15 January 2019

Annual Occurance

Every year around here the power company comes out with a crew of men to cut the trees away from their power lines.

It makes for some really ugly trees in the utility easement along the back of the yard.

Why do they do this?

Because we live in HurricaneLand!

We don't get even so much as a tropical storm every year, let alone a real live hurricane.

But if they know that if the power isn't flowing, the meters aren't turning and if the meters don't turn the money stops flowing.

It's pure rational self interest for them to keep the grid maintained and up in rather extreme wind conditions.

Doing this maintenance also absolves them from negligence should critical infrastructure lose power.

Critical infrastructure like an assisted care living facility (ACLF) with people depending on that electricity for their very lives.  Air conditioning being the most important life support system for a Florida summer and the elderly.

Because even the most well designed and maintained electrical grid can sometimes succumb to hurricane strength winds; ACLF's are required to have back-up power generation on site.

A couple of facilities didn't and are having their testicles sued off as I type.  People died.

Something else the clearing of trees and vegetation from the lines does is keeps them from sparking.  We don't normally have the kind of dry weather that leads to this sparking causing fires; but it seldom matters because the lines are kept clear.

Our rampant wildfires from a few years ago were traced to heat lightning, not power lines.  We've had a couple recently from campfires getting out of hand.

Remember how this clearing makes for ugly trees?

Something we don't have in Florida is any traction whatsoever for saving the appearance, or even existence, of a tree that's encroaching on a power line.

We also have extensive fire breaks cut into our wilderness to keep a fire from spreading too far.

In 2007 this system was sorely taxed, but it did contain the damage.

All of the above is why Floridians have scant sympathy for California's fire problem.  Not only are they doing nothing to keep the fires from happening, they are actively making the situation worse by preventing the prevention action.


  1. Amen, brother.

    After the hurricanes of 2004, Publix Supermarkets put generators, big beautiful CAT diesel generators, into every one of their stores. Can you see a Cali company going this?

    As to clearing the powerlines, I find it so funny when some doodle-head plants a fast growing tall tree under a powerline. And then the utility comes alone and nukes that fricker.

    I grew up in Brevard County, where lighting strikes would set fire to the peat bogs on the west side of the county. Ever smell a free-range peat-bog fire? Those suckers burn like coal mine fires, burning until they run out of fuel, almost impossible to stop.

    And the Firestorms of 1998. The whole center of the state burned from one side to another. All because idiots in Kissimmee and Orlando fought and won on stopping controlled bans back in the late 80's. That shit stopped, well, after 1998. Back to prescribed burns!

    No sympathy for California at all. Force power companies to not trim trees or replace power lines and then bitch when the lines burn the world down.


  2. I'm in Minnesota, not a lot of hurricanes here. They cut trees back here here too, as a matter of fact the largest tree company in my area is that large because they cut for the power company.

    It isn't so the power doesn't go out, it is because it is cheaper to mow that garbage down than buy a couple transformers when crap grows up and shorts out the lines.

    If you're bored sometime, look up Fecon brush mowers. We don't worry about ugly trees here, they end up too short to be ugly!


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