Monday, October 29, 2012

Storm Sandy Scenes

Transformer fire on Amity Street took out power all the way up to town center

As always a team effort between APD and AFD 

Pine trees uprooted and resting on power line South Pleasant Street
Flag on Town Hall took a beating
Playing football Community Field in the middle of the storm
UMass fields were well lit but nobody was playing


Anonymous said...

Excellent images as usual Larry. Thanks for braving the elements and look forward to more.

~Bill R.

Larry Kelley said...

No problem.

The more serious incidents of trees falling on houses (2 that I'm aware of, but no injury to the homeowner) occurred after dark so it's hard to get a good photo.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry - I am in a town that has a municipal electrical utility - as do many of the communities in Eastern Massachusetts - and it works much better.

That burning pole is private property, they have to wait for WMECO. By contrast, much as the APD and AFD help each other out sometimes, the Municipal Light & Gas are the guys who know what they are doing, but if they need a responsible adult whom they trust to "spot" them for something, cops & firefighters can do it.

Pole is on fire (which rarely happens here -- someone likely screwed up for that transformer to be burning as long as it did, line fuses should have been there to blow and they should have blown.

Anyway, pole is on fire, is this a firefighter job (as it is a fire) or is it a lineman job? But if you both work for the same employer, if the people without lights are your friends and neighbors, folks your kids go to school with and such, you will work together and do much better.

(And it well may be your own home that is also in the dark...)

Now remember the ice storm of a few years back -- and all the utility trucks we saw sitting around here and there and such? That doesn't happen with a municipal utility -- forget town meeting (when it also may be discussed), someone whose lights aren't on yet may well call your boss (at home) and ask him what the h*ll you two are doing in Dunkin Donuts when his/her/its lights aren't on yet.

There is a lot to be said for this. And I really do think that WMECO messed up because that looked to me like a shorting-out primary which led to a transformer fire. Just saying...

Dr. Ed said...

Larry - word to the wise -- the top wires are 8700 volts to ground, but 13,600 volts between all three of them. It has to do with what 3-phase power is, sine curves and the rest - or you can just trust me.

Not only can you get electrocuted by being in the path between one of these primaries and ground, you can get electrocuted by being in the path between one of the "hot" wires and another one.

Line fuses sound like a .30-06 being fired -- the fuses literally explode and then the fuse holder swings down as a very visible indicator that the fuse is either blown or removed.

Larry, when a pole comes down, you WANT TO hear "gunshots." It is when you don't that you need to be really worried as those lines are still hot. Worse, sometimes the lines are connected at both ends, so even if one set of fuses blew, the other one didn't and the lines can still kill you.

I saw what happened when a guy "found" one of these buried 8700 volt lines a while back -- it cut through the hardened steel tooth of the backhoe like soft butter.

And then the worst part is when someone has a generator running but is still connected to line power too -- and even though the WMECO lines are dead, the generator will go through the transformers backwards and step up what is a very low amperage charge, but enough to kill you .

Larry Kelley said...

I don't mind getting up close and personal with large crowds of drunk college kids but I draw the line with electricity and fire, and this baby was a combination of the two.

That's why God invented zoom lenses.

Dr. Ed said...

Difference between you and me Larry is that I actually feel more comfortable with electricity & fire than drunken college kids. Drunken college kids have the wild variable known as "cop" and that's like working on live electrical circuits knowing that someone is going to spray you with a fire hose but you just don't know if you will be done first.

It's been a decade but I still haven't quite gotten over Hobart -- and likely never will. Nor really truly ever trust a police officer again, although that is more the UMPD's doing. Long story, and whatever happened to the suit the union had against the UMPD for the illegal recording devices?

I *respect* electricity, I *respect* fire - don't get me wrong - but both are in some ways quite predictable (and in some ways not). But my MD was *pissed* when he heard about Hobart -- and I lost my innocent belief that if you haven't done anything wrong, the policeman is your friend.

Anonymous said...

astshroEd, please please please stop using this decent blog as your own non-stop rant-full soap box.

Anonymous said...

Larry needs to stop publishing Ed's rant-filled gibberish! It's as simple as that. Do you think anyone really reads Ed's nonsense, Larry? You are enabling Ed by continuing to publish his silliness.
If Larry will not stop publishing the gibberish, the only alternative we all have is to just not read it. Which is what I do.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed is just like HERPES. Right when you think it's going away, up pops another episode. Larry won't publish this anyway, I've noticed he defends poor Dr. Ed and only posts certain comments.

Anonymous said...

wonder if carol gray , et al, are still upset about WMECO pruning and removing all those could have been a lot worse if the electric company was not as pro-active.....