Tuesday, November 01, 2011

To Trim Or Not To Trim, That Is The Question.

Since the only thing that I could entertain myself with during the power outage was to listen to the radio. On the station that I was listening to, there were so many callers complaining about the massage outage, they were say that the power companies have to get more aggressive on tree trimming or bury the power lines. Do they know what they are saying?

Every few year the power company comes around and trims the trees along their lines, I know this because I see them out there trimming. During this storm it wasn’t the branches that caused the power outages in town, but whole trees. I had a tree in my backyard (I have about 200 feet of wetlands to the main road and it is heavily wooded) and one of them was leaning on the power lines, the tree was about 50 feet tall and about 40 feet from the power lines. Most of the other downed wires that I saw around town were also cause by tall trees falling on the lines. As I was driving around town, most of the wires going to homes that I saw were knocked down were by branches, but I think, the majority of the main power lines were knocked down by trees.

So that means that these people who want more aggressive trimming would need to trim back at least sixty feet from the lines. I don’t think that many home owners would like to be told that any tall trees in their front yards would have to be cut down. Those nice pines tree in your front lawn... gone. The beautiful maple… gone. Those quant tree lined streets that New England is famous for…gone. They would be replaced by a clear cut strip 50 feet on either side of the power lines.

Some people say bury the power lines. That would cost $Big Bucks$ and I for one do not want to pay for it. Also, it is not the cure all; did you ever see a picture of a manhole explosion when one of the wires shorted out? Water is the big danger for underground utilities. The wires are not carrying only 240 volts, over 15 thousand volts, there is a lot of energy in the wire that can do considerable damage. In addition, there is a lot of capacitance losses with long distance underground wires.

Yeah, it is a great big inconvenience. But it got me out and talking to my neighbors for the first time in a very long time. A family that I know, they posted on Facebook that they went outside with their kids and built snow forts and snowmen together. That night they sat around reading together by the fire, toasted marshmallows in the fireplace and played games together in the candle light. At the library, I told a couple of people where I found gas without waiting lines and we were all talking about the “Storm”. There was a woman who was working on her computer and calling her clients. I also bet you that a lot of people, just sat back watching the fire, listen to soft music and sipping a drink and relaxing. It was a great timeout if you let it be.

Also, it made me appreciate a nice long hot shower.

Yes, it is harder on older people or the disabled and they probably had to go to shelters and that is a big inconvenience and hardship for them. At the library, I overheard two older women who were getting books for the readers at the library and they neighbors, from the conversation that I overheard they had just met at the shelter. And it also got me out of the house and to the library for the first time where I sat for a couple of hours; instead of the normal in and out. How does the saying go, when life hands you a lemon go and make lemonade. See you later… I’m going to make lemonade.

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