Page last updated Oct 5, 2012 @ 12:55am
2011 Outage News
The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) compiles reports
on outages. Click to go to their web site for a list of outages sorted by year.
The following is a list of news summaries of major power outages and related
stories as reported in the media for this time period. The most recent are listed
- Early snowstorm strikes Northeast, outages linger
BOSTON — Hundreds of thousands of homes in the
northeast US still have no power a week after the October 29th
snowstorm. Some areas saw up to 32 inches of snow. The storm
knocked out power to over 3 million customers. Here is a state-by-state
look at the remaining customer still without power as of Nov 2 and Nov
Connecticut - 687,000 down to 300,000
Massachusetts - 299,500 down to 85,000
New Hampshire - 130,000 down to 6,000
New Jersey - 284,000 down to 65,000
New York - 144,000 down to 6,000
Pennsylvania - 90,000 down to 19,000
--Reuters 11/4/2011, AP 11/2/2011
and other reports
- Hurricane Irene knocks out power to 5 million
customers on east coast
Even though Irene weakened to a tropical storm,
it thrashed the East Coast of the US, knocking out power to millions of
homes and businesses. Here is a list of customer totals that lost
power on Saturday and Sunday by state:
Connecticut - 657,000 customers out
Delaware - 75,000 customers out
Maine - 160,000 customers out
Maryland - 645,000 customers out
Massachusetts - 500,000 customers out
New Hampshire - 100,000 customers out
New Jersey - 920,000 customers out
New York - 905,000 customers out
North Carolina - 560,000 customers out
Pennsylvania - 500,000 customers out
Rhode Island - 270,000 customers out
South Carolina - 5,000 customers out
Vermont - 18,000 customers out
- Power outages a principle cause of high Alabama
tornado death toll
There were an unusually high number of fatalities
from the horrible tornado outbreak on April 27 in Alabama and other
parts of the south. Meteorologist Mike Smith now believes that
power outages were the primary cause of the high death toll because
"[tornado] warnings were not received or not effectively
received." Since the tornado warning program began in 1957,
death tolls - even with a growing population - have been steadily
decreasing. So, the current death doll of 236 in Alabama and the
total death toll of 337 is simply stunning in the 21st century given the
state-of-the-art in tornado warning science and warning communications
technology. On the morning of April 27 in Alabama when the first
line of thunderstorms had passed reports indicate that at least 262,000
electric customers (or 786,000 to 1,048,000 people) were without
power. Without electricity, televisions, some radios and the
internet do not work. And after a certain period of time backup
batteries at land line central stations and cell towers discharge, as do
the batteries on individual cell phones. So, the usual systems for
receiving warnings would be, at best, disrupted. In some areas the
tornado warnings may not have been available through any routine
source. If the warnings were not received, it would account for
the "pre-warning era" level of fatalities. Smith urges
the National Weather Service to examine the role of power failures in
the death toll.
--excerpted from Jason Samenow on Washington Post blog,
- Japan rates nuclear crisis at highest severity level
TOKYO — Japan’s nuclear agency to raise the severity rating of the nuclear crisis at Fukushima Daiichi from Level 5 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), indicating an “accident with off-site risk,” to Level 7, a “major accident” on a par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
The country continues to battle to prevent a nuclear catastrophe and to care for millions of people without power or water in its worst crisis since World War
The Washington Post, Tuesday, April 12, 2011
- Japan's three year power shortage
BBC 11 April 2011 - Japan's economics minister Kaoru Yosano has said that he expects electricity shortages in the country to last for three to five years following the earthquake and tsunami. Speaking to the
BBC, he said that the power problems could not be allowed to affect the country's all-important manufacturing sector.
At home individuals can save energy much more easily.
- U.S. Grid Gets Less Reliable
The U.S. electrical grid has been plagued by more
and worse blackouts over the past 15 years. In an average year, outages
total 92 minutes per year in the Midwest and 214 minutes in the Northeast.
Japan, by contrast, averages only 4 minutes of interrupted service each year.
Data was analyzed from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information
Administration (EIA) and from the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC).
Each five-year period was worse than the preceding one.
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