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LASAR is without power and internet for 5 days (10/9)

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I got this email from LASAR today, 10-9, just posting since many of us order parts from them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Due to the PG&E power shutoffs for wildfire prevention, LASAR has lost all phone, internet, and computer operations in the hangar/office. 

We will have limited access to emails (from our cell phones!). All phone messages, P&A requests, and parts orders will be addressed when power gets restored (They are saying up to 5 days).

Thank you for your patience during this time.

For more information on the power shutoffs in our area, as well as projected times of reenergization (unknown as of now) please visit:  
https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/public-safety-power-shutoff-faq.page

Thank you,

 

Dustin NcCorchuk

Marketing

LASAR Inc. 


 

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*Members that donate $10 or more do not see advertisements*

I was wondering when the PG&E debacle would show up... its in the finance news section around here...

I am expecting to see some funky fall-out from this... 

When the utility companies stop producing power because of fire dangers...

How many people will be running their own generators next to their house?

On the east coast, we see the generators get installed after hurricane season.... and portable units get bought up after snow storms...

Thanks for posting the Lasar situation, Paul.

Best regards,

-a-

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I’m currently seeing TV ads warning of frightening power shut offs, and promoting home generator systems.   

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6 hours ago, carusoam said:

I was wondering when the PG&E debacle would show up... its in the finance news section around here...

I am expecting to see some funky fall-out from this... 

When the utility companies stop producing power because of fire dangers...

How many people will be running their own generators next to their house?

On the east coast, we see the generators get installed after hurricane season.... and portable units get bought up after snow storms...

Thanks for posting the Lasar situation, Paul.

Best regards,

-a-

It's not generation.  It's transmission of the generated power.   And high winds.     High winds and powerlines makes sparks.   Dry grass and sparks makes fire.   And then you have the Camp Fire from last year.   Our office is on the East shore and they were going to lose power last night.  Tesla sent out a warning about charging your car.   Living without power for 5 days after hurricanes I feel their pain.

Funny think about the Camp Fire is the town of Paradise that got torched was in the production of some consumables of questionable status.   So the people were not excited about the attention it brought to their town. 

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5 minutes ago, GeeBee said:

Funny that no other state has this problem.

 

How many other states have Santa Ana Winds and lots of dry grass?

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6 minutes ago, Yetti said:

How many other states have Santa Ana Winds and lots of dry grass?

And zillions of people?

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46 minutes ago, Yetti said:

How many other states have Santa Ana Winds and lots of dry grass?

it's almost like clockwork that some major forest fire develops on the west coast somewhere every year.

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8 hours ago, MooneyMitch said:

I’m currently seeing TV ads warning of frightening power shut offs, and promoting home generator systems.   

Two unfortunate side effects of home generator use are fires caused by insufficient clearance to combustible materials, and carbon monoxide exposures.  Be careful out there.

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2 hours ago, Yetti said:

How many other states have Santa Ana Winds and lots of dry grass?

Kansas has lots of dry grass and we don't even consider it windy unless it's over 40 mph.  It's not uncommon to see winds exceed 70 mph on hot summer day under the right circumstances.  The big differences though, we don't have a lot of people and the land is relatively flat, so getting firefighting equipment to the fire is generally pretty easy.

I believe the bigger issue than the dry grass is the dry evergreen trees.  Grass fires are pretty small when compared to forest fires.

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Most people don't consider lectricity a luxury till you don't have it for a couple of days.   Yes a generator will run one appliance at a time and waffle maker.  forging for gas for the generator is a quest.

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Power lines are only a problem when the areas around them aren't maintained free of vegetation and the vegetation grows too close to the lines.   This is why it's not a problem anywhere else, there's nothing special about CA.   PG&E dropped the ball on maintenance due to cost pressure (it's expensive to have many crews dedicated to brush trimming), and now they're suffering the legal and financial consequences and passing it on to the local consumers.

Once in a while a power company gets bit by this, but they got bit especially hard.

People in regions that have natural gas might consider NG generators, as they're pretty easy and inexpensive to maintain and operate.   Otherwise diesel standby generators can be a consideration.    We're blessed with very reliable power here, but I've still been considering an NG backup just because an outage in the middle of summer can be a big problem.

Edited by EricJ
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The east coast has gone through some changes WRT power distribution maintenance...

the power lines have become more defined as the growth has been cut back tremendously.  Fallen trees are a big challenge.

Nat gas is abundant, and has some hidden distribution challenges that recently showed up...  accidentally sending high pressure into low pressure systems has a tendency to burn down neighborhoods....

 

when the electricity goes down, it is good to have...

  • gas stove to cook
  • propane grill for back-up cooking...
  • gas water heater with a flame / pilot light... electric controls can lead to disappointment...
  • Source of heat, fireplace with some wood out back is helpful... though often imperfect...
  • Wood or coal stove is better, the further north you go...
  • Solar...?
  • each car also carries a spare energy source... jumpstarts, compressor and hours of MS when needed...
  • Snow and ice make a good chiller for food and beverages...
  • kerosene heater, bring you portable CO monitor home... ( read the instructions if it’s been a while)
  • Still have a kerosene lamp?

