LIttle taste of our snow storm

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  #1  
Old 01-21-12, 05:52 PM
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LIttle taste of our snow storm

winter 2012 pictures by ukrkoz - Photobucket

250 000 households without power. I ran on generator for 3 days.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 03:33 AM
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You know, I was expecting to see a lot more snow than what you pictured, considering all the news coverage. It looks like an average snowfall for us here in the Southeast. My daughter sends pictures of 3' or more from the Denver area, and they just plow it out from the garage and go to work. It must have been a "wet" snow seeing all the tree branches break off.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 05:32 AM
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A few days before Halloween, Connecticut was hit by a freak early snow storm that dumped as much as 20 inches of wet snow in some parts of the state and no snow in other parts. At my residence we got only about 4 inches but it was so heavy that it tore many branches down.. I was out of power for 6 days. The portable generator came in very handy.
 
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Old 01-22-12, 06:01 AM
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We have been very lucky in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Despite a few inches in the late fall/early winter, we had a brown Christmas that occurs about 25% of the time.

A couple of days ago, we got a little snow that was a remnant of the Pacific Northwest storms. We got the grand total of 0.9" of snow that did not really cover the grass because I can still see some grass poking above the top of the snow. I live in a townhouse and snow plowers and sidewalk shovelers were out starting at 1:00 AM before the minimal snow stopped. - I guess they have an agreement where they get paid by the hour and had to get some time in because of such a brown winter.

Every substantial snow has been well north or south of us or went diagonally across Wisconsin. I know it will not continue and the snowmobilers wont have to travel so far.

Dick
 
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Old 01-22-12, 02:00 PM
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it's not amount of snow. what happened, it was wet snow, accumulating very rapidly on trees, followed by show/rain mix, and freezing overnight. followed by more snow/rain mix/freezing overnight. as a result, trees branches got sheathed into 1/4 inch ice sheath, and snow simply bonded to branches. with that happening, trees simply could not stand the wight, and either started falling, tearing power lines, or branches started snapping, doing same. outside real city areas, it's all power cables up in the trees around here. on one hand, they preserve nature, on the other - nature bites them back...
 
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Old 01-22-12, 03:51 PM
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We went through something similar in October except there were still alot of leaves on the trees and they came down in the thousands. Much of the state was without power for nearly a week.

The only good thing to come out of it is that the CEO of the major POCO in the sate lost his job. He was 0-2 after their miserable response following TS Irene a couple of months earlier.

Yesterday we had a 2"-5" forecast. We ended up with 8"-10", our first real snow of the year. Ski areas are happy but kids are po'd because it happened on a weekend.
 
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Old 01-23-12, 03:30 AM
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Our POCO has a (several) teams that do nothing but clear limbs from potentially falling on overhead. If it is on your property, too bad, it gets trimmed away from the lines. I guess they figure it is easier to cut back the tree limbs than to have to worry with power outage. We are fortunate to have underground.
 
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Old 01-23-12, 05:56 AM
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Chandler - That was a big part of the problem here. The POCO's had cut way back on tree trimming. They say because of objections by homeowners, I say to cut expenses.

My town contracted with a tree service to trim trees along town roads. Some people got their panties twisted because they didn't like the way the trees were being trimmed. A local eco freak lawyer threatened the town with a lawsuit claiming the town was "slaughtering trees" - his words. So the town also quit trimming. Last August and October we paid the price.

The state has since moved to the more sensible approach you guys seem to have in GA.
 
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Old 01-23-12, 03:11 PM
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I know. If a tree is trimmed back properly, in a couple of years it will be better than before, with fuller foilage. Tree trimming is done fairly neatly around here. It's the guys on the articulating batwing bush hogs that take the cake! Cut every living thing on a hillside and just leave the grass. Good mulch, though.
 
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Old 01-23-12, 03:46 PM
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Chandler -

I agree with you on the practical sensibility of underground power and utilities.

I had a lake home in northern MN that I used very regularly (especially week-ends). When I started building and got power, I plugged in an old pink clock radio and never had to reset it for 15 years (except for daylight changes). With a well predicted blizzard coming up, I got up at 4:00 AM to pack up my computer on a Saturday morning to get the the lake home 140 miles away after picking up some food in town. - There was 24 inches of snow by Sunday morning and I never lost power, internet or cable despite being surrounded by tall trees. It was a nice getaway. I got out on Tuesday or Wednesday when a friend could get his 4WD plow in. (I parked my car facing out at the end of the drive and area under the hood was full of snow and we just jerked it out onto the path he plowed).

Now, where I live, everything is underground, the only outage is when they do a quick scheduled 1 minute transfer at a substation somewhere and don't worry about snow or ice. I appreciate the problems people that are served by the old utility systems that are especially prone to the ice storms in the east.

Dick
 
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Old 01-23-12, 05:01 PM
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Dick, the only problem with our underground is it has to "go" underground somewhere from overhead, and THAT's where the problem arises. You can hear the fuses exploding. It does help isolate the problem for the POCO, because they don't have to travel much off the main roadway to find the problem. Back here in the sticks, they would get lost, but since we are underground we are almost forgotten. Our meters are even read at the local office via computer.
My dad worked for the Ga Power Co for 37 years and the stories he could tell about power outages.....I remember him working for a solid week...7 days...slept on a cot...was drawing time and half for a while, then double time. He was proud of that paycheck, until he read the bottom line. Sam got most of it in taxes.
 
