Friday, January 30, 2009

A scorcher of a day and blackouts

from w
Yesterday was awesome - 45 degrees again, and phew - what do you do on a day like that! For one hour we had respite by going to the Newcomb library (which had airconditioning) to read the papers, and browse, pick up some DVDs and a book. Our house was like a furnace - fans not good enough. So about 6 p.m. we decided to go to Peceli's golf club for dinner (every Friday volunteer golfers put on a nice meal). Peceli had vouchers he'd won playing golf anyway to cover two meals. Great, it will be cool I thought. We arrived, talked to the barman for as minute, and the electricity went off! No more cooking chips, no more airconditioning! Anyway, I met some of Peceli's golf friends and we did have a nice meal. Then they rolled out a barrel - some gimmick they have with each golfer having a number for the year. The winner would get $190 as it hadn't gone off for 19 weeks (the winner has to be there at the time.) Okay, Pat Ratawa, they called out! Oh dear, and I'm a wowser and never buy tickets, I said to someone. Don't worry, it's not gambling, said another. So Peceli can pay off his golf dues now! And we've just had to fork out $700 to fix the car.

Then as we were leaving the lights came on again. But on the roads the traffic lights were off and it was very dodgy crossing major roads. When we reached home, our son said, the electricity went off an hour ago. Peceli switched on the water cooler and shazamm, it was on again. Seems like suburb by suburb they were switching off and on. Some people in Geelong did not have power for several hours so we were lucky really.

Anyway, an Addie reporter wrote this:
BLACKOUT: 105,000 lose power from city to coast
Michael Auciello
January 31st, 2009

DARK SIDE OF THE ROAD: Cars stream along a darkened and deserted Ryrie St last night after a statewide power failure forced businesses to shut their doors. Photo: BRAD WILSON

A MAJOR blackout left more than 100,000 homes and businesses in the Geelong region without power last night. Statewide, power to more than 300,000 homes was cut when two 500 kilovolt electricity transmission lines went down about 6pm. Homes and businesses were affected throughout Geelong, the Surf Coast and as far as Apollo Bay. Power was also cut right around the Bellarine Peninsula, from Ocean Grove, through Point Lonsdale and Portarlington. Little River, Bannockburn, Inverleigh and Anakie were also among the long list of towns hit last night.

Powercor said it expected the cause of the problem to be fixed about midnight. As the blackout hit, patrons at a Geelong cinema poured onto the street as films were cut. The city's usually vibrant heart was soon abandoned as restaurants, pubs and shops were forced to shut.

The blackout followed an order from the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) for electricity distributors Powercor and CitiPower to cut 1000 megawatts of power. Powercor spokesman Ryan Auger said the amount was a "significant load to be shed from the market".

"We can only supply as much as is made available to us - 1000 megawatts is a significant outage," Mr Auger said.

Of course our inconvenience was nothing compared to the difficulties of others - stuck in lifts in Melbourne, stuck inside locked trains, and those who lost homes and property in bushfires in Gippsland. And then when we think further afield to Fiji - floods have caused disruptions there - no schools opening yesterday, electricity down all over Viti Levu, no water in Suva. Now that's really serious and the powers that be ought to get off their politicking and fix the essential services!



Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

On this 10-degree day up here in Japan, I don't even want to try to imagine what 45 degrees feels like. That sounds brutal.

Meanwhile, my home state has recently had its worst cold snap in over half a century.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Extremes on weather seem to be happening these days. The heatwave has diminished thank goodness - only about 30 yesterday, and in the 20s today, but 70% humidity. The coconut oil is still liquid so that's how we measure how hot it is!

9:15 PM  

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