Originally Posted by Large Cat
I'm guessing this actually has to do with density. There are more feet of vulnerable power lines in Surrey for every person, as the lines have to stretch to each single family home. There is less incentive to solve an equally time-consuming power line break when it will only restore service to 10 homes, rather than 2-3 apartment buildings and so on. Even a whole "block" in Surrey usually has less people than 3 or 4 buildings in much of Van-Burnaby-NewWest-Richmond. Power is also more essential in tall buildings that have elevators, as lack of electricity prevents many from even reaching their units, and there is also less space to store emergency supplies in each unit. In terms of tree-clearing too, the denser grid of roads is more robust at handling blockages, since there are multiple options for going around, whereas in Surrey a blocked arterial may be your only way out of an area. This likely allowed BC Hydro to immediately prioritize repairing power lines north of the Fraser rather than clearing roads so their trucks could get through to even do so. The density-related explanations could go on and on.
Much of Vancouver a few blocks past False Creek is all single family homes. Burnaby is almost entirely single family homes on rolling hills with bands of forest running throughout. And except for basically one street, Richmond is all houses.
When I posted that picture, and the night before, power was still out to many areas in Surrey that are for more urban than 3/4 of Burnaby.
Originally Posted by Kisai
Speaking of generators... all these people the News channels interview to form an "Angry at BC HYDRO" story... good grief. If one operates a business from home, they should have a UPS and a generator for business electronics. Like the story theme is "thrown out all my food", "losing business"
Which comes back to the point of... "and what if this had been an earthquake?" The road infrastructure would be damaged and even if Burnaby and South Vancouver were undamaged and still had power, how are supplies going to be delivered? Access to the Burrard Peninsula would be seriously crippled.
What if it was an earthquake? Yeah, or what if it was the rapture?
This was a wind storm. It wasn't an earthquake. They are completely different events on other worldly scales.
It's like if my waiter forgot to place my order because he got a phone call from his girlfriend and I was without food for an hour. I think it would be ok if I complained. But if the whole restaurant was firebombed and my meal was cancelled, I don't think I would complain.
The problem with a wnidstorm and why people complain, is because for most people, life goes on as normal.
"Hey Phil, why are you late to work on Monday? Everyone else was on time." -Boss
"Because my power has been out for 2 days and the backup batteries in my alarm clocks died, as did my phone and it's backup charger. The hot water doesn't work, so I had to heat up some water on my camping stove, and then slowly drizzle it on me to wash my hair in my candle lit bathroom. Then all the traffic lights around me don't work so traffic was bad."
I think that knowing that other people are 100% unaffected, and that your office is going to be open on Monday as normal, but you have to have a sponge bath because 3 mornings without a shower is a bit too long, is going to make people very cranky.
At least with an earthquake we would all be in it pretty bad. Life would not be going on as normal around us. Offices would be closed. States of emergency would be on. The Red Cross would be out helping people. There would be emergency shelters and information broadcasts on the radio. There are even roads that are completely illegal to drive on after an earthquake.
An earthquake is also once in a few generations kind of thing. Wind storms are pretty common. Heck, the winds were far less strong than they were during the 2006 storm that obliterated Stanley Park, yet double the number of customers were without power.
You would think that BC Hydro would be investing our rates into making sure the grid can withstand what has become a routine occurrence.
So I wish people would not compare this to an earthquake. I was able to "survive", in fact, everyone was able to (I haven't heard of any post storm deaths from starving or tripping and falling in the dark). People are complaining because this is costing them money. Either you have to throw out food, or you had to pay money for ice. Even the Surrey food bank lost thousands of pounds of food. So please, I think people have a right to complain, because if Hydro can't handle the wind, how can it survive an earthquake.
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02
I think most if not all of the anger is the lack of communication and the fact BC Hydro came power on estimates that were days away from reality.
I have no issues with BC Hydro in terms of the impact the storm had on their infrastructure, nor with how they got hydro back on. I just was relying strongly on a time estimate of 12 PM Sunday afternoon for hours and hours in advance before it was pushed back to 12:30 AM, and then eventually came on at 3:30 AM Monday morning.
I think this is more the issue too.
They spent something like $20 million on just the website, and it couldn't handle a few thousand people hitting it at once.
They spent $500 million on Information Systems inside the company for work order management (not counting the billion $ on smart meters themselves), and they can't give out ballpark estimates of when the power will come back on.
They have a twitter account that had about 1000 tweets that were all "Thank you" tweets in reply to people who were lucky to have power. They posted a link to a PDF file, that doesn't work in the twitter app on android (in the embedded browser) so were telling people to use their other phone (yeah, because everyone has 2 phones of different OSs), and then it was impossible to read (with errors like West of 84th Ave in Surrey; you can't be west of 84th ave in Surrey, it is impossible), and their help was to "use Ctrl+F"; right, because everyone reading this is on their electricity powered computer. It wasn't until Monday afternoon that they started sending out tweets that had information in them.
It was like $500 million flushed down the toilet. That money could have been spent on burring a lot of infrastructure to keep it safe from these dangerous trees.