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Old 01-24-12, 08:08 AM
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IIRC somewhere around 15% of the power lines here are buried. The POCO has announced that they are starting a program to get the mojority of the lines buried within 10 years. I wish I could remember the price tag. It was astronomical.

Once again it's global warming to the rescue. Saturday afternoon we had 8-10 inches of snow. I passed on getting it plowed ($80) based on warmer weather forecasted. It was all gone by last night. I have never seen that much snow disappear that quickly.

I like it.
 
  #13  
Old 01-24-12, 10:02 AM
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When I had power brought into my MN lake home, there was no option and all power had to be underground. For the power company, it was cheaper to maintain with a lot of trees that did not have to be trimmed and much more reliable when there are snows or storms. It was underground in the common access road from a transformer about a mile away.

The cost to run in the power the 200' from the common road to my meter was not high and partially absorbed in the rates charged by the power company since they were generally all underground and did not have the complaints, outages and high maintenance costs. - The same thing for cable and telephone.

Dick
 
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Old 01-24-12, 11:13 AM
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We have been very lucky in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Despite a few inches in the late fall/early winter, we had a brown Christmas that occurs about 25% of the time.

Right on. Weather dude in Duluth checked the records, last 20 years I think. He said every 4 or 5 years there is a brown, or close to it, Christmas in Duluth.

Also said the snow usually catches up by spring, July 4th.

Grass is covered here but just barely, maybe 3 inches.
 
  #15  
Old 01-24-12, 12:23 PM
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ukrbyk -

You are right about the moisture content of the snow. We usually get light dry, fluffy snow from an Alberta Clipper from the NW. - It is like an on-time scheduled train on on railroad tracks, but the narrow width varies a bit depending on the major weather systems. It is usually 2 to 4" of dry snow and cold and clear after that.

Our snow problems come from the moisture from fall and spring effects that pump in the moisture from the south and create problems. We have no moisture source north and west where our weather really comes from.

If you are in a place like Duluth, MN at the end of the violent ocean called Lake Superior, you get close to the real unpredictable and violent storms, especially with a south or east wind. I left MSP. MN in April when it was 75F and wanted to do some Steelhead fishing on the north shore. When I got to the high ground above Duluth, it was 70F and by the time I got down to lake level it was 35F and snowing and I had to buy a hooded parka to fish. Very often in the early winter, the warmest part of the state may be on the north shore of the lake because it usually does not freeze completely over (1500' deep) and the air off the 40-50F water is trapped close to shore. When lake finally cools off a bit, that is why Baldwin can see snow on July 4. That is why we are in the "theater of seasons".

Weather is about the most interesting entertainment you can get and it is free unless you have to go out and fight it at a specific time. some places have adapted to the climate. My son works in downtown Minneapolis and just like St. Paul, every building and ramp is connected by a series of second level protected, heated, cooled skyways and most people leave their heavy/protected clothes in their cars because they do not need them.

ukrbyk - We do get some big dumps of snow (I remember 30" over 2 days), but they are usually quite predictable about timing because we have no mountains or large bodies of water in the direction of the weather flow like you do like the Puget Sound, Cascades that can be a little unpredictable. the unpredictability makes it a little more entertaining since you cannot do anything except prepare and adjust.

Dick
 
  #16  
Old 01-24-12, 02:25 PM
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If you are in a place like Duluth, MN at the end of the violent ocean called Lake Superior,

Dick - My kid was doing grad student work as an ROV operator on Lake Superior several years ago. They were surveying wrecks or something. This guy has a lot of sea time off Georges Bank and the Cape. When he came back he said he would rather spend a month in the Atlantic than a couple of days in a Lake Superior storm.
 
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Old 01-24-12, 03:26 PM
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underground utilities

When I lived in fla, almost all new construction was underground service. I don't remember any new subdivisions that had telephone poles. Here in n.e. tn, I don't know of any subdivisions that have all the electric underground. If you want underground service, our local poco charges about double what they get to hook up a new service above ground

Between the storms and the occasional car/pole crash - you'd think it would be a no brainer to work at converting to underground!

One good thing about all the above ground service - they've been trimming and cutting down a lot of trees. I got 4 truck loads of wood from my youngest son's place. At my oldest son's house I've gotten 2 loads and haven't really made a dent in it

Wayne, I grew up around the great lakes. As a teenager I was so excited to finally get to see the ocean..... didn't look a whole lot different than lake michigan, except the beach was smaller
 
  #18  
Old 01-24-12, 04:23 PM
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I read a small article in Fortune magazine about this recently. If I recall the information correctly, the position of the power companies is that it costs much less to install above ground service vs. underground. They claim that installing underground only increases network reliability by 50%.

My guess is that the installation of underground service in new subdivisions is the decision of the developer. The cost of the installation is passed on directly to the people who buy into the development.

The worst idea to run electrical service is to have it above ground through people's backyards. So anytime there is a problem, the poco a telco have to access your yard to make repairs.
 
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