Monster storms and aging power grids nix many July 4th festivities in Eastern US

Storm damage and high temperatures have left 1.3 million homes and businesses in the eastern United States without power since Friday. At least 23 people have been killed, some crushed by falling trees, others from heatstroke. From Illinois to Virginia, "Many Fourth of July celebrations were canceled as local governments confronted damage from the hurricane-force winds and high heat and drought conditions that made firework shows risky." There's an intense image comparison here at the NASA website, showing before/after satellite images that reveal massive blackouts in DC, Richmond, and other cities affected by the "derecho" storms.



    1. The obvious solution to an aging, vulnerable power grid in the face of, um, storms totally unrelated to mythical global warming, is to cut capital gains taxes so that everyone* can afford their own portable generators.

      As for rising sea levels: Mops.

      * Everyone who counts. Candles and dung fires were good enough for our pioneer ancestors.

      1. North Carolina recently underbid even the mops: we simply passed a four-year moratorium on admitting to the existence of the notion of “sea level rise” in the course of any state policymaking process.

        Problem…solved? What problem? I’m sorry, what were we talking about again?

        1. Don’t mention it, or you will be breaking the law.

          And why should they spend their time solving problems that can easily be ignored when there are cancer screenings to stop and mammograms whose payment should be halted?

    2. If the Founding Fathers wanted us to have a Right to Air Conditioning, they would have put it in the Constitution.

  1. For once, I feel glad that the Portland area has been late exiting the spring rainy season. We had a really wet June and it rained a bit last night.

    I’m taking my nieces on their first-ever visit to a fireworks stand tomorrow, and entertaining them and their parents with a parking-lot fireworks show. (The safe, legal, boring stuff, but plenty spectacular for people like me who grew up in New York.)

    * * *

    I hope everyone in the derecho-blasted zone sees some relief soon.

  2. Similar story here in the western US due to the wildfires/drought/winds. Fireworks shows cancelled, and fireworks banned many places.  And yes, many places here (*cough*Colorado Springs*cough*) with badly neglected infrastructure and public safety budgets exacerbating the problems.

  3. Something’s not right with that comparison.  It implies that basically Philadelphia and all of southern New Jersey including the corridor to NYC is without power.  As a resident of central NJ I’m pretty confident that’s not the case.  I’m not saying there aren’t a ton of people without power but I am saying that this appears to be a wildly inaccurate representation of the actual situation.

  4. One post on my timeline to my Facebook “friends” before deleting the account was like this :
    “We live in a Caribbean Island exposed to hurricanes every season. We are exposed to be without power,water etc for long periods of time if we get hit. Don’t count on the government prepare your self.” This apply also to the eastern part of the US. So to all the people affected, Stay strong and out of the sun! and learn from this experience for the next time.

  5. This comes as no surprise as I live in hurricane country, but we get a three day warning forecast before most tropical storms make landfall. The last event we experienced here wrecked the power grid all over our state, and there were a number of comments from out-of-state linemen and repair personnel about its age and (dis)repair.

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