Toronto under siege: the city without power

My hometown of Toronto is under siege this morning, two days after the worst ice storm in the city’s history. Hundreds of thousands of people are without electricity, and it’s minus-11 °C (12 °F, or 262 Kelvins). One of my brothers lost power both to his home and his business. His business has been restored, but home is a disaster. It’s sobering and frightening to realize how disruptive a power outage can be, especially in cold weather.

Have a look at this video. It brings back memories of the Ice Storm of 1998, which hit west Quebec and eastern Ontario. I lived through that event, and don’t want to experience it again.

Cities are absolutely dependent on electricity. Those in Toronto without power are feeling that fact, right now, on their hides. I wish them well. My fingers are crossed for them. My prayers are directed to the crews who are working like crazy to fix the system. Please keep working. You are heroes.

Salvation. Power line crews are the core of emergency response during major outages like the ones in Toronto right now. Treat them well, offer support, bring them coffee.

Salvation. Power line crews are the core of emergency response during major outages like the ones in Toronto right now. Treat them well, offer support, bring them coffee.

5 comments for “Toronto under siege: the city without power

  1. seth
    December 24, 2013 at 14:55

    Steve – you should update your chart to show demand, and import/export. It will show that nearly all the time, generation is well over demand, with the surplus exported at enormous loss, due to corrupt contracts offering pride of place to gas, wind and solar producers.

  2. Jim Baerg
    December 24, 2013 at 16:34

    What are the problems that prevent putting power lines underground? I would expect that to be more expensive for initial installation, but it would save having to fix lots of lines after bad weather.

  3. December 25, 2013 at 02:44

    “The most expensive kilowatt is the one that isn’t there when you absolutely need it.”

  4. Mitch
    December 25, 2013 at 08:10

    Ditto. Canada of all places ought be burying those lines like yesterday! Also press that what kills high tension lines like this also does in windmills!!!

    Merry Xmas!

  5. December 27, 2013 at 04:15

    I agree with Mitch and Jim. Put them underground. Maybe raising power lines made sense 100 years ago. We need to expect the extreme weather. It is irresponsible to leave them alone. Paying for underground power lines will save lives and business losses.

    Toronto has three levels of government with elections coming. Now is the time to start putting pressure on them to do the right thing.

    We need a power grid we can trust. That does not mean a “smart” grid. That is pie in the sky when we have an aging grid. Also the power stations should not be vulnerable to flooding as happened in July this year. Just a reliable grid would be a good start.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *