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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.

Catastrophic Power Outage Poses a “Profound Threat” to the US, New Government Report Finds

Catastrophic Power Outage Poses a “Profound Threat” to the US, New Government Report Finds

The United States is not prepared for a catastrophic power outage, according to an alarming new report from the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC).

The report, titled Surviving a Catastrophic Power Outage, explains the findings of the council, which is tasked with examining the nation’s “ability to respond to and recover from a catastrophic power outage of a magnitude beyond modern experience, exceeding prior events in severity, scale, duration, and consequence. Simply put, how can the nation best prepare for and recover from a catastrophic power outage, regardless of the cause?”

It begins with a grim statement in the Executive Summary:

After interviews with dozens of senior leaders and experts and an extensive review of studies and statutes, we found that existing national plans, response resources, and coordination strategies would be outmatched by a catastrophic power outage. This profound risk requires a new national focus.

The NIAC defines a catastrophic power outage as:

  • Events beyond modern experience that exhaust or exceed mutual aid capabilities
  • Likely to be no-notice or limited-notice events that could be complicated by a cyber-physical attack
  • Long duration, lasting several weeks to months due to physical infrastructure damage
  • Affects a broad geographic area, covering multiple states or regions and affecting tens of millions of people
  • Causes severe cascading impacts that force critical sectors—drinking water and wastewater systems, communications, transportation, healthcare, and financial services—to operate in a degraded state

Actions that all levels of government need to take to prepare are discussed in the report, as summarized in this chart:

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

2 Dead, 700,000 Without Power As Damages From “Nightmare” Michael Top $20 Billion

As it moved inland over Georgia on track to hammer some parts of South and North Carolina that haven’t yet recovered from Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm Wednesday night. It’s expected to exit the Continent on Friday, leaving a more than 200-mile long trail of devastation and what’s expected to be roughly $20 billion in damages as it tears through the southeastern US. Already, 2 deaths have been confirmed, and it’s believed that more will come. During the latest update, the storm was 30 miles west of Augusta, Georgia and is headed into South Carolina. 

Michael

(Courtesy of Accuweather)

Despite the downgrades, Michael has cemented its status as the third most powerful storm to ever make landfall in the Continental US. Strong winds and torrential rains continued to batter Georgia overnight and have spread to South Carolina as well. According to Accuweather, winds reached 60 mph across Georgia overnight, and speeds were expected across the Carolinas over the next 24 hours.

More than 700,000 homes and businesses had lost power in Florida, Alabama and Georgia early on Thursday. The governors of North and South Carolina warned about coming heavy rain and storm-force winds as Michael moved north along the Atlantic seaboard. The NHC warned that the storm could cause life-threatening flash flooding on Thursday and Friday across the Carolinas, Georgia and as far away as Virginia.

To provide an update on the status of disaster relief, the head of the NHC will give a news conference at 8:30 am ET:

Mike

As residents prepare themselves for the monumental task of rebuilding after the storm reduced thousands of homes to splinters, scientists and first responders are reflecting on how Michael intensified from a tropical storm with negligible expected impact on Saturday to a borderline Category 5 storm that was among the most powerful to ever come ashore in the US – and certainly the most powerful storm to ever hit the Florida panhandle since record-keeping began.

…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…

 

Pandemonium: Atlanta Airport Power Outage Grounds Flights, Traps Travelers; Evacuation Underway

Pandemonium: Atlanta Airport Power Outage Grounds Flights, Traps Travelers; Evacuation Underway

Update: Delta has canceled all remaining Sunday flights ”to allow the operation to best reset for Monday,” it said in a statement on its website. The company now anticipates a near-full schedule Monday in Atlanta ”pending full resumption of power”; adding that some delays and cancellations can be expected. Delta noted that it has canceled approx. 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday as a result of the outage. Full Delta statement below:

The Atlanta airport lost power Sunday across concourses and terminals affecting all airlines. As a result of the ongoing outage, Delta will cancel its remaining Sunday domestic schedule to allow the operation to reset for Monday. The airline has canceled approximately 900 mainline and Delta Connection flights Sunday as a result of the outage and 48 flights have diverted to alternate airports due to a nationwide groundstop for Atlanta-bound flights.

Pending full resumption of power, Delta anticipates a near-full schedule Monday in Atlanta, though some delays and cancellations can be expected.

Delta continues to deplane the remaining customers from aircraft that have not been able to park at terminal gates that require power to operate. The airline will also work to reunify customers with their luggage once power is restored.

The Atlanta Airport, along with Atlanta Police Department, are restricting the vehicles allowed to the terminal drop-off and pick-up area due to congestion. Delta customers are encouraged to check the status of their flight via the Fly Delta mobile app or delta.com before heading to the airport. A travel waiver has been issued for Delta customers flying to, from or through Atlanta allowing customers to make one-time changes to their travel plans. Details are available at delta.com.

Delta has temporarily embargoed unaccompanied minors from traveling Monday due to the power outage. Unaccompanied minors who already began their travel Sunday may continue.

