lawyers. Most go on to high power positions in law firms representing the utility industry. Some actually go to the utility industry itself. FERC is a stepping stone to a lucrative future position in the industry or representing the industry.

FERC Commissioners don’t want to upset the industry by requiring it to protect the grid from cyber attacks, electromagnetic pulse (EMP), geomagnetic disturbances (GMD), physical attacks and untrimmed foliage. The industry fights efforts to harden the grid.  FERC Commissioners do not want to antagonize an industry dangling lucrative positions following their FERC terms.

The federal government has no plan for a long-term power outage. FEMA recently admitted this:

“Current planning does not include any contingencies for very long term or extremely widespread power outages.” –FEMA National Preparedness Symposium May, 2018

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

State Of Emergency Declared As “Historic Winter Storm” Pounds Carolinas; 100,000 Without Power

A significant and possibly “historic” winter storm is pounding North Carolina to central and southern Virginia with heavy snowfall will bring the likelihood of widespread power outages and travel disruptions into early next week.

AccuWeather meteorologists forecast the heaviest snowfall is expected from the southern Appalachians into the western Piedmont of North Carolina and southern Virginia. Snowfall totals could range in the 12 to 18 inches range, especially in the mountains of North Carolina with the possibility of over two feet of snow.

Over 85,000 customers are without power in North Carolina, with around 35,000 people without power in northwestern South Carolina, according to poweroutage.us as of Sunday morning.

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

Government Agency Warning: Space Storms Could Cause Mass BLACKOUTS

Government Agency Warning: Space Storms Could Cause Mass BLACKOUTS

The Met Office has told United Kingdom ministers that space storms could cause massive blackouts and destroy computers. According to the government agency’s study, a space storm could bring down the internet and all communications.

According to The Sunday Times, a new report is claiming that huge solar flares can generate such intense magnetic fields over Earth which in a flash could burn out delicate electronics and even set them on fire. The report, co-authored with scientists from the British Antarctic Survey, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and Cambridge University said the UK should construct an early warning system because of their risk.

Great Britain is at a major risk of being crippled by huge electrical disturbances caused by solar storms in space unless a satellite network is built that can detect them coming. (And if you guessed the taxpayers are going to foot the bill, you’d be correct.)

“We find that for a one-in-100-year event, with no space weather forecasting capability, the gross domestic product loss to the United Kingdom could be as high as £15.9bn,” The Met Office study said. “With existing satellites nearing the end of their life, forecasting capability will decrease in coming years, so if no further investment takes place, critical infrastructure will become more vulnerable to space weather.”

It’s not like solar storms of this magnitude have never occurred either.  According to Fox News, In 1859 a giant solar flare doubled the sun’s brightness for a few minutes, followed by a surge in magnetism that caused powerful electrical currents in telegraph wires across Europe igniting widespread fires. Another such solar event in 1989 struck Quebec in Canada and burned out power cables led to a blackout. Researchers fear another such event would burn out high-voltage cables and substations across the United Kingdom.

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

Catastrophic Destruction by Michael, Millions Without Power, Towns Destroyed

Hurricane Michael destroyed entire towns. The electric grid won’t need to be restored, it will need to be rebuilt.


primer on this thread just so those outside state understand a little bit about NW part of the state. It is a place we fell in love with as a family years ago & have spent many long weekends enjoying :

Panama City is a vibrant seaside city. Popular vacation spot for both families & college students. Early reports from locals is catastrophic devastation. As it was described to me, the electric grid won’t need to be restored, it will need to be rebuilt.


Destruction for Miles and Miles

Mexico Beach

Search and Rescue Begins Amid Ruins of Florida Coast

Some people elected to ride the hurricane out.

That was not a good move. At least six are dead. More will come.

A Search and Rescue Effort Begins amid ruins of Florida Coast.

Search-and-rescue teams rushed on Thursday to reach communities that Hurricane Michael leveled, hoping to find survivors of the powerful storm after its rampage through the Florida Panhandle and beyond left buildings collapsed and splintered, hospitals damaged, roads and water systems compromised and more than a million homes and businesses without electricity.

Although it was clear by afternoon that the storm had caused widespread damage, some areas remained largely cut off, and the authorities were trying to deploy rescuers by helicopter and boat.

“This is a very dense part of the state, so it’s going to be a lot of work to get to everybody,” Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said. “But we will get to everybody.”

