Power outages may increase due to pole overload

August 31, 2013 by  

The next time Santa Ana residents go to fill up their freezer they might want to consider a recent report by the Public Utilities Commission, about the number of utility polls in the area that were that were overloaded.

The Commission checked a small sample of Southern California poles, 5,000 out of 1.4 million and found 22% of them to be overloaded. Utility poles falling over are not simply an inconvenience, although it more often than not means a power outage until the company can replace the pole. However, downed poles also pose a possibility causing fires or injury.

An article in The Tribune points out that electric companies are not the only ones responsible for overpowering the utility poles, however. Telecommunications providers in the area often share their uses of the poles with them. The estimated cost to repair or replace substandard poles is expected to top $1bn, making an imminent solution to the problem unlikely to be a possibility.

Knowing that nearly a quarter of our utility poles do not meet safety requirements perhaps gives one pause when it comes to filling the freezer, and it should also give certain local companies ideas for a flyer printing campaign advertising home generators.

A notable power outage taking place in the area recently was one last month in and around San Diego, during which more than 100,000 people temporarily lost their power, although there is no evidence to suggest that this was connected to the utility pole poser.