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Hogarth judge

November 2018



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Hogarth judge

Welcome to the corporate Third World

The power is still off at the house, which means that the central heat is also no longer on either. Nor do the main telephones still work, and the cell phones are all on borrowed time as well.

I do not recall any 24+ hour power outages in the 1970s or early 1980s. I do not remember any from the time when our power company was Public Service Indiana. I do not remember any when PSI merged with Cincinnati Power and Light to form Cinergy. But they seem to be routine now that we have been absorbed into Duke Energy.

Duke Energy has no local phone number to report outages: only an 800 number. Their crews are apparently all dispatched out of North Carolina, which of course means a minimum outage of around eight to ten hours. And being a publicly traded and politically connected business, nobody is going to require them to maintain any of that stuff. Maintaining power restoration crews is not a profit center. It would require zeal and attention on the part of the government to hold their feet to the fire and demand that local crews be on standby at all times. And that political will is unfortunately lacking.


I remember a couple of four- or five-day power outages in Illinois. But those were in the 1960s, when it took an ice storm in Illinois to knock out power in Illinois. Now if something goes blooey on the east coast everything goes down from Vermont to Missouri. Have you got a camp stove and plenty of stuff in cans? How is your water holding out?

Edited at 2009-01-29 06:52 pm (UTC)
We have logs for the fire and I bought a couple dinguses of Jiffy Pop. Been a long, long time since I made Jiffy Pop. The house hasn't fallen below freezing so far, and the pipes are in regular use, so that should be ok.

At least you can get out and get things, go to work etc. January '67 when this happened we were trapped in the house. Nothing moved for almost a week. Lucky we had a gas stove.

I like Jiffy Pop too.
Yeah, when we drove to Cincinnati yesterday afternoon, we were in the midst of a huge caravan of power trucks from South Carolina (not Duke...some other company that was apparently loaning them to Ohio or Indiana power companies). The road conditions weren't very good, which slowed them down considerably.

We've got municipal utilities, not Duke, and apparently were without power/heat for 48 hours. My guess (purely a guess) is that part of the problem is that the grid is not in great shape...but then, I'm generally convinced that our infrastructure is in crummy shape.
The trucks I've seen locally now all bear the logo Pike Power, which apparently is in western North Carolina. I suppose Duke Energy represents the same fortune that Duke University does, so it isn't surprising.

We have power at the office, fortunately, which is why you're reading this. If worst comes to worst I can also sleep here.
Yeah, the Dukes started out in tobacco, endowed the University, and diversified into power. I gather, from things I've read before, that electric companies tend to help each other out in emergencies; I know the electric company we had when I was a kid in northern Ohio would send trucks to help out the Southeast after hurricanes and things. What I don't know is whether it's some kind of formal arrangement or an informal case of companies tending to help others in the hope/expectation that they'll get help when they need it. Kentucky's National Guard has apparently been doing a lot, too.

I'll cross my fingers for you. Our power apparently came back on today, so soon we'll be heading back to a house full of dirty dishes and lots of candles.