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Amazing how different the coverage of this hurricane is...

 ...vice one some years ago.  

That said, while I gainsay no one schlepping a utility truck in a C5A, one wonders if it's even possible any more to priority rail a trainload of trucks in.  There's nowhere near as many flatcars now as there were back in the day, and I rather suspect DoD owns a good chunk of them.  Just thinking out loud...  there may be very good reasons for it.  Or, it may be, we don't think of it because we don't use rail as ubiquitiously as we once did - even as rail has become much more efficient.

Air Force crews offload Southern California Edison power repair equipment from a C-5 Galaxy on Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2012. The Defense Department initiated the airlift operation to aid recovery efforts in Hurricane Sandy's aftermath. (U.S. Army photo/Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo)

Air Force crews offload Southern California Edison power repair equipment from a C-5 Galaxy on Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2012. The Defense Department initiated the airlift operation to aid recovery efforts in Hurricane Sandy's aftermath. (U.S. Army photo/Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo)

And ain't that a reely busy front office?

Members of the Georgia Army National Guard prepare their CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter for a flight from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. to Staten Island, N.Y. at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Nov. 3, 2012. The helicopter crew is supporting members of the National Search and Rescue Task Force, which will conduct house-to-house searches in Staten Island, N.Y. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokere

Members of the Georgia Army National Guard prepare their CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter for a flight from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. to Staten Island, N.Y. at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Nov. 3, 2012. The helicopter crew is supporting members of the National Search and Rescue Task Force, which will conduct house-to-house searches in Staten Island, N.Y. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokere





18 Comments

I know when I was a Construction Supervisor with SBC, when we had to go help other areas we had to put the Capital (Line Buckets and Pole Cats) on flatbeds - in one case it was railrod, the other an 18-wheeler.  Something about ICC regulations wouldn't allow us to cross state lines - may have been the registration or inspection.
 
John may have something on the relative paucity of available flatcars.  The main rail line between Houston and points inland runs through College Station, and I don't recall seeing any flatcars.  Plenty of those double deck automobile carrier cars, but I doubt those can accomodate a cherry picker truck.

And am I stupid, or could that SCE truck have self deployed just as quickly, and probably at a much lower cost in fuel?
 
Unless there're a whole lot of hoops to jump through, it's one day to fly and five to drive.
 
When Kentucky had a couple of huge ice storms, knocking electricity out for 10+ days, ALL the repair trucks from surrounding states self-deployed.....in long convoys. 

But what the heck, we were obviously not New York City, it's was not an election year, and all those folks in the rest of the country who experience severe weather damage are not the same folks who live in mega-metro areas. 
 
There were reports of out-of-state Utility Trucks being turned away. At one point it was apparently union workers wanting no non-union labor in the area. Asked them to sign a 300 page document:
http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/02/theres-more-georgia-power-crew-turned-away-from-sandy-stricken-new-york-for-refusing-to-join-union/#ixzz2B74HzHms

Not sure if its true, using what few air frame hours on Military Air Lift to move a Utility Truck strikes me as "look like you are doing something" and a serious waste of the already over used (and OLD) AF fleet life.

 
 It should be interesting this coming week, they are predicting another Nor'easter for the middle of this coming week, a "Hatteras Low". This is not goood.
 
One day to fly, one truck at a time (mebbe two) per airframe.  Self-deploying makes more sense.  I'm just not convinced this is a good use of the airframes.
 
I'm sure the Annointed One could care less if C5ing trucks across country is a sensible solution... it looks good in the photo op.

Heard the rumor about the union bozos as well; can't confirm.  If true, more organized labor nonnsense... brought to you by those who help prop up Obama.

Right now my kitchen resembles the Mir space station during its final days... cables from neighbor's generator strung all over the place to run furnace and fridge.  Have to get working on that fire supression system next.

From Darkest Long Island,
Frank
 
Frank - here's a link to the story about the non-union power crews; http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/03/christie-threatens-disaster-control-act-order-to-guarantee-nonunion-utility-workers-can-help-restore-nj-power/

Hope someone gets you back on the grid soon.  We did a week on a generator here at the Castle in the Great Ice Storm.  Winter makes it extra sucky.

 
 Actually, Christie dumped all over the crews to start with, but like Bloomie across the Hudson, had to do an about-face. Initially, Tubby the One Note Tuba screamed at the crews for not getting the power back up when he snapped his fingers, and FEMA, who has the power to declare Davis Bacon, had not said they would, and the IBEW local also had said that they waived their work-with-no-scabs rule for the emergency, so you have to look somewhere else for the blame for that FUBAR.

I'll make your chase short: it was Christie's office that did it, because Tubby only dumps on public employee unions, he is in bed with all the rest of them, such as IBEW, Dock Workers, etc. Most likely, a staffer was following previous advice to check with an IBEW boss, who didn't demur on the work rule right away, so Tubby's own office said no non-union on the job. Shortly thereafter, a bunch of crews from the South turned their rigs around, and that act set off the firestorm.

Also, you can bet that Obama's FEMA was sensitive enough on Election Eve to not enact Davis Bacon. emergency repairs can now be done with non-union crews, but after the election, just watch how many of those crews get to stay in Joisey to do needed improvements...
 
 BTW, Armorer. had you had an enlisted component to your service record as I did, you would know all about standing fire guard/refueling watch over rows of generators when a Comm Squadron deploys to the field, or any other 24-hr use of portable power is required. No offense, just sayin'
 
I'm not sure I understand your point, Rivrdog.   Would you like a dissertation in the use and maintenance of 60K generators?  I could do that.

Stand watch along the Czech border in the winter?  I could do that.

Walk the line in the fog while your troops pull a 5 meters between men cordon around a nuke site in miserable weather?  I could do that.

Innumerable railouts in Germany in crappy weather and good - doing real physical labor as well as standing back being the Safety Officer.  I could do that.

What is your point regarding this post?
 
CCO - I was referring to if the SCE trucks had left SoCal on the day the storm hit.  And as John allueded to, unless you're using a whole lot of airframes to move utility repair trucks (which would have rather large ripple effects worldwide throughout the transport system), if you want to get lots of trucks to NJ-NY-CT, the fastest and most efficient way to do that is to drive them there.

Of course, that doesn't give you good photo ops to show that FEMA and the .gov are helping out.
 
Actually out of Houston generally westward, there are three rail lines. Two Union Pacific, the aforementioned line to the northwest parallel to US 290, and a line to the southwest parallel to US 90. BNSF has a line paralleling 249 and 1774 before turning west near Plantersville, after which it heads for Navasota to cross the line running up to College Station. There might be one other in the far southwest, but I would need to check on that.
 
I work for a utility here in Florida and we are a right to work state.  A lot of the guys (myself included) refuse to join the union.   Last winter we sent 10 guys up to Conn for the ice storms.  2 had to come back because they were not card holders.      I remember working with crews from Conneticut during Katrina, funny how that works.  

 
Hey, don't pick on Rivrdog! I strongly suspect that he is one of us "excessively earnest and socially awkward" folks.
 
This is what I meant, above:

See: http;//www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/453562a.html
 
Whoops! that should have been a colon, not a semicolon. I'll try again:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7194/full/453562a.html