I, like many, have been watching the news stories about the enormous flood that has accompanied Hurricane Harvey and many of the sights are so heartbreaking and horrible. One of the most surprising things to me though and is a totally amazing thing is how I'm looking at several homes that are covered by water, sometimes up to the tops of windows and doors, and yet you can see porch lights on or interior lights burning.
I worked in the Electrical field, and Electronics, and I know what mixing electricity and water does and I'm just amazed that these homes electrical service are not shorted out by the water that surely is over the electrical outlets and submerging many of the home's electrical appliances. Of all the things I'm watching, other than the enormity of the disaster, the fact that as much of the power that is on is still on especially in the areas where homes are submerged into the water definitely up to and above the electrical plugs and light switches.
Personally I'm surprised that we haven't had more fires and instances of people being electrocuted from being in close proximity to water and electricity together. Ground fault outlets will explain only a few cases but most homes don't have ground fault outlets (GFCI) in the living room, bed room areas but only or mainly in the Kitchens, bathrooms, and garages as well as some of the exterior outlets. The only way I can reconcile it is to say (to myself) that the water hasn't reached the mains where they come in at the Breaker Box.
Let us just all hope that things improve rapidly for those involved and that the loss of life will be much less than expected. For many thought they have lost it all, home, cars, memories, animals, and until things return to normal or some form of normal, their jobs as well.