When the grid goes, it all goes

06/01/2008 4:52 PM

05/28/2009 4:53 PM

Why you don't have electricity

A hurricane's winds can tear down transmission lines and power poles.

Flying debris knocks out many FPL stations that supply whole neighborhoods.

Repair crews focus on essential customers such as hospitals, police departments and fire departments first.

Why you don't have phone service

Telephone relay stations need electricity to provide local service.

With electricity gone, the phone company uses backup batteries and generators until they deplete.

Also, they can switch stations to provide service to cellphone transmission towers.

Without electricity people can't recharge their cell phones or run their cordless home phones, so it is advised to have one phone attached to the wall with a cord for use while the phone lines are still running on generators even if electricity is out.

Why you don't have water

Many pumping stations and treatment plants get damaged in strong storms, leaving them at less-than-normal capacity.

Broken or sputtering power supplies slow pump and treatment systems at the source.

Uprooted trees can also pull underground water mains out, destroying them and preventing water flow.

Also, broken or sputtering power supplies mean apartment towers can't pump water to upper floors.

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