Today, at 5 days, there are still 30,000 people without power from a high of over 300,000. That is one third of the total population! Newscaster's could have used a script from last year and several years before, as it is the same song over and over. "Heavy snow, broken branches and trees, wires down" was the refrain again. The best question to ask is "when are we going to have power again?, followed by why does this keep happening?". Well, it is easy to answer the when, three days for us, and the reason we keep repeating the problem is money.
Our local downtown is a 10 minute walk away and the power was on there. Ten years ago a local group decided to "beautify" the area and in the plan included burying the power lines. So in the downtown area there are no telephone poles, no wires overhead, and no problem with a power outage. But, the power companies have always said that it would cost too much to do nationwide. They have been saying that for 50 years! Well, what does it cost to have power crews and tree services working overtime for a week at a time? What about the businesses that lose money during the outage? And what about the human misery and medical problems caused by prolonged outage? The need for shelters etc?
And, the concern is not just for storms and related weather conditions. Our roads and bridges are deteriorating and we are letting it happen. There is a National gas tax that is earmarked for roads and bridges but it never seems to get there to provide improvements. The obstructionists in Congress will not spend money on infrastructure, even if it does increase employment.
The trend as I see it is more of the same but at light speed. Increased demand, no new power, failing power systems, and government apathy. A perfect storm! We say that we are concerned that some enemy somewhere will sabotage the grid. Well. they do have to travel at all; we are doing to ourselves. No power for the people...