Acknowledged by: Princeton, NJ

Engineering-Misc Issue Acknowledged

15 Wiggins St Princeton, NJ, 08540, USA Show on Map Hide Map
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Civic Points: 740

Issue ID:



Engineering-Misc Issue


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Hello; Several years ago, I informed you that the dilapidated, obsolete and antiquated electrical substation posed a life hazard. I described how a blast of blue lightning had set a number of girls standing in the library near me screaming, and how we had gathered in anticipation of this event, and were looking in that direction, the static charge being so palpable.

My tip resulted in action by Public Service, but much of this was cosmetic, with a new fence being installed.

Now, last week (Wednesday evening), another event occurred, this on Hinds Plaza. I didn't stay to see the outcome, but a family had gathered just after a rain shower at the tables I was moving in preparation for the weekly Farmer's Market, and since they couldn't speak any English, at all, I gave up right away trying to tell them of the danger of a lightning strike due to the proximity of the electrical substation, the light rain and the metal tables all gathered together, as they must be to hold the Market.

It was whispered the next day that something had happened to the family, but I could never get any confirmation or clear description of what had occurred, a blue-lightning strike, or what.

Now, I would like to suggest that a heavy-as-possible soft copper conduit pipe be placed under Wiggins Street from the substation to Princeton Cemetery, and then a hole drilled about thirty feet deep to accommodate the copper pipe and conduct lightning strikes to the water table.

Then, braided copper wiring, of the kind used for tree and house lightning rods, should be led to every high, outside corner of the substation. Six or eight rods should be used, at minimum.
The hole under Wiggins Street could be done with a Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) machine, and the machine could be set up in the graveyard.

I hope that you can readily persuade PSE&G to take the measures suggested, or some version of them that can be depended upon to remedy the defects described. I'd rather not continue because of the terrible memories, but I was hit by a blue-lightning strike that I believe originated at the station, and suspect that methane accumulating in the sewers and drains played a part. It wasn't nearby, but where electrical currents are concerned, even long distances can be very short. The substation ran the trolley all the way to Trenton, for example.


  • Engineering - D.Stockton, Municipal Engineer (Verified Official)

  • Acknowledged Engineering - D.Stockton, Municipal Engineer (Verified Official)

  • Observer (Registered User)

  • Jagtig (Registered User)

  • Jagtig (Registered User)

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