Welcome to the Finger Lakes! Our theme song:

In a town this size, there's no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know...
In a smokey bar, in the backseat of your car
In your own little house, someone's sure to find you out
What you do and what you think
What you eat and what you drink...

(Kieran Kane)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why are we still depending on electric poles?

First electric pole goes up in Dunkirk, NY, 1875

Back in October, an early season snowstorm knocked out power in a large area of the Northeast.  With leaves still on the trees, heavy snow brought branches down on power lines, many of which remained on the ground for days.  Today, November 7, thousands of Connecticut residents are furious - many are still without electric service
 The electrical outages, the legacy of a storm that hammered the Northeast on Oct. 29 and 30, were largely an unpleasant memory by Sunday night for most of the 3 million who lost power at the height of the storm. But in Connecticut, about 50,000 residents remained without electricity by Monday morning, nine days after the storm. In New Jersey and Massachusetts, only a few hundred customers remained without power.
Per the historic photo above, we see that today's electric transmission pole technology appears to be not unlike that in use in New York in 1875, shortly after the Civil War.  Why, in the third century of widespread electric power distribution, are all those lines not safely nestled underground in plastic conduit?  We suspect it may have something to do with the nature of government mandated monopolies, but we welcome other explanations.  Hit the comment button below to set us straight!

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