When electricity really goes down...

  • gasoline availability is hampered... no power to run fuel pumps...  70s oil embargo long lines at the few stations with generators...
  • cell towers stop working, some have back-ups...

Good luck to everyone dealing with the electricity outage... it is much better than fires... plenty of room for improvement...

PP thoughts only, no utility distribution experience...

Best regards,

-a-

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If PG&E doesn't cut the power on its lines when the gov't issues a red flag warning for winds and there is a fire they'll get sued. Not a lot of incentive here. Who wants to be the executive in the civil trial explaining why you ignored the NWS warnings. The only reason PG&E provides power to these remote areas across kindling is because the PUC requires it.

 

-Robert 

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it's almost like clockwork that some major forest fire develops on the west coast somewhere every year.

You’re not supposed to notice patterns

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As this thread evolves, I ask is it wise to continue to attempt to ban natural gas as an energy source...... putting all our eggs (so to speak) into one electrical basket ? ;)

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7 minutes ago, MooneyMitch said:

As this thread evolves, I ask is it wise to continue to attempt to ban natural gas as an energy source...... putting all our eggs (so to speak) into one electrical basket ? ;)

Why does it cost $500 to convert a car in South america to Natural Gas and $5000.00 in the USA?

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5 hours ago, skydvrboy said:

Kansas has lots of dry grass and we don't even consider it windy unless it's over 40 mph.  It's not uncommon to see winds exceed 70 mph on hot summer day under the right circumstances.  The big differences though, we don't have a lot of people and the land is relatively flat, so getting firefighting equipment to the fire is generally pretty easy.

I believe the bigger issue than the dry grass is the dry evergreen trees.  Grass fires are pretty small when compared to forest fires.

Just to clarify, the hazard is not just winds, but the extremely dry air that accompanies the wind. The air is dried out from coming from the hot dessert and is then further dried out as it is pushed up over the mountains and then gets hotter and hotter as it compresses coming down hill to the coast. In a true Santa Ana condition the temps are highest the closer you get to the the beach (opposite of our normal onshore flow pattern). Those very dry winds dry out the local vegetation, chaparral and grasses which was already very dry after a hot summer with little if any rain. Then we have the prime conditions to allow any ignition source including winds blowing power lines to quickly start a fast moving inferno of a fire. This past winter with significantly more than average rain triggered a greater than average amount of brush growth this past year which is another big concern for us this fire season.

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Just emerged from the dark yesterday evening after three and a half days. Thankfully we have propane for stove and water heat. Well there is quite a bit of misinformation about this. Safety is certainly one of the drivers of the shutdown but also financial concerns as a result of massive law suits against PG&E. Look up inverse condemnation in the California law. This was originally created for the ability to sue government but was somehow expanded to apply to privately held utilities. It states parties may be held liable even if no negligence is found. Maintaining tree clearance from power lines in California is no easy trick many of them are on private property and if a property owner refuses to allow trimming which happens a lot the utility has no authority to mandate the trimming or removal of the trees. PG&E spends hundreds of millions on tree trimming every year and it must have the money provided in the rate case hearings every few years with the CPUC. If the budget for trimming is not enough based on the CPUC approval then only so much clearing can be done. Another problem is for many years the state has stopped the deforestation clearing and controlled burning on the off season. Add to that the amount of dead vegetation due to bore Beatle makes for quite the tinderbox.  Sadly they have to rely on NWS predictions and the declaration of a red flag warning and these really don't nail down small geographical areas so some people get shut down and no wind ever happens such as where we live during this latest event. Many transmission lines cross over hills and mountain ranges which do receive high winds and sadly these circuits feed large areas of distribution so when they open the transmission it affects large amounts of customers.

There have been some serious problems with the officers and senior management at PGE over the past several years to be sure. One of which is due to the company bringing in people that often don't have any experience running a large utility from other executive positions in other business lines IMHO the utility is way to top heavy in management . The men and women that work tirelessly on providing reliable gas and electric service on the crews and in engineering are as frustrated as the customers they serve.

Edited by bonal
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On 10/10/2019 at 6:47 AM, whiskytango said:

Two unfortunate side effects of home generator use are fires caused by insufficient clearance to combustible materials, and carbon monoxide exposures.  Be careful out there.

Don’t forget the decreased air quality from those gas generators. There’s been quite a bit of talk about PG&E’s shutdown to the Bay Area being punitive “you want to sue us when there’s a fire? Fine. We’ll just shut down power to the whole area.” If the predictions about CO poisoning, harm to susceptible individuals from poor air quality and fires from portable generators hold true, the economic impact and number of people hurt from shutting down the power to large areas in California for several days may be similar to what would have happened with the fires (except it’s not clear that the shutdowns have prevented any fires).

Sadly, this isn’t the only example we have of doing things we know will harm and inconvenience a large number of people in order to look like you’re preventing something catastrophic from happening to a very small group of people, despite the lack of evidence that your intervention is effective.

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