Letter: The Recent Power Failure

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I noted something interesting in the recent 15-hour power outage. I was one of the victims, along with almost 500 others, And several busy restaurants. I was mostly concerned for people who need medical equipment. At first, we were told power would be down between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. I could live with that! 4 a.m. came and went. By 7 a.m., I decided to take a walk and see what I could learn. They said “noon.” Then COX technicians said 3 p.m. The issue was a utility pole planted in the 40’s. Like many in Laguna. This one was buried 10 feet deep and filled with cement. This poor repair crew worked almost 24 hours to jackhammer down 10 feet. They were exhausted—dying to go home and shower—while we were all complaining.

But there was an almost pleasant interlude. We all love to bash our COX service, and often for good reason. But I noticed the COX truck had installed three large generators on Cedar Way. They hooked into the power grid, in order to continue service to those homeowners who had generators. Not inexpensive! Those homeowners could continue with all the conveniences, including Internet/TV. I must give COX kudos for making that effort. It was no easy thing to do. But they did their best to continue service to those who could take advantage.

What’s the bottom line? Get a generator. Big or small. Power always goes out at the worst time, like a 100 degree day, And almost everything we do requires power. I survived a week without power up in Sausalito. I had a generator. So life was near normal. And what will you do when your Tesla runs dry? Hook up a bicycle and peddle for 20 hours?

We live with a new set of rules, many yet unwritten. Power will be the next real challenge. Global warming, Fires, earthquakes, aged equipment, bad maintenance, antiquated utility poles, Russian threats, and more electric vehicles than we have power grids.

Time to upgrade your comfort zone. Be better prepared for the inevitable, which will occur more often than you can ever remember. Life has changed. It’s best to adapt.

Tom Berndt, Laguna Beach

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