February 21, 2007

Early Spring? (Updated)

This morning on radio traffic, I heard about an exploding manhole that had traffic blocked downtown. This is unusual for two reasons. First, this normally happens in Georgetown, not downtown proper, and secondly it's too early in the season for exploding manholes. This isn't supposed to start until springtime.

I've never heard of such a thing happening in any other city. Is this just a local phenomenom?

Update: Rob, over at Left & Right, is the man to see about DC's 'sploding manholes.

Posted by Ted at February 21, 2007 05:50 AM | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

I don't know about exploding but in NYC there have been reports of electrocution - mostly dogs - from manhole covers.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at February 21, 2007 12:24 PM

You're so blase about it. I've never even heard of such a thing. It sounds like a frat prank.


Posted by: Ian at February 21, 2007 10:46 PM

Sewer gas, or leakage from natural gas lines. There was an incident here in Milwaukee some years back regarding a telephone lineman who lit a cigar while down in the utility tunnel and lost his hair in the resultant flash.

Posted by: triticale at February 21, 2007 11:21 PM

Yeah, that this occurs with any frequency worth noting is odd at best. But the very notion that such a thing is somehow "seasonal" is wonderfully disruptive to my universe.

Posted by: Mad William Flint at February 22, 2007 04:36 PM

I've got a lot of civic pride, but I'm not sure we can claim the Exploding Manhole title. "Howstuffworks" says it happens in large cities.

I hope this week's exploding manhole means a return of spring weather.

Posted by: nic at February 22, 2007 06:16 PM

I don't think I've ever heard of an exploding manhole. Then again, maybe it's just that it's been a while since I've heard of one that it doesn't ring a bell.

Maybe that's a tourist slogan!
"Washington DC: First in the nation in homocides and exploding manholes"


Posted by: Tuning Spork at February 22, 2007 10:19 PM

Manhole cover explosions are a common occurance in NYC. It usually happens in the spring because of the heat/steam buildup underground. However, there's also enough incidents in the summer too.

Thought you should know.

Posted by: michele at February 22, 2007 11:31 PM



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