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

Chaz Peling: Backup Power Solutions

Chaz Peling: Backup Power Solutions

Be prepared if the lights suddenly go out

Over the past month, the Americas have sustained extensive damage from 3 major Atlantic hurricanes and 2 major earthquakes in Mexico. In terms of destroyed houses and businesses, ruined cars, and lost lives, it has been an extremely costly couple of weeks.

One common factor present in the aftermath of each of these disasters has been the loss of electrical power. Harvey knocked out power for 250,000 people. Irma topped 4 million. Maria has deprived 3.5 million people of electricity in Puerto Rico alone. The earthquakes in Mexico City and Oaxaca resulted in blackouts for well over 5 million.

Without electricity, our capability to conduct our modern way of life becomes immediately and severely curtailed. Communication instantly stops. Food quickly spoils. Sundown puts an end to all activity. Air conditioning and water well pumps no longer function.

And as prolonged blackouts often go hand-in-hand with gas shortages, disaster victims are often truly forced into a “dark ages” lifestyle.

This week, Chaz Peling, founder of Sol Solutions, joins the podcast to share his expertise on residential backup power options. The good news is that recent technology advancements offer more robust and affordable solutions than ever before. The bad news is, you have to invest the effort to procure an install them in advance ofthe next crisis for them to be of use.

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

Yesterday’s Broad Power Outage Likely Caused By Geomagnetic Storm

YESTERDAY’S BROAD POWER OUTAGE LIKELY CAUSED BY GEOMAGNETIC STORM

Prior session, a massive US power grid failure was seen across the entire United States in one simultaneous fashion. San Fransisco, New York, and Los Angeles were the three main areas that were hit the hardest. Each of the areas experienced challenges or shut downs in business commerce. Also, basic infrastructure such as communication networks, mass transportation, and supply chains experienced challenges. To many this seemed apocalyptic with anaylst citing possible cyber attacks amid mounting geopolitical turmoil across the globe. We’re shocked that mainstream media didn’t revive the failing Russian narrative for another round of fake news to confuse the masses. Personally, I don’t think it was a cyber attack or the Russians, but more of a Space Weather Event.

Space weather refers to the environmental conditions in Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere due to the Sun and the solar wind that can influence the functioning and reliability of spaceborne and ground-based systems and services or endanger property or human health.

Here is PG&E outage map from yesterday’s event. Widespread. 

This is the Planetary K-Index, which 5 or greater indicates storm-level geomagnetic activity around earth. The latest space weather data signals a geomagnetic storm rolled in on April 20, 2017. During the elevated K-waves >5, San Fransisco, New York, and Los Angeles experienced power grid failures simultaneously.

LATEST SPACE WEATHER WARNINGS

April 22, 2017 @ 08:40 UTC
Geomagnetic Storm Warning (UPDATED)
A moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm is currently in progress thanks to a high speed solar wind stream above 700 km/s. More storming is expected over the next several days as a coronal hole stream rattles our geomagnetic field. Sky watchers at middle to high latitudes should be alert for visible aurora during the next several nights.ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6
Threshold Reached: 2017 Apr 22 0559 UTC
Synoptic Period: 0300-0600 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 – Moderate

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

This Is How Quickly Society Will Break Down: “If You Don’t Have Food Yet I Feel Sorry For You”

This Is How Quickly Society Will Break Down: “If You Don’t Have Food Yet I Feel Sorry For You”

panic-store-shelves

Record breaking winter snow storms… they might be extreme, but should they really be crippling cities across the country?

The Drudge Report is splashed with warnings to “shelter in place,” while reporting that food is running out, and grocery stores shelves have been wiped out. The East Coast is on the brink.

But should they be?

Here is a live exercise reminder that the system can and will break down in an instant. The population is simply not ready for a major emergency. Hopefully you are; but they just aren’t.

This is just a blizzard – it may be a worst-in-history snow storm driven by media frenzy– but it IS expected to pass through after a day or two. Aside from a few power outages and street repairs, things will hopefully be back to normal. It could get worse, but that remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, if these pictures of store shelves are any evidence, society is not equipped for even the most basic crisis:


Shelves starting to empty at Giant on H St. in D.C. Water mostly gone, eggs & milk too.

Massive Blackout Hits Turkey, Grounding Planes, Stopping Subways; Terror Not Ruled Out

Massive Blackout Hits Turkey, Grounding Planes, Stopping Subways; Terror Not Ruled Out

Ankara, we have a problem.

At around 10:36 a.m. local time, Turkey suffered a massive power outage that left half of the country’s 81 provinces without electricity in what was the biggest blackout in a decade and a half. The blackout shut down subways in Instanbul and knocked out 11 of 16 air traffic control receivers, grounding flights to and from the capital. Although the cause is not yet known, officials haven’t yet ruled out the possibility that the blackout may be terror-related.Here’s more via Reuters:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said all possible causes of the outage were being investigated and did not rule out sabotage, but said that trouble with transmission lines was the most likely reason for the problem.

“Our main target right now is to restore the network. This is not an incident that we see frequently,” Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said during a trip to Bratislava, in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

“Whether or not terrorism is a high possibility or a low one I can’t say at this stage. I can’t say either whether it is a cyber attack,” he said in response to questions from reporters.

…and a bit more via RT:

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

 

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