Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 14, 2013

Letter: Storm outages show power lines should be underground


The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

Once again, as I write this, we are in the middle of a snow storm/blizzard and, once again, hundreds of thousands of people are without power.

We all know the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Are we not doing the very same thing year after year?

I could not possibly be the only one – and I know I am not – who has thought of placing power lines under ground. After all, all our water supply lines are under ground and the same people who receive water also are supplied with electricity.

We have transoceanic cables resting on the floor of the ocean. We have sent probes into Deep Space but we are not able to place power cables a few feet under ground?

Obviously, we have all the technology and then some and, yet, year after year we are sending out construction crews to repair downed cables under the worst possible weather conditions.

Then what is (are) the reason(s) for not applying the obvious solution? Is it money?

Is it cheaper to have numerous repair crews climbing up and down utility poles during the most inclement weather conditions? Having power companies lose income from thousands upon thousands of customers? What about the hardship endured by men, women and children hovering under blankets and waiting for the moment when the lights come back on?

It is not necessary to put the power lines of an entire town under ground at once – I would start with the street where the lines are subject to the most frequent breakdowns and continue street after street.

Years ago, I coined the phrase: Those who have the answer are never asked the question, and those who know what to do are never in a position to do it.

I believe I am as right today as I was then.

Leo Rute

24 Burton Farm Drive