Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Power outage in Plaza Midwood area reminds residents to plan ahead

(Edited: 10:50 a.m. Wednesday)

Power went out for thousands of residents in east and central Charlotte about 5 p.m. Tuesday and was restored for most people by 10:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The outage is a good reminder of the need to plan ahead and make sure you have supplies and backup plans for outages.

Wednesday morning, about six bucket trucks were working the lines along Briar Creek just south of Central Avenue at 7:45 a.m. For updates, check Duke Energy's outage information site. It also has useful tips.

Two points:
1. Make plans to deal with frozen food: If the power remains off, perhaps folks should make plans for a neighborhood cookout this evening or next, to avoid wasting defrosted meat. If you have extra food that has defrosted and is still good, but too much for your family or neighbors, remember Loaves and Fishes at St. Andrews Church on Central Avenue. The organization, which is also likely without power, provides food for the need on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Donations are welcome.

2. Coordinate infrastructure upgrades? Perhaps as work proceeds in the next year or so on sewer capacity along Briar Creek, somehow work could be coordinated on upgrading and even burying the power lines along the same route. If trees and green spaces are going to be disrupted for sewer work, it makes sense to use that disruption to upgrade all infrastructure along or near the same right of way. Duke has said in the past that burying lines is too expensive in older neighborhoods; it even seems like finding a way to use federal stimulus money to help with the work would be wise. Much productive work has been redistributed to people's homes these days with the increased use of home computers and the changes to a wider freelance and contract economy; using stimulus money to strengthen that capacity seems wise. While I'm playing pie in the sky, broadband capacity could be examined and strengthened at the same time.

Just wishful thinking. Stay cool. Support your neighbors.

No comments: