Northern Ohio information : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Last night I attended a local meeting in Parma, a southern suburb of Cleveland. The event was organized and hosted by the Cuyahoga County Library. The issues were introduced and defined by a VP of IS at Case Western Reserve, a Cleveland university. Also represented were: FirstEnergy (electric), Columbia Gas, Parma Community Hospital, Cleveland Division of Water, Social Security.

The impression I was left with : The electric company seems to be in good shape. The moderator mentioned this before the electric company's speech, and he did not seem pollyannish at all. Their generation capacity is 75 % from coal and 25% from nuclear, with oil generator backups in most plants. Their reserve of coal at turnover will be 30-45 days. It was like pulling teeth to get him (or anyone) to say this. Every one of them kept saying they have generators and fuel which will keep them going "for some time". I breathed a big sigh of relief when he finally said 30-45 days. Sure hope its true!

There was some discussion of the grid - he assured us that we can drop off (create an island) but that the Strength of the grid is in the integrity of the grid, and it is much better to stay connected. A citizen brought up a case (Duke Energy?) of a company that promised to drop off the grid if necessary, and said that the government had ruled that no one may drop out. The speaker was not familiar with this.

He represented the NERC drills as being something meaningful, no one challenged him. He told everyone to get the American Red Cross brochure and prepare according to it, not because of Y2k, but because we always should be prepared.

Other speakers said progressively less, pleading that the previous speakers had taken their material.

Columbia Gas : Lots of natural gas is stored in depleted wells. This will help them get through any rough spots in supply. I couldn't believe that he said that service will be interrupted if a drunk hits a regulator station. I guess he heard the electric guy talking about transformers shot up (in celebration) and poles knocked down (by drunk drivers) and thought he could create his own version!

The representative of Cleveland Division of Water was surprisingly candid. They will dump raw sewage into the lake if necessary. Therefore, probably no problem with sewer backup in homes. In the Cleveland area, the city is the low point. All suburbs are uphill from the city, therefore clean water must be pumped up to us. Obviously, very dependent on electricity, but they do have generators which will work for some time. Can lock out a substation so tank-stored water does not become contaminated by dirty water.

I was very surprised to hear the admission that they were not aware of the embedded chip problem until January 1999. They have 4 water processing plants, 2 where chips will be a major problem, 2 which are totally unautomated.

Other nuggets from Cleveland: Again, get the Red Cross document and follow it. Very concerned about citizens setting up generators incorrectly - get a professional. Traffic light problems are likely - made us all aware that a non-working light becomes a 4-way stop. Airport - thoroughly checked - will handle planes - generating capacity for some time! Police are Prepared to assist. The county health department will mobilize to provide water from water haulers full of well water.

Parma Hospital - has 1600 different biomedical devices. As of yesterday, only 1 remained to be remediated and tested. As always, their backup generator will kick in if the power goes out.

The moderator of the program did nothing to discount the seriousness of the problem. I was shocked that he made no mention of global economic disturbances, although he did poke some fun at the recent travel statements. He seems overly concerned with automobiles???? What??

I hope this helps anyone in the Cleveland area who is still wondering where we stand.

-- cmd0903 (, September 17, 1999


I live 100 miles south of Cleveland in the "hills". Sure hope it's far enough away.

-- Ace (, September 17, 1999.

Thanks for the report on the Cleveland area. Previously have not heard anything about water and sewer. Appreciate the information.

-- Max (, September 17, 1999.

Hope 50 miles is far enough! Thanks for the Cleveland my sis-in-law will be a "house guest"!

-- wowzers (, September 17, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