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

Florence Death Toll Climbs To 17 As 3-Month-Old Dies; Wilmington “Virtually Cut Off”

The storm that is now known as Tropical Depression Florence has seen its winds slacken since it first reached the Carolina coast on Friday (though it has battered parts of the state with wind and rains since Thursday), but the unceasing rains have continued, breaking floodwater records in North Carolina and pushing the death toll from the disaster past 17 individuals, as exhausted first responders have been overwhelmed by the number of calls. Meanwhile, more than 1 million people remain without power in the region, according to the Department of Energy (though the DoE said it had some success in restoring access to customers).

However, some of the hardest-hit areas may be without power for weeks.

“We still continue to see heavy rainfalls in both states,” Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said of North and South Carolina. “We want citizens to follow state and local warnings. There is a tremendous amount of flooding.”

With the damage and mayhem wrought by the storm exceeding expectations, the federal government was scrambling on Monday to mobilize thousands of National Guard soldiers and scores of aircraft. The Army Corps of Engineers continued to monitor federal dams and help with rescues as pumps and portable barriers were deployed while specialized search-and-rescue teams arrived from as far away as New York and Nevada. 

According to the Washington Post, the city of Wilmington – which has been the hardest hit city – has been “virtually cut off” from the rest of the state by the rising floodwaters. At least 450 people have been rescued.

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

“A Life Changing Event”: 3 Million To Lose Power, Hog Farmers Panic As Hurricane Set To Smash Into Coast

With Hurricane Florence barreling down on North Carolina, local industries – especially hog farmers – are preparing for the worst. Meanwhile, millions are at risk of losing power as they brace for a historic weather event.

According to David Fountain, Duke Energy’s president for North Carolina, up to 3 million homes  and businesses are at risk of losing power as a result of the hurricane, which in a worst case scenario would come onshore at Wilmington, North Carolina and move through Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte.

Natural devastation aside, there is the crippling impact the storm will have on local businesses: one of the biggest industries in the storm’s path is hog farming. Hundreds of farms are in the direct path of the hurricane and are scrambling to prepare for its impact by stockpiling feed and moving their livestock, according to this Wall Street Journal article. Preparations to manage millions of gallons of hog waste are also underway.

The worst case scenario for North Carolina, with its 2,100 hog farms and 9 million pigs and hogs, would be to cripple the local hog farming industry. The potential devastation for hog farmers would be a deja vu to what happened after Hurricane Floyd struck in 1999. The result was the destruction of many farms, including flooding, dead livestock and waste leaking into waterways.

Preparations for the worst have been aided by a dry summer which has, in turn, kept waste lagoon levels low. Power is also of the essence, because farmers are at risk of losing livestock if their barns can’t be ventilated.

Still, some are optimistic: the CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council, Andy Curliss, believes that farmers will be prepared this time around: “They’ll deal with what’s thrown at them,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

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

Solar Storms Present Danger Of BLACKOUTS For Major East Coast Cities

Solar Storms Present Danger Of BLACKOUTS For Major East Coast Cities

The largest solar storm in recent history struck in 1859 and the auroras could be seen across the globe. But a solar storm of that magnitude today would cause devastating blackouts in major cities on the East Coast of the United States.

An upcoming report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) warns that a region of the Eastern Seaboard will be particularly vulnerable to devastating blackouts in the event of a solar storm thanks to the rocks beneath the surface. It’s widely believed that the type of geomagnetic storm capable of wiping out the grid happens once every century, but a worst-case scenario might result in widespread blackouts that could last for months, the Space Weather Prediction Center told Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg, the soon-to-be-released report found a 300-million-year-old rock beneath the surface of the Eastern Seaboard could amplify the next big solar storm from Washington D.C. all the way to Maine. The makeup of this rock wouldn’t allow the solar energy to go through it and would instead ricochet it back up to the surface, doubling the impacts in this region, the report also said.

But that isn’t the only problem facing those who live on the East Coast. According to USGS research geophysicist and study lead author Jeffrey Love, the Eastern Seaboard is at risk for blackouts not only due to its abundance of insulating rocks but also due to the region’s proximity to the North Pole, where intense solar activity is most likely to strike.

“It’s an active problem that a lot of people are trying to solve and understand,” Space Weather Prediction Center scientist Christopher Balch told Bloomberg, according to The Weather Channel.

