Yes, read that title with a serious sense of sarcasm because unsurprisingly we have the following.
Some officials are calling for the U.S. military to take over the managerial structure of the Long Island Power Authority until power is restored on Long Island, where more than a quarter million homes and businesses are still in the dark after Sandy and a snowstorm.
Because fighting a war is so close to restoring and rebuilding the electric power system? Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the military, but there is nothing to indicate they have the skills or abilities necessary to fix this problem.
Now it must be noted that the Navy does have a few men who actually do know something about the power system and distribution, but they also focus on it being aboard ship, with a smaller system with redundancy designed to survive casualties. Others would look at the military and say, “Well the military has to supply power to their bases.” Well even the military is lacking the people and skills to do that now days.
By September 30, 2003, most of the over two thousand utility systems owned and operated by the Military Departments are to be privatized. See DoD Reform Initiative Directive #49. Utility systems include systems: (1) for the generation and supply of electric power; (2) for the supply of natural gas; (3) for the transmission of telecommunications; (4) for the treatment or supply of water; (5) for the collection or treatment of wastewater; and (6) for the generation or supply of steam, hot water, and chilled water.
So what exactly would involving the government in the power restoration process do other than create an additional layer of bureaucratic red tape to go through?
There was a considerable amount of damage and it is very serious and not simple. Many lines that have been repaired remain out of service because there isn’t enough power feeding in to support the line currently. Not to mention the fact that there has also been damage to the natural gas system and other areas will not have power restored until the gas problems are fixed.
As I said previously:
So what we have is a bunch of distribution points that were/are full of water, need to be drained, the equipment cleaned, checked, maintained, and replaced possibly in some instances. All of this must be done before re-energizing that circuit.
That takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight, and given the fact that salt water, metal, and electricity is involved you better do it right. If you don’t it will be more likely to fail in the future.
Does it suck being out of power? Yes it does and anyone who thinks a utility doesn’t care about it’s customers being out of power, specifically a significant amount, doesn’t have a brain between their ears. Each day service is down is a day of lost revenue. Figure how many people there are, not to mention commercial customers, and then think about how much they’re loosing overall.
Yet again a group of people are screaming the government will magically solve the problem. Most of those same people actually don’t have a clue about what’s actually going on.