Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cleanup on Aisle Dilettante

We got our power back on Sunday afternoon, following an impressive effort by a crew from Ameren Energy  of St. Louis, which drove 12 hours with a lot of heavy equipment to get to the Twin Cities.

As a reminder, here is what the scene looked like on Saturday (all pictures courtesy of staff photographer Fearless Maria):

A familiar look to Twin Citians
One of the things we learned is that the oak tree was hollow and likely a condominium for various squirrels and other urban wildlife. This view is along our lot line and shows how the pole got snapped.

On Sunday morning, the trucks arrived:

It takes a lot of trucks to get the job done

And eventually, so did the new pole:

Swinging the pole into position

And then the crew got to work. This last picture does a nice job of showing one of the reasons why this particular storm has been so difficult to deal with. The boom crane on this truck got tangled in my neighbor's ash tree, which made it difficult to get the pole onto the giant Bobcat-style device that Ameren had brought up from St. Louis. Our neighborhood was built in the 1960s and the trees are all mature now. Unfortunately, when the utility poles were built on the back line of our respective lots, the folks who developed the land planted a lot of trees that are now a real impediment to getting access to the power poles.

There are a lot of neighborhoods like ours in the Twin Cities. New Brighton looks a lot like Fridley, which looks a lot like Maplewood, which looks a lot like Roseville, which looks a lot like St. Louis Park, which looks a lot like sections of Plymouth. Suburbia, especially the Twin Cities variety, is often a very pleasant place to live, but some of the things that were done back then are problematic now. We're likely always going to have power poles in our neighborhood, because the cost of burying the lines would be astronomical. It would take billions to bury all the power lines in the metro area and there's no way that customers are going to be willing to foot that bill.

The good news is that we're back to normal. I hope that our friends in other parts of town who are still waiting get relief soon.


R.A. Crankbait said...

I'd rather have buried power lines than new football stadia.

Mr. D said...

I would, too. But unlike football stadia, the users have to pay for the cost involved.