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2002 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
outages finally ending in Carolinas
RALEIGH, NC -- Patience ran thin for the customers who
shivered through more than a week without power. The winter storm
which went through the eastern US beginning on December 4th left ice in
the Carolinas and cut power to 1.8 million customers. Duke Power said its
customers were all restored by Friday December 13th. It had nearly
1.3 million customers without power at the peak of the storm. The
other major utility, Carolina Power & Light, used 3,000 linemen from
19 states to restore power in its service area. A series of public
hearings has been called by the N.C. Utilities Commission to assess how
well utilities prepared for, and responded to, the storm.
Various news reports, December 11-14, 2002.
Freezing rain batters
New England, cuts off power
LITCHFIELD, Conn. -- New England's first major ice storm of the season
yesterday downed trees and knocked out power to thousands of homes. More than a half
inch of ice had accumulated in parts of Connecticut and more than 130,000 Northeast
Utility customers were without power at the height of the outages there. An
estimated 15,000 Central Maine Power customers were without electricity yesterday
afternoon. In Massachusetts, more than 10,000 power outages were reported overnight.
AP as reported in The Washington Times,
November 18, 2002.
Tennessee lashed by high winds
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- Storms swept across Tennessee killing at least three
persons, injuring 13 and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses.
Trailer homes were overturned. Winds were estimated at 100 to 120 mph.
AP as reported in The Washington Times,
November 11, 2002.
California hit by first storm of season
SAN FRANCISCO, California -- A severe storm hit the central and northern
coast of California with 70 mph winds, rain and flooding. At least 350,000 San
Francisco Bay area customers were without power sometime during the day. Pacific Gas
& Electric was able to restore power to about 190,000 by late evening while additional
outages continued to occur.
various news reports, November 8, 2002.
- Powerless Guam gets battered by second typhoon
Typhoon Chata'an rendered Guam powerless with 100 mph-plus winds that tore
down utility poles and affected water and telephone service on July 5th. And
just five days later the island was spared more devistation by typhoon Halong when it blew
past the southern end of Guam. Winds were less than 60 mph but it did interrupt
power, phone and water restoration efforts. The government reports that it could
take as long as two months to restore power to some areas.
Pacific Daily News, T.Merto,
July 12, 2002.
- Hurricane 2002 Preview: Less, yes, but less overall says nothing
AccuWeather - My theory is that hurricanes are natures way of taking heat
out of the tropics. In cooler years the most efficient way of getting heat out of the
tropics is by directing it more toward the continent. Therefore, years with
"normal" activity are more likely to have above normal hits on the US coastline.
I predict the greatest threat areas to the US for Atlantic hurricanes in order are...
NUMBER ONE Savannah to Hatteras one hit with intensity 3.2, NUMBER TWO is the areas from
Tampa to Melbourne one hit with intensity 1.75, NUMBER THREE: is the Gulf Coast from
Boothville to Appalchicola one hit with intensity 1.7, NUMBER FOUR is New England,
including Long Island one hit with an intensity of 1.4. The forecast says the Carolinas
get hit, along with Florida, the central Gulf coast and probably New England.
Conclusion: Although less active than the past 2 years in numbers, the season if I am
right will be more active than the past couple as far as landfall goes.
Joe Bastardi, June 2002.
- First F5 tornado hits Maryland - just missed nuclear plant
On the evening of April 28, 2002 a tornado cut a 30-mile path through
Southern Maryland. When it hit LaPlata in Charles County it was classified as a
category F5 with winds in excess of 260 mph. It killed 3 people, injured nearly 100
others and destroyed many buildings before passing into neighboring Calvert County.
There it was down graded to a category F2 but still caused considerable damage and
injuries. While passing within a few miles of the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power
Plant, the plant staff caught some amazing photos of not just one but two tornadoes over
the Chesapeake Bay.
(click thumbnail images to enlarge)
One of the two units was in operation at the time but nuclear portions of the plant
including its automatic standby diesel generators are designed to withstand tornado force
winds. The tornadoes continued across the bay into Dorchester County. See map.
For additional photos and information click for the Calvert County web site.
Various new reports and the Calvert County web site, May 1-3,
- Stroke patient dies after generator fails
BRIDGETON, Mo. -- A stroke patient died when a backup generator powering
his breathing machine failed after several storm-related power outages at his nursing
home. He died at a hospital, where paramedics took him after the backup generator at
the Life Care Center home failed and the machine stopped working. The exact cause of
death was not known. [Editor's note: The best backup generators have a reliability
of about 98%. Backup power sources used for life support applications must meet
additional safety requirements and maintenance standards. NoOutage.com LLC does not
normally sell equipment for life support applications.]
The Washington Times, April 22, 2002.
- Powerful storm knocks out power to Midwest
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Almost a million customers were without power due to a
snow and ice storm that swept through the Plains and Midwest beginning on Wednesday of
last week. It was the worst storm in recent memory and caused some of the biggest
weather-related outages ever in the region. As of Friday over 360,000 customers were
still without power in Missouri alone. There were 171,000 still without power in
Oklahoma and outages were also widespread in Kansas. Farther east in southern
Michigan and northern Indiana there were 218,000 utility customers without power.
Ohio and western New York also experienced prolonged power outages due to the same
storm. After five days thousands are still without power and some may not be
restored for a week or more.
Various new reports, February 4-5, 2002.
- Major power outage affects much of Brazil
SAO PAULO, Brazil, Jan 21 -- The southeastern part of the country which is
home to most of Brazil's 170 million people was plunged into a blackout on Monday.
The region affected included the country's industrial heart and its two largest cities,
Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. A failed transmission cable may have initiated the
blackout by causing the whole system to go unstable resulting in automatic shutdowns of
power plants. The 18 generators at the world's largest hydroelectric plant at Itaipu
dam tripped off line as did the Angra 1 nuclear plant. Brazil's stock exchange
continued operating because its automatic standby generators provided replacement
power. The government had recently loosened the 20 percent power rationing reduction
target because water levels were rising in hydroelectric reservoirs which power a large
portion of the grid.
Various new reports, January 22-23, 2002.