Remember last January?

At the behest of some of my crew, I am working on addressing an issue that we don’t think about until times of crisis.

With last winter’s ice storms and Isabel’s recent visit, my home and many others in Greensboro were without power for many days (9 total in my case).  After such a long interval of power interuption in January, Gov. Easley appointed a commission to study why the outage was so widespread and what the hell took the utility companies so long to get things restored.

Although I haven’t yet read the commission’s report all the way through, the answers to the problem is obvious.  We have too many overhead power lines that are vulnerable to falling trees and heavy ice.

Because Duke Power has a monopoly for our electrical energy within the Greensboro City limits, they are somewhat beholden to the City Council.  It is time that we call them to task and demand that they create a phased plan for burying our power lines.

It will be a very costly project.  My neighborhood has explored how much it would cost just to get rid of the overheads on Summit Avenue so that we can plant some trees.  The City Staff reported that Duke Power was quoting something like $800,000 per block to get it done, effectively quelling our zeal for the project.  But I question these amounts and will continue to do so because I think they just don’t want to do it.

The actual lost revenues of businesses and the human costs associated with being without power for an extended period of time has to be almost as astronomical as the costs associated with burying the lines.  We just need to call Duke Power on the carpet and demand that they get on with it.

It may take 20 years to complete the project, but we need to get started.  Developing …..

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