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#231734 - 09/09/11 11:18 AM Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5296
Loc: SOCAL
How widespread is the power outage in the SouthWest? LA Times article I know my home is in the dark (candlepower and flashlights only), but fortunately, I'm not there. Apparently, from what I hear, it's a cascade failure starting in AZ.
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Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
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#231739 - 09/09/11 12:11 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: Russ]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I'm in south Orange County but luckily I'm just north of the blacked out region. There are blacked out neighborhoods in my city and in adjacent cities, and there were a number of news helicopters hovering overhead yesterday evening. ("Look, folks, blackness below...") I haven't talked to anyone about their commute home, but it must've been a royal pain for many. It's boring to watch helicopter shots on TV of gridlocked traffic. I much prefer our high speed car chases. wink

My friend took a long weekend to Palm Springs yesterday and apparently they were without power, too. Whew, Palm Springs with no AC? Miserable.

Early this morning, I happened to be listening to a San Diego AM station and they mentioned that a number of SD cities were under "boil water" orders, although the announcer made it seem like it was unconfirmed info. Cities like La Jolla, Scripps Ranch, Otay Mesa, and a number of others. I'm sure folks in upscale La Jolla are not accustomed to their tap water being suspect--and only half a day after the power goes out.

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#231752 - 09/09/11 02:48 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: Russ]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I was just talking to someone and he said his home in Rancho Santa Margarita was without power. Took him 4 hours to drive home yesterday.

That's the furthest city north I have heard of with power outages yesterday.

Although the power seems to be back on for most folks, the reactors at San Onofre nuclear power plant are still offline. I don't know if there's enough spare capacity to get through the day without those reactors online, and inspecting a nuke plant whenever they trip off usually takes time. Since we've been having a bit of a heat wave this week, there's going to be a lot of demand for power.

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#231764 - 09/09/11 05:45 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: Russ]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396

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#231767 - 09/09/11 05:55 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: TeacherRO]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

Perhaps the outage mystery is to do with the experiment.

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#231771 - 09/09/11 07:12 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: Russ]
Mark_R Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/29/10
Posts: 853
Loc: Southern California
AFLM, it was the result of one of the substations out in Yuma, AZ shutting down, which transferred to load to the next power station. It promptly overloaded and shut down, which transferred the load father down the line shutting down distribution and power generation stations like a string of firecrackers. It's the same thing that caused the 2003 blackout of the NE United States.

The total area affected were:
Yuma, AZ (partial shutdown)
San Diego county
Riverside county
Orange county (partial shutdown)
Tijuana, Baja Mexico (???)

I got caught in it and was lucky in that I was able to stay at work and missed most of the traffic.

Lessons learned:
The following utilities went along electricity
*Cash (ATMs)
*No gasoline (Pumps inoperable)
*No credit card transactions unless store has backup generator.
*Severe water restrictions (pump stations operating a reduced capacity. Areas higher than the reservoirs were in trouble)
*Boil water order (Water filtration facilities at reduced capacity or inoperable)
*Cordless phones (exacerbated below problem)
*Cell phone network (Surprisingly the network stayed up, but it was so overloaded that only text messages went through reliably)
*Local radio stations (One emergency station, AM 600 KOGO, stayed up)
*Trolley (operates off of grid)
*Traffic control (No working traffic lights, and everybody left about the same time)

Panic buying of the following items:
*Dry ice (sold out in first hour)
*Batteries
*Bottled water (was 100F earlier in the day).

Things we did right:
*Generous supply of candles. Only had to use flashlights if out of the main room. IMHO 6 candles are enough light to have dinner by and still read.
*Battery powered radio. (+)Helped keep us abreast of developments. (-)The blame game started only 5 hours in cutting into useful information.
*Flashlights, spare batteries, and bottled water already in kit.
*Both cars had plenty of gas (I maintain a 1/2 tank minimum in hot weather due to brushfire evacuation panic buying of gasoline)

Things to add to kit.
*Candle lanterns (area lighting was a problem and 1 candle = approx 1 min-maglite)
*Extra cash
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Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane

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#231798 - 09/10/11 01:59 AM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: Mark_R]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7191
Loc: southern Cal
Good point about the ATMs not working. Would you know by chance if the archaic technique used in the past - entering the bank, walking up the teller's window, and manually withdrawing money from an account would have worked? Hopefully some banks would have backup power for their computers....

I agree with you completely about keeping the gas tank full and keeping a cash stash for these events.
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#231831 - 09/10/11 05:10 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: hikermor]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Hikermor, call your bank Monday and ask. I'm going to!

I'm suspecting that since everything is computerized, we might be out of luck. They probably just lock the doors, as the lack of power probably affects their security systems.

Sue

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#231833 - 09/10/11 05:17 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: Russ]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3309
Loc: USA
It's very common for all the account management systems to be held in secure datacenters and not on the premises. Power outages frequently affect the WAN connections needed for these systems.

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#231838 - 09/10/11 07:01 PM Re: Power blackout in SouthWest-SOCAL [Re: Russ]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1595
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Mark_R.... don't know about your opinion of kerosene lanterns, but I get good service out of my Dietz Air Pilot lantern ...it comes with one of the larger founts...I have a Little Wizard that has a longer burn time, but produces less light due to wick width....1-K Kerosene is about $10 a gallon if you can't find a bulk source...got mine at W.T. Kirkman Co.

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