Power stories: More than 1 million Americans stuck in frigid darkness, etc.

I also read a news story this morning about a man, Marvin Schur of Michigan, who was found frozen to death in his home this week, he probably died a couple of weeks ago. He was older and living alone, and possibly had signs of dementia. After Marvin Schur did not pay his bills a few months (probably from forgetfulness), the local electric company had installed a device to limit his utility meter, and he probably did not know how to use the device. Hopefully, this tragedy is causing the state of Michigan and the electric companies there to rethink some laws and policies.  (The story is on the AP)

The wider weather/technology/government coping story:

(excerpt from) WSBTV/AP
More Than 1M Stuck In Frigid Darkness
Storm Called Worst Of The Winter Season

President Barack Obama has declared his first federal emergencies in Arkansas and Kentucky because of widespread outages caused by this week’s snow and ice storm.

The storm, which has left misery from the Southern Plains to the East Coast, is blamed for at least 23 deaths….

More Than 1 Million Without Power

Well over a million people are without power as utility crews attempt to restring power lines brought down by ice-damaged trees. But with temperatures plunging, utility officials warn that it could be mid-February before electricity is restored to some of the hardest-hit places. The worst of the power failures are in Kentucky and Ohio…

KW: Isn’t it amazing that our country, with all its wealth and technology, has such a precarious power infrastructure? And, that a power outage and/or weather event could have such profound impacts on our public safety? Imagine being without power for two weeks in the winter? Even the 2003 Northeast Blackout was surprising and challenging, though, it thankfully did not happen in the dead of winter. Seems like there have to be solutions to such events. Perhaps we should be studying: smaller energy circles, the value of sustainable and local energy, or even better-thought-out government response systems, so that so many people would not be in such danger when there is bad weather and/or power failure.

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