Micro-news for CT 4601, Altadena, CA

Unseasonable isolated gusting

posted by Jeremiah 6/16/2006 09:44:00 AM

This morning we were awoken by Santa Ana-like wind at about 5:40am. We had uncharacteristic gusting up to about 20mph until about 8:45. The wind was hot. I talked to some folks who live in Pasadena this morning, and they reported nothing unusual further down the hill. Other Altadena stations recorded similar gusting, although not as strong. It appears that the Weather Underground servers were down for over an hour starting about 6:30, as all three Altadena sites reporting today ( 1 2 3 ) have a data gap there.

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Uplifting day on Loma Alta

posted by Jeremiah 6/08/2006 09:07:00 PM

Today Loma Alta was closed to through traffic so a crane crew could set up and hoist replacement utility poles to hard-to-reach locations. The large (160 ton) crane was brought in to reach over neighbors' homes and drop two new utility poles into holes which were prepared in advance by SCE.

The first one was on the north side of the Gooseberry catch basin (south of Loma Alta), a couple hundred feet west of the Stonehill intersection. The other was on the west side of the Gooseberry flood channel, just north of Loma Alta. Both were basically in people's back yards, so lifting the 40 foot poles in from above was the only practical way to get them in.

Once each new pole was secured in it's hole next to the old one, the power lines (which run at the top of the poles) were moved over to it. Then the crane was bridled to the old pole, and the crew chainsawed off the top 8 feet or so. Once the top of the old pole was cut loose, the crane hoisted the piece of scrap back up over the rooftops, leaving the shortened old pole in place until the other utility crews can come out and transfer lower telephone and cable lines to the new pole. Then the old poles can finally be removed altogether.

From what I understand, the crane is called "160 ton" because that is the gross weight of the whole system. I assume this includes the support vehicles, etc., because the three huge counterweights they used, which travel separately on tractor-trailers, weigh 12 tons each. So if there are "only" 36 tons of counterweight, they must be factoring in the whole crane itself plus three or four support vehicles, etc. to get to 160 tons.

The rigger told me that with the jib out and the boom fully extended, the crane was 270 feet tall, but that there were additional inserts which could be installed to bring it to a maximum height of 320 feet. I assume the 50 feet of inserts were somewhere else, as I didn't see it anywhere on the job site.

I seem to recall that the maximum allowed "gross vehicle weight" of a tractor-trailer is 40 tons on major roads (many smaller roads are less). They brought three (large) vehicles (forget about pickup trucks, etc.), so assuming each one vehicle is limited to 40 tons (3 x 40 = 120), one must assume the didn't bring all their toys with them. One of the young guys mentioned their was an additional counterweight that I didn't see anywhere, and the inserts were nowhere around, so there must be one or two more tractor-trailers full of Legos to get them up to a full 160 tons of fun.

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June 3, 2006 hits 103 °F

posted by Jeremiah 6/03/2006 08:57:00 PM

Well, it's really summer now. We just missed a high 103 up here on the hill today.

Other local stations report similar highs, but KCAALTAD3 on Mount Curve seems to either be having technical difficulties, or knows something we don't know. Also, unfortunately, KCAALTAD5 seems to have gone offline sometime after lunch, but not before they posted the highest high for the day at 103.1 °F

KCAALTAD1 102.4 °F
KCAALTAD2 102.9 °F (Stonehill News)
KCAALTAD3 _94.0 °F (?!)
KCAALTAD5 103.1 °F

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