Drought, Fog/Rain Causing Fires

By: Brillig , 8:34 PM GMT on January 26, 2009

Yes, I know, it sounds weird, but it's true. The drought we've had over the past months has resulted in debris accumulating in the insulators to the power lines.

Today, we have foggy weather with drizzle and light rain. This moisture is enough to cause the electricity to arc across the debris in the insulators, initiating electrical fires.

The last I heard, about 2800 people were without power in Austin due to these fires.

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10. nimue1070
4:27 AM GMT on January 27, 2009
no prob second time
Member Since: May 29, 2003 Posts: 88 Comments: 8
9. nimue1070
4:26 AM GMT on January 27, 2009
posting in re cwop

1.75 inches of sleet here in Missouri
Member Since: May 29, 2003 Posts: 88 Comments: 8
8. moomommy
1:50 AM GMT on January 27, 2009
yup - no problem here either...
7. moomommy
1:48 AM GMT on January 27, 2009
ok. I am usng FF this time... or have you gotten this fixed already, and I should feel stupid?
6. moomommy
1:45 AM GMT on January 27, 2009
I decided to take you up on your challenge :) Here is a post.

I am even back to modify it.
I used Opera to look around. Maybe I should try it with FF...
1. Brillig
9:12 PM GMT on January 26, 2009
Power outages reported across Austin

Power outages have been reported in Sunset Valley, South East Austin and in the Stoneridge area, west of Mopac. Officials with Austin Energy are reporting that the outages are being caused by electrical poles catching on fire.

Austin Energy's Ed Clark says the pole fires are due to dirt and debris that has built up in insulators that hold the electric lines in place at the top of the pole. Clark says that debris has collected over the course of a long dry spell.

"And when you have a little misty rain, which is what we have now," says Clark, "that dirt builds up as a crud or paste." He says the wet dirt and debris then acts as a conductor between the electrical wire and the pole and, more often than not, causes fires.

City officials with Sunset Valley say power came back on briefly at 10:30 this morning, and was lost again. The outages are effecting homes, businesses, city buildings and traffic lights.

Clark tells KLBJ there are currently 2800 customers without power.

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