## Friday, February 24, 2023

### Power outages

The majority of the power outages are south of us.

All of the news stations are running Public Service Announcements on how to report outages and telling people to stay 25 feet way from downed wires.

I don't know about you guys, but all of my 25' measuring tapes have steel tapes. The last time I looked, steel is conductive.

Hmmmm!

1. Weird. We never got below freezing, although we did get over 2 inches of rain.

2. Just a wee bit... conductive, that is...

3. I can (and have for years been able to) judge 100 yards up to a 1000 yards reasonably accurately 'by eye' (it might have something to do with practice and some obscure hobby of course).

25'? not a chance. I just know there'll be some 'simple' geometry trick to do so but (sorry Mrs. Brewster, my long suffering maths teacher) I can't remember (and would probably get the wrong answer if I did - I'm 'gifted' that way).

My automatic immediate response was ... "Why 25 feet?", why not 24, or 26? Does the voltage, cable material, pole construction or terrain vary the recommended amount? I started wondering about weather, soil-types, ground-cover and then realised ... like every other recommendation by 'experts' they ... made it up off the top of their heads [I believe the formula for such is:

R = A(I/Hb)M

R – Recommendation
A - Actual safe amount
I – the IQ of the typical recipient (as perceived by the ‘experts’)
Hb - the Hold-my-beer factor of the recipient population
M - the Media-multiplication-factor (the amount needed to make it sound ‘scary/news-worthy’)

Usually rounded up to make it easy for media talking heads and celebrities to remember and sound panicked about.

E – the amount the ‘experts’ would personally use, can be added as numerator or denominator depending on whether they are getting paid to encourage or discourage the peons].

Meanwhile, I'll just walk far enough away I can 'just' see it (no further or it may catch me unawares - gifted like I say).

4. What caused the power outage? Was it ice and snow or something else?
And yes, the safe distance varies by situation; sometimes 25 feet is more than enough, sometimes it isn't.

5. Freezing rain, 40 mph gusts. I assume most of the outages were due to tree limbs breaking off and falling into the wires. In some cases, entire trees might have toppled into the wires.

6. Still a mess here in Jackson.

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