TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: The Great Queens Blackout Continues; No Relief in Sight

Re: The Great Queens Blackout Continues; No Relief in Sight
23 Jul 2006 20:43:56 -0700

Here in Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing project in
North America we alternate from days with shut-down of elevator
service with days of hot water shut down with at least one notice that
BOTH may go down at one time.

This is to "conserve power". We are one block away from BIG ALLIS
part of the electricity generating complex that supplies THIRTY PER
CENT of all power to NYC.

At this rate, the entire city could have electricity as reliable as

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Interesting you mention it ... where I
live here in Independence, I am four blocks from the electric
generating plant for our town (East Main Street and South Cement
Street [so named because the cement plant is at one end of that
street] on the eastern edge of town) which is operated by Westar
Energy -- the former KG&E operation. When my mother lived in this
house seveveral years ago, she would complain "the electricity goes
out sometimes, and that seems odd considering how close we are to the
power house." But what mother did not understand was that _distance
from the power plant_ is not the only criteria; lots of other things
come into play as well. It seems pretty reliable to me, although much
more expensive than I would like. Electric here costs me during the
summer in excess of $150 per month, although I am on the 'average pay
plan' which means I wind up paying about $100 per month all year
around. We have not had any outages this summer at all; we had a
couple of brief ones (about one hour each) last year, and one or two
of the same short duration last winter.

What I _really miss_ however is when the water went out by accident
but that was only once in the time I have lived here -- this past
weekend in fact -- and like the electric, there was no advance notice;
it was just gone. Friday about 5 PM a main water line under Second
Street decided to spring a rather bad leak. The water people say they
lost 'several thousand gallons' of water before they could get it
shut off (all of the block I live on plus much of South Second Street.
I walked down the street through the lake of water to where I saw a
couple of trucks which said 'City of Independence Water Works' on the
side and asked the men about it. They said their 'best estimate' was
several hours needed of work. And it was off 3-4 hours, which is a
real pain if you have no water in reserve and only ice cubes in the
fridge, and one tank full of toilet water in reserve to be flushed as
needed. Anyway, the water guys came to my door about 10 PM Friday
night and said "it is going to take us much longer than we expected,
so we are going to turn the water on _temporarily_ so everyone can
stock up on water to drink and flush their toilets, etc, _then_ after
about an hour we are going to cut it off again, so be warned."

True to their word, shortly afterward, the pipes started hissing as
air ran out, and a _tiny_ stream of water started running. I filled
up several jugs and also the cats' water bowl, etc before it finally
dribbled off. Saturday morning I awakened to the sound of a jack
hammer and a Catepillar tractor-like scoop shovel digging in the
street about a block away. They finished their work around noon,
tossed gravel in the giant hole they made, and came by every house to
say "sorry for the inconvenience in the 100-degree heat." If the
water and the electric had gone off at the same time, that would have
been sort of an ugly situation. Our newspaper, the Independence Daily
Reporter, told us today in the Sunday paper that a ninety year old
section of the main pipe had given out. PAT]

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