March 7, 2013 |
America's power grid is like an old car. It gets the job done, but the repair bills go up every year, and experts say only a major overhaul will reverse its decline. An Associated Press analysis of utility spending and reliability nationwide found that electric customers are spending 43 percent more than they did in 2002 to build and maintain local electric infrastructure. Since then, power outages have remained infrequent, but when the lights go out, it takes longer to get them back on. Neither the spending nor the reliability trends is dramatic on its own. But experts say the combination is revealing: It suggests that extra money from electric customers isn't being spent wisely, or that utilities are not investing nearly enough to upgrade fragile equipment increasingly threatened by major storms.
February 17, 2013 |
DAMASCUS, Syria - A power outage plunged Damascus and southern Syria into darkness late Saturday, Syria's state news agency said, while anti-regime activists reported a string of tit-for-tat, sectarian kidnappings in the country's north. The news agency, SANA, quoted Electricity Minister Imad Khamis as saying that the failure of a high-voltage line had left the country's south without power. The blackout affected the capital, Damascus, and the southern provinces of Daraa and Sweida, which abut Jordan.
February 14, 2013 |
Paul P. Leufkens was chatting Tuesday afternoon in his office at the KEMA-Powertest lab in Chalfont when a blast outside the building shook the walls, and a blinding flash lit up the window. "People sometimes ask if the explosions frighten me," said Leufkens, president of the lab. "Actually, I'm scared when we don't feel these shots. " They get paid to blow things up at KEMA-Powertest, the largest independent high-power electrical-testing facility in America. No explosions means no business.
February 13, 2013 |
NEWARK, N.J. - Sandy was the deadliest hurricane to hit the northeastern United States in 40 years and the second costliest in the nation's history, according to a report released Tuesday. The storm's effects reached far and wide, according to the National Hurricane Center report. While Sandy visited devastation on the East Coast, principally New Jersey and New York, it created wind gusts as far west as Wisconsin and as far north as Canada and caused water levels to rise from Florida to Maine, the center found.
January 31, 2013 |
After an afternoon high of 68 - just two degrees shy of the record for the date set in 1947 - the Philadelphia area faces heavy rain and high winds tonight, raising the possibility of some power outages, flash flooding and flight delays. Temperatures should then drop drastically, with overnight lows in the 20s Thursday night, when a chance of light snow continues into Friday morning. Some morning commutes might be messy the next two days for very different reasons. Today's rain could start in the city by early evening, becoming likely by 8 p.m. "A substantial squall line will probably cross the area between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and thunderstorms may be embedded in this line," according to a National Weather Service flood watch issued for Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.
January 3, 2013 |
A CABLE BENEATH 16th and Market streets in Center City began smoking early Wednesday morning, prompting officials who were worried about a separate gas leak to evacuate an apartment building. The 10-story Oakwood Apartments building, at 16th and Sansom, was cleared of its residents, and 16th Street was closed between Chestnut and Walnut streets for much of the morning. Karen Muldoon-Geus, a Peco Energy spokeswoman, said that the incident occurred about 3:30 a.m., when smoke was spotted coming from a manhole.
December 24, 2012 |
Peco Energy Co. is reporting an "issue with underground cables" near Lancaster Avenue and Rittenhouse Place in Lower Merion. Peco workers are on site, and the utility company is assembling more specialized crews to assess the damage. Peco will have to cut off electricity before workers can go underground safely, company spokesman Ben Armstrong said. "The insulation around the cables could be heating up and causing the manhole to smoke," Armstrong said. "You could be seeing smoke coming from the manhole.
November 8, 2012 |
HARVEY CEDARS, N.J. - After Sandy battered the Jersey Shore's barrier islands last week, Gov. Christie says he's not sure what to expect from a nor'easter that began howling along the coastline this afternoon and may bring more flooding, high winds, additional power outages and even snow to the region. "I'm waiting for the locusts and pestilence next," Christie told a crowd of first responders and media that packed the engine room of the High Point Volunteer Fire House. Christie had been scheduled to tour Long Beach Island to see the progress being made in the cleanup of Sandy and the preparations for this latest storm, but the driving rain and wind canceled those plans.
November 8, 2012 |
Every day since superstorm Sandy buzzsawed through the Philadelphia region the number of power outages has declined. Tomorrow could show an increase, especially in New Jersey, because of a new storm, a nor'easter expected to bring high winds and, along the I-95 corridor, up to 5 inches of snow. Pennsylvania's in pretty good shape. Fewer than 100 Peco customers are still without electricity - out of a record-busting 850,000 homes and businesses knocked off-line. "We feel like we'll be in good shape to handle this storm," said spokeswoman Karen Muldoon Geus.
November 7, 2012 |
I HAD JUST FINISHED 30 minutes with the wet-vac in my basement on Tuesday when Mayor Nutter called me to let me know that a conference call had been scheduled with President Obama for later that morning. I arrived at City Hall just as the mayor and his team were returning from a press conference with SEPTA. As we sat waiting for the White House to set up the call logistics, the mayor chatted with a few of his aides and Sen. Bob Casey. The mayor was given some bad information about the number of people without power - a number that he instantly knew was too high.