A litte worse than none

Nevada Power has managed to do it to us again. Tuesday night we endured about an eight hour outage as a result of a thunderstorm. Not terribly unusual and something that is to be expected in the rural portions of Nevada or anywhere. Last night about 3 AM we awoke to the sound of the UPS's chirping throughout the house. It seems the power had once again gone out.

However, the truth is worse than a power outage. Judging from the incandescent light bulbs throughout the house that we have something between 5 and 15 watts of power. For most urban or suburban residences this would be bad. For a rural residence that depends on its own well for power it is even worse. The trickle of current is just enough to do a great deal of damage to electric motors such as the submerged motor responsible for pumping our water to the surface. It also does plenty of damage to furnaces, refrigerators, freezers and any other household appliances that depend on motors to get their work done. In the middle of the night there was much scurrying about to get breakers shut off for the various appliances and the pump. It would be possible to shut off the entire property, but then it would be equally difficult to tell when the power came back on.

Which brings this back to the power company's customer non-service. There is no reliable way the power company updates its customers about outages. In fact when I called in this morning to report the outage the message still plays that as of 4:38 AM on March 23, the power is out. Especially in a case such as this where the trickle of power may be doing damage there should be some sort of proactive notification of residents in the impacted area. I called Nevada Power again and asked for an update. I was told that the workers were still in the field working on it. The photo at the right shows the scene a few minutes later. It appears that only the houses on the line running to the left in the photo have seen the effects of this outage. For more than 30 miles along the service corridor there does not appear to be a single power company (or other) truck.

Maybe this is the treatment for people who dare to talk about the utility company's poor customer service.