St. Louis – City without Lights (Again)

Lately, St. Louis summers have been characterized by100 degree temperatures and power outages. Sometimes at the same time and for several-day stretches.
Unfortunately, I ran into both, sequentially, on my return to St. Louis from last week’s ILTA conference.
Ironically, as it turned out, on my flight back into St. Louis, I was once again struck by the immense amount of light the baseball stadium now generates when games are in progress and, presumably, the amount of electricity used. The stadium lights wash out the other lights downtown and make it difficult to spot the Arch as you fly in. Has anyone else noticed this? From above, it looks like the lights could cook hot dogs in the stadium.
I walked out of the airport into what felt like an oven – at 9:00 at night. The 90 degree heat of Orlando seemed comfy by comparison.
Friday’s storm knocked out electricity for thousands, now a regular occurrence. There were some huge trees down around our neighborhood and most of the area was dark, with the exception of a small island of electricity a block or so away, where, having grown accustomed to the outages, neighbors with electricity shared their power with neighbors across the street as long orange extension cords snaked across the street. For many, it was simply returning the favor from the last outage in which the roles were reversed.
In the past, outages seemed to last only an hour or two. In the last year or so, days, rather than hours, are the measure and the Ameren phone message system has dispensed with even attempting to give estimates for return of service.
On Saturday morning, I noticed the wire down at the back of our yard. Fortunately (I have nothing but praise for the people in the trucks who do the work of restoring power – a difficult and dangerous job – but really wonder what is going on at the planning and management levels of Ameren), our electricity was back on Saturday evening. A bit of a break in the temperature helped. Our neighbors across the street were not so lucky – they got back on the grid last night.
I made a couple of long bike rides this weekend. There were some big trees blown over that took down wires and poles and blocked two of my usual routes back to our house.
The unplanned break from electricity and the computer did give me a chance, during daylight hours, to read William Gibson’s excellent new book, Spook Country (highly recommended). I hope to post some comments about that and file my delayed recap of the ILTA conference later this week.
My sympathies to all with electricity and experiencing weather difficulties (glad you’re power is back, Fred). And a big thank you to the guys who got the power back. Once again.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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