Governance by those who do the work.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Increasingly Frequent Storm Damage

A recent letter to the editor of the "Bedford Minuteman".

The IPCC says*:

More frequent extreme weather events are predicted to accompany global warming, in part as a consequence of projected increases in convective activity.

The projected increase from 1993 to 2012 is roughly 14% in the Northeast US.

With an increased incidence of severe weather we should also expect to see an increase in tree damage such as fallen limbs and toppled trees. The increase in power outages in recent years is not inconsistent with severe weather having increased 14% in Bedford since 1993.

In addition to causing power outages, power lines being knocked down by tree limbs create a hazard requiring specialists from NStar to repair them. In areas with buried utility cables, downed limbs and trees can be cleared immediately by homeowners and emergency personnel.

In the face of this growing problem, it would make sense for the Town of Bedford to set as a long-term goal the elimination of utility-poles in favor of buried cables. The advantages to Bedford would be:

  1. Reduction in outages of power, telephone, video, and data services due to severe weather;
  2. Elimination of electrocution hazards due to downed power lines;
  3. Faster clearing of damaged trees and downed limbs from roads and yards;
  4. More robust street trees not weakened by pruned centers;
  5. More attractive neighborhoods;
  6. More authentic-looking Historic districts.
Aubrey Jaffer
Bedford Global Warming Action Coalition

* Section 8.3.9.3 "Extreme Weather Events" in
    "The Regional Impacts of Climate Change"
    by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sres/regional/index.php?idp=232

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