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Hurricane Beryl: First Hurricane of 2018

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An east Atlantic tropical depression has quickly developed into the first official hurricane of 2018, hurricane Beryl, which follows tropical storm Alberto as the second tropical storm system this season. Hurricane Beryl is currently a small storm, and it is difficult to determine its current trajectory; however, as of now, Friday afternoon, July 6, it appears that hurricane Beryl may strike land in Lesser Antilles as a category one. Depending on atmospheric conditions, meteorologists predict that hurricane Beryl may potentially pick up more speed according to its current pace of growth over warm waters or, instead, be blown apart by impending wind shear, possibly even before crossing over the islands, as it moves westward. It is expected that hurricane Beryl will be slowed down, but the storm is still very likely to make landfall among the Caribbean islands as a tropical storm next week. Regardless of whether hurricane Beryl strengthens or weakens, strong winds and stormy seas are anticipated in the Caribbean over the course of the next five days.

Rip Current Awareness

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           A rip current at Pensacola Beach caused one death and five injuries Tuesday, June 19. Rip currents are a very dangerous threat, and they can occur at any time, which means we must be cautious of them all the time; however, storms and hurricanes will increase their frequency, which, alongside unfortunate recent events, is why this topic requires additional mention right now.

            A rip current is a thin, fast moving stream of water that is moving outward from the coast toward the ocean. It is caused by crashing waves pulling and pushing the sandbar until there is a gap in the ground that causes water to rush through it, quickly, as the waves recede from the shore, generating a strong current back out to sea. What that means for beach-goers during hurricane season is that the powerful storms off the coast are churning up the water, causing higher frequency and more forceful waves to crash on the beach as well as more erosion on the ocean floor. This heavy impact on beaches significantly increases the frequency of rip currents because of the wear and tear done on the sandbar, the wear and tear being clear to many of us who have visited the beach around the time of a storm to see the landscape sometimes significantly altered from the norm. With tropical storms constantly building up off the coast, any person who intends to swim at the beach during this season must be aware that even if zero tropical storms make landfall over the entire course of the season, the increased rip current threat is present. 

            Usually, a rip current is escapable by swimming laterally away until reaching waters without current; however, they are notorious for exhausting swimmers who attempt to swim directly against it. For more information about rip current safety, please check this link to a National Weather Service page: https://www.weather.gov/safety/ripcurrent

Megawattage is a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador to South Florida, and we promote awareness and preparedness for hazardous weather.  

Squirrel in the Substation

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The power at Bush Gardens went down Saturday, May 12th after a squirrel invaded the substation and damaged a breaker. This is not a wild story; squirrels and other critters are a very frequent cause of power outages, as they crawl into every dark corner, including electrical vaults and transformers. Also, their presence on power lines, interacting with hot wires or jumping to ground, is a continuous hassle for linemen. Although squirrel related outages are, individually, never going to equate to the severity of a nasty storm or disaster, which can cause weeks or months worth of repairing damage and restoring power, the nationwide and worldwide effect of squirrels and their scurrying ilk competes with hurricanes and tornadoes for the status of being the cumulative cause of greater overall time without power annually. The power was down at Busch Gardens for nearly four hours before the squirrel situation was resolved.

Short power outages like this are still and always a problem, especially for businesses, and they are inevitable; however, a well maintained standby generator on auto can keep your lights and your equipment running smoothly, so that these daily issues vanish from your concern, as if the thousands of squirrel-power interactions every year do not exist.

New York State of Emergency

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Notable weather in the northeast this week: Tornadoes and powerful storms with winds over 100 miles per hour mashed up New York, and placing it in a state of emergency, and surrounding states on Tuesday, May 15. Huge hailstones and lightning bolts thundered down all over the northeast, and the tide surged. The catastrophe has resulted in a great deal of property damage and blockage from downed trees, tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power, and, as of today, May 17, there are 5 reported storm related deaths. Rail lines and roads have been damaged and blocked by fallen trees and debris. Some businesses and schools were obligated to close. The clean-up and power restoration will likely continue through the end of the week or longer. This is continuing to follow a rough nor’easter season this year. Megawattage LLC is here in South Florida for all of your disaster recovery needs.

Kindred Hospital Power Outage

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A power outage occurred at Kindred Hospital in Fort Lauderdale on May 11th, which resulted in the emergency evacuation of eight critical-care patients. The back-up power did not immediately turn on, rendering the hospital entirely and dangerously without power for a period of time. The hospital staff and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue worked commendably and successfully to enable safe passage of the evacuated patients and assist in-house patients so that disaster was averted. Next time call Megawattage LLC.

Kilauea Volcano Eruption on Hawaii Big Island

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Earthquakes on Hawaii’s Big Island began to shake the ground in the last days of April, leading to a smoky eruption from volcano Kilauea that is continuing, spraying ash over nearby communities and producing streams of lava and gasses from many of over 20 fissures that have cracked open. There have been many people and communities evacuated from areas closest to the volcano in order to escape lava flow, toxic fumes and choking smoke that continues to emerge from beneath the earth. Although many parts of the Big Island are safe, there has recently been a red alert sent out, specifically regarding any air traffic near the island, as the ash and smoke is rising many thousands of miles into the air and constitutes a significant threat. Currently, Hawaii is bracing itself for another explosion, potentially more powerful than what has already been occurring. Next week, Megawattage will be sending a team out to Hawaii to maintain operating condition of emergency generators that could be deployed throughout all the Hawaiian isles.

Emergency Generators Required in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

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Megawattage Generator Rental

It is a requirement for nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida to have an emergency back-up generator, as per a law signed last month, March of 2018.  This is in response to the recent deaths during power outages following hurricane Irma, pertaining to insufficient generator power to maintain air conditioning.

Florida is one of the first states to pass a law such as this, and with good reason. Every year, Florida undergoes a long hurricane season, and although many seasons are relatively peaceful, the risk of disaster is always present; in fact, a storm or long term power outage is an inevitable eventuality. That said, a regularly maintained back-up generator eliminates much of these risks. Megawattage is ready to provide all assisted living facilities and nursing homes with permanent stand-by power.