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Unhappy Citizens Demanded their Electricity Back In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the city of New York was thrown into darkness for almost two weeks before most homes could get power to their lights and heaters again. New York’s electricity had gone out, and the power companies didn’t seem to be helping everyone fast enough. The Aftermath Frustration Most residents grew frustrated over the situation. Reports were coming in that New York electricity companies were working their employees around the clock and calling in help from outside. Hundreds to thousands of electricians were reportedly fixing power outages everywhere, and yet the residents didn’t see them anywhere doing anything. Many began to wonder how they could say that they were working so hard, when the streets were suspiciously empty. Their questions were valid and hard to ignore. But just because they couldn’t see them working didn’t mean that they weren’t in places you wouldn’t think to look. Many power companies focus their attention on fixing the most critical areas first like hospitals, police stations and fire departments. A hospital in New York lost electricity during the storm, causing an emergency evacuation of patients to a neighboring care center. The helping hospital was not expecting the influx and needed to return them to their proper care center as soon as possible. Power companies would have needed to focus on places like this first as proper care needed to be returned to critical level patients. Public servicemen and women from the police and fire department needed power to attend to the needs of the city at large. Electrical companies would have placed priority on making sure that electricity was stabilized in these places so they could enable them to help others. Other major water and communication facilities would have been attended to immediately as they had such a wide influence over so many people. Once they had completed those projects, their workforce could be dedicated to restoring electricity to every home. Electrical Problems Underground Yet, even when they were able to finally focus their attentions on residents, where were they to be found if not in the streets? Why weren’t they flooding the neighborhoods with people and ladders? Today, many of the major electrical lines transport power underneath the ground as opposed to above it. Thick transmission lines are buried in cable trenches below the ground. When those chambers are flooded, chances for shorts increase drastically and every affected line had to be inspected. Consequently, electricians had to spend their time underground where everyday residents wouldn’t have seen them. Diagnosing the widespread problems that put out the lights in a city as big as New York meant that electricians had to carefully inspect the lines from point A (the power plant) to point Z (resident’s home). The work caused a huge hassle for the companies, but their work was cut out for them and they worked quickly. Considering that a large chuck of New York lost electricity after the hurricane, the electrical companies answered quickly and efficiently. It’s amazing to think that such a complicated and difficult operation could be completed so quickly. Residents were right to seriously wonder where the electricians were. They were often working where they couldn’t always be seen by a lot of people.
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