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  1. #51

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    Drove past my old Highland Park neighborhood last night. Power still out. All was dark from city border [Tennyson] to Davison east of Woodward. Just like the 1997 tornado aftermath but in the midst of a deep freeze.

  2. #52
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gannon View Post
    I spent about 45 minutes in dazzled awe at the sounds of the "forest" in the middle of Belle Isle Wednesday morning. As soon as I'd driven around the bend into the thick of it, I heard a crack and slow crash/crunch/crumble off to my right...far enough away to not be a threat, but close enough to tickle my adrenal glands a tad.

    A few years back, our neighbor's hundred-foot-tall beast split in half and almost crushed me...that sound clearly triggers some lingering PTSD. That might've been September 11th, 2013.

    Maybe a hundred yards further, another sharp crack to my right...where I saw a top branch snap off one of the tallest trees around. It did a drunken tumble to the ground, tugged and twisted by every other branch around. I pulled over to hear the trees banging into each other in the gusts...some echoing quite a hollow thunking clack, which reminded me of the bamboo forest just over two miles into the Na Pali trail on Kaua'i. Totally mesmerizing.

    One huge grandfather was already leaning, and seemed to sadly sway with the gusts...I just knew he was ready to quit fighting...but then realized that if he went down, he'd block the road. So I pulled ahead far enough to watch in my rearview mirror. Nothing happened, although the wind tried to put him away.

    Sat there peacefully for a moment until the most amazing roar of a crack...over my left shoulder, roughly in the middle of the woods between the two shortcut roads. A whole tree went down, and brought down a smaller one along the way. I thought I was going to see a domino line tumble.

    All of this served to put me in such a heightened state...it was a full-on adrenal dump. If this is near what ol' Hunter S. used to get out of consuming human adrenals...I understand. What a rush.

    I rode this buzz all the way home...sharing with my partner and a friend through texts filled with expletives and exclamations. It lasted until our power went away...about three hours later. Damnit, I had work to do...

    We didn't get it back until late last night...this morning was our first 'normal' one since Tuesday. Both enjoying every moment of power, and heat...the house got down to 53 degrees, which is so uncomfortable it MUST be dangerous for a duration. Luckily, the gas-fired water heater has some capacitor-battery...because it never flinched.

    We almost didn't notice the power had come back on...I'd tripped all the breakers, so the sensitive electronics and appliances wouldn't fry with the on-surge. If my honey hadn't gone upstairs for her knitting supplies and looked outside to find the neighbors all lit up...we would've gone a while with our no-power routine.

    My LG tablet finally earned its keep...the extra cash at&t makes us spend on cellular for it allowed me to watch an episode of 24 that I'd missed...

    I learned that I'm becoming an even more fierce creature of habit...these disturbances are more unsettling than they used to be. Hope everyone finds their "normal" again...


    Cheers!
    Glad to hear you weren't hit by any falling trees.

  3. #53

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    It was and remains crazy ala lights out! I drove by that seedy hotel up on Woodward near Powerhouse Gym and it was filled up of cars. They've not had such business on a weekend!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowell View Post
    Drove past my old Highland Park neighborhood last night. Power still out. All was dark from city border [Tennyson] to Davison east of Woodward. Just like the 1997 tornado aftermath but in the midst of a deep freeze.

  4. #54

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    We arrived home for a visit last Thursday and felt twice lucky:

    1) We missed the storm by one day.
    2) My parents' house (where we stayed) was spared a power outage. An area beginning only three blocks away was dark.

    Last year their neighborhood suffered a power outage during a much weaker storm, when no one else seemed to be affected. DTE trimmed a lot of tree limbs around them after that. It was sad how it resulted in so many mangled and misshapen trees, but it may be why they didn't lose power this time around.

    Most of our other relatives in the area weren't as lucky, which meant we got to see a lot more than we otherwise would of them. One who lives far enough he's outside the DTE service area is still without power and was told he may not get it back for several more days.

    It sure would be nice to bury the power lines underground, but I wouldn't want it paid for by a steep rate hike. I wonder what it would look like to compare the cost of burying the power lines vs. the benefits. I'm not sure the costs. For benefits I count: 1) a more reliable power grid; 2) lower maintenance costs (tree trimmings, repairs); 3) fewer unsightly poles, wires, and mangled trees; 4) fewer fried squirrels (which since when that happens it usually results in a short circuit leads us back to benefit #1).

    It does not seem to be a priority of many in government to significantly upgrade our aging infrastructure, but our president claims it's a priority of his. If it happens, would it make any sense to allocate some of the investment on burying power lines? Can anyone who knows more about this break it down?

    I'm guessing that since the poles are used for other lines besides electric getting rid of them would require coordinating with several other companies besides DTE.
    Last edited by bust; March-13-17 at 02:14 PM.

  5. #55

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    Underground power lines are more reliable, but are harder and more expensive to fix when they have a break. While impervious to wind, they do have a problem with water intrusion in case of a flood. Even if the local distributor lines are underground, you can still lose power if an above ground feeder line goes down.

  6. #56

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    Man, am I glad that we have less of a mass of humanity over here in Windsor in that, when the power goes out over here, you're almost guaranteed to have it back by tomorrow. Even despite the great cascading outage of 2003, no one I know in Windsor has a generator or really ever had any need for one. At least not to power anything in their home.

    That said, we definitely have some areas with crappy power that suffer outages or surges at the drop of a hat. All those areas are typically in the surrounding county areas served by the greater Ontario utility though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bigb23 View Post
    For the longest time, you could not find any power outage info on any DTE website, other than the occasional power breakfast wrap, and selected community input.

    I was overjoyed when the DTE outage map would give me a little info about my umpteenth yearly outage.

    Now it is so bad, their WHOLE online system map shuts down for days.

    Is this to avoid some corporate em BARE ASSED ment ?

    My heart goes out to the families of the crews, waiting for loved ones out there for us, and having been a lineman in an ice storm before, I could only imagine.
    If it's any consolation, we learned that you may qualify for a credit on your bill if those umpteen outages are >6 and longer than 15 minutes in duration.

    Anyway, I went over to visit and help in White Lake during the outage. The app, website, and DTE customer service in general, were utterly useless. I was there starting on Saturday the 11th and DTE just kept bumping the restoration ETAs up 24 hours each day. They continued to give unrealistic restoral estimates online and in the media despite the fact that when the app map finally started working, you could clearly see that due to the sheer number and spread of the outages, there was no way they would meet their timelines.

    I had to leave late on Tuesday and there was still no hope in sight for the folks I was leaving behind (other than another very general and ultimately false restoral ETA of 11:30pm that night). I learnt later that they finally got their power back on Thursday afternoon, March 16th, after almost 8.5 days of being without. An out of state crew had shown up down the street and fixed a short on a pole in about 10 minutes.

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