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

EMP Commission Warns Of Year-Long Blackout And A Massive Death Toll

EMP Commission Warns Of Year-Long Blackout And A Massive Death Toll

A federal EMP commission report warns that even the smallest EMP attack on our grid system would down it for about a year, if not longer.  A year-long blackout would certainly be coupled with a massive death toll that would devastate entire populations.

The so-called EMP Commission report said that this threat is very real, jeopardizes “modern civilization,” and would set back living conditions to those last seen in the 1800s. As a result of the chaos, millions would likely die, according to the report titled “Assessing the Threat from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP),” from the recently re-established Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack.

“The United States — and modern civilization more generally — faces a present and continuing existential threat from naturally occurring and man-made electromagnetic pulse assault and related attacks on military and critical national infrastructures. A nationwide blackout of the electric power grid and grid-dependent critical infrastructures — communications, transportation, sanitation, food and water supply — could plausibly last a year or longer. Many of the systems designed to provide renewable, stand-alone power in case of an emergency, such as generators, uninterruptible power supplies, and renewable energy grid components, are also vulnerable to EMP attack,” said the 27-page report.

“A long-term outage owing to EMP could disable most critical supply chains, leaving the U.S. population living in conditions similar to centuries past, prior to the advent of electric power,” said the July 2017 report provided Secrets.

In the 1800s, the U.S. population was less than 60 million, and those people had many skills and assets necessary for survival without today’s infrastructure. An extended blackout today could result in the death of a large fraction of the American people through the effects of societal collapse, disease, and starvation,” added the executive summary.

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

The Death Of Traditional Power Grids

The Death Of Traditional Power Grids

Power

The problem with centralized power grids is that they can be crippled at just one point of failure, leaving consumers vulnerable to outages. According to Mark Feasel of Schneider Electric, the cost of such outages for the U.S economy overall is $150 billion a year. An irritating inconvenience for domestic consumers, prolonged outages are expensive, damaging and potentially fatal to businesses of all scales. Insurance may not necessarily cover business that are forced to close due to power outages, just as it may not reimburse damage to property or stock. Given that the question of outages is likely to be when rather than if, it is no surprise that many businesses are looking to augment their power needs with backup systems. While for some that may simply be something like a backup generator, many more are utilising microgrids.

Put simply, a microgrid contains localised energy generation, distribution and in some cases, storage. Microgrids are generally used in discrete locations to provide all of the power needs of that site, but they also work in tandem with a centralized grid, augmenting or providing backup power to that supply.

The main benefits of microgrids are threefold; they are local, independent and intelligent. When energy is produced locally, the grid itself becomes more efficient. Delivering electricity form centralized grids leads to losses of between 8 and 15 percent. This locality also means that the site isn’t susceptible to power outages that affect the central grid. In such an event, the microgrid can take control of the delivery of power before there is any loss, eliminating blackouts and brownouts. The way it does this is by use of intelligent switching. A microgrid can monitor all aspects of the power system, and thereby intelligently switch between the local grid and the wider grid, depending on various factors. It can, for example, monitor price fluctuations and only draw from the main grid when prices are low, switching to local supply when they rise.

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

 

3 Emergency Cooking Ideas Anyone Can Do

3 Emergency Cooking Ideas Anyone Can Do

Going without power because of a natural disaster can be stressful. There are steps you can take to plan for the next storm and one of these is to set up a system for emergency cooking.

Going without power because of a natural disaster can be stressful. There are steps you can take to plan for the next storm and one of these is to set up a system for emergency cooking | PreparednessMama

 

I think it is fun when the power goes out and we have a chance to pull out the camp stove and use it. I actually have separate pots and pans to use on my outdoor stove and even though we almost always use this as our emergency cooking source, it’s a good idea to plan for more than one way to cook in an emergency.

When the storm hits and you are without power for a few hours, days, or even weeks, how will you heat water and cook food?

Those of you who go camping regularly will probably have today’s topic covered. For the rest of us, who don’t take the time to “rough it”, we will be taking a look at the things you can set up for emergency cooking without power.

Plan for More than One Way to Cook in an Emergency

A camp stove works great, but if you run out of fuel you will be stuck. With a little advance preparation, you can make all of these ideas at home and they will cost pennies to make.

Tin Can Stove

This stove is created using a #10 can, a tuna can, wax, and cardboard. A tin can stove and buddy burners have been around since the Great Depression. It was our “go to” cooking source when I was a Girl Scout!

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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