MAYBE 3 YEARS TO FIX FRENCH ELECTRIC GRID January 6, 2000 Associated Press reported: It could take three years to fully restore France's electricity system, which was badly damaged in deadly storms that swept through Europe more than a week ago, the chairman of the national electricity company said Wednesday. The overall cost of fully reconstructing the system is expected to run into the billions of dollars, with the immediate repair work costing around $770 million, EDF Chairman Francois Roussely said. It's a catastrophe without precedent in Europe, Roussely said in an interview on French radio station RTL. For a good part of 2000, and without doubt still in 2001, our electricity system will be fragile, we will have more failures, the quality of our product will suffer...' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Comment: While this may all be due to recent storms, I hope many Frenchmen prepped for Y2K. They may still need their preps this winter.

-- Bill P (, January 06, 2000


Great point Bill. The weather overseas has been really, really strange.

Is the power up and running now I wonder? Years to fix? How bad were the infrastructure problems? Seems a little odd.



-- Mike Taylor (, January 06, 2000.

Mike, "Jean-Pierre Bourdier, a spokesman for Electricite de France, said 36 high-voltage lines were out of service, representing a quarter of the national grid."

Now if this just means that 4-8 dozen supports were destroyyed pulling down 36 lines, three years is excessive. But if this means that 100's of power towers were destroyed, sure it could take years, particularily if some substations were destroyed in the process.

I would think that the largest population centers will be restored first, probably within weeks or months. How long did it take for ALL of Quebec to be restored? I would hope that the three year refers to everything including remote villages.

-- Ken Seger (, January 06, 2000.

Truly bizarre!

In 1987 the "huricane" (officially a mere "severe storm") ripped through the south-east of England, and succeeded in completely disconnecting London from the nation's electricity grid. It took them about twelve hours to get London back on-grid, if you were in some very rural parts you had to wait a week or so. Maybe there was some hidden work that took a month or two more, but it's hard to imagine what. Basically you are talking about re-errecting any poles and pylons that were toppled, and repairing the very many wires broken by things (mainly trees) falling onto them. Ten per cent of the trees in the affected area were felled, many of the rest lost big branches. Nature has done a remarkable repair job in 13 years. I digress.

What hit France recently was meteorologically about the same. Not as bad as the many hurricanes that have hit the USA in the past decade. It's going to take them three years? Maybe the joke about hell being French engineers and English cooks is true after all.

-- Nigel (, January 06, 2000.

The problem is the vast region affected by the storm. During the ice storm of 1998, we have lost power for 25 days near montreal but it took a year to Hydro-Quebec to restore the entire network.

-- DJ (, January 06, 2000.

Yes, there were strange winds - probably the more rageous since decennies...

The wood or concrete pylons have no clock embedded, I guess.

Please stay concentrated on year 2000 problems... and Happy New Year.

-- bilbo (, January 06, 2000.

Prepare for a THREE YEAR storm??? <:)=

-- Sysman (, January 06, 2000.

Looks like generator manufacturers can look forward to another good year....


-- john hebert (jt{, January 06, 2000.

May all the generator returns from here can be sent to France. Whatdaya say Sears (chance to clean up, so forget about the 20% restocking fee).

Seriously, I'd just like to say that if nothing else prepping for y2k has allowed me to be basically prepped for 3-6 month catastrophies. And I would just like to thank all the doomers here who have opened my eyes generally to the folly of not being generally prepped.

These "unprecedented" catstrophies don't seem to be so "unprecidented" any more and could happen at any time and seem to be with alarmingly increasing frequency these days. First the "unprecedented" Ice Storm in Quebec, now the unprecedented" storm in France.

Now 3 years that's another issue, but I don't think there will be no help to those folks for 3 years, but being self-sufficient to ride out the bursts of intermittent help as they come is a smart thing to be prepped for.

Just goes to show that a little wire carrying power is no match for Mother Nature, and when she strikes, first order of business is to get rid of these rinky dink wires. (Man, she must think these human folk are really stupid if they think those wires are going to hold up when she lets go).

-- Interested Spectator (is@the_ring.side), January 06, 2000.

Bogus. I live in hurricane country. Three years is what it takes to finish remediation, design embeddeds for new substations or whatever maybe, but certainly not to repair power in a region which covers only 25% of France! HOGWASH!!!

Which state is France the size of? Is this outage equivalent, would you say, to a hurricane disrupting 25% of Texas? Would ANY Texan tolerate a "3 year" repair window? nada!

-- Hokie (, January 06, 2000.

There was a 'Level 2' Incident at 2 nuclear plants, only now being reported. Both still shut down. See thread:

French Nuclear reactors were damaged by the European hurricane

-- Risteard Mac Thomams (, January 07, 2000.

Land areas of France and Texas are approximately the same. (France is the largest country in Western Europe).

Population of France is approximately 60 million, ie 3 times that of Texas (approx 20 million).

-- Risteard Mac Thomais (, January 07, 2000.

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