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Originally posted by Romanian
Solar activity is below average, so we can exclude it.
McALLEN (November 16, 2012) — More than 18,000 Rio Grande Valley residents lost power Friday after utility poles caught fire.
AEP Texas reported more than 18,000 customers across Hidalgo, Starr, Cameron and Willacy counties lost power Friday morning after the fires. At one point, roughly one-third of all AEP Texas’ Starr County customers lost electricity, according to the company’s website.
Mist that rolled across the Valley early Friday morning dampened dirt and dust clinging to utility equipment, said AEP Community Affairs Manager Lee Jones. Insulation units on the utility poles began conducting electricity, thanks to the unusual combination of wind-blown dust and moisture, and caught fire.
Originally posted by elfrog
reply to post by davjan4
If the poles were along busy highways it's possible the "dust" was metallic in nature due brake dust from passing cars. The combination of conductive brake dust and heavy fog could create enough leakage over the insulators to ignite creosote soaked poles.
Originally posted by thudpuddy
This may be stupid and God knows particle physics are way over my head but remember not long ago when the large hadron collider was running an experiment shooting subatomic particles though the earth at Italy ? It should stick in every ones memory because they seemed to be moving faster than the speed of light .
I wonder if it's possible they're trying it on a grander scale and they're aim is off .