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2004 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 some major power outages and related stories as reported in the media for this time period. The most recent are listed first.
Storm blacks out holiday plans
OHIO - Electric power was lost for thousands of Ohio residents just in time for Christmas. Many woke up Thursday morning to cold temperatures due to an ice storm and blackout. More than half of South Central Power Company's 105,000 customers lost power due to the storm. According to American Electric Power 83,000 of their customers were still without power on Monday morning.
Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, December 28, 2004.
Hurricane Frances causes biggest
power outage in FP&L history
Hurricane Frances caused more power outages than any other storm in Florida Power & Light Co.'s almost 80-year history. And the storm is not past yet. As of 11 a.m. on Sunday September 5th more than 2.25 million FPL customers had experienced lost power. "The number is probably going to grow even more. This thing has been horrendous. We now have 1.63 million out of service. We've restored 0.62 million customers," FPL Bill Swank said today. When other power companies are included, over 5 million customers have lost power throughout the state.
Bradenton.com, September 5, 2004.
Power gradually being restored
after Hurricane Charley
MIAMI, FL-- Florida Power & Light crews are still working around the clock to restore electric service to many counties in Florida. Since the state began to feel the effects of the Category 4 hurricane, FPL has restored power to 577,000 customers. But 297,000 are still without power 4 days after Hurricane Charley swept through its service territory. Many customers may be without power for over a week.
FPL, August 16, 2004.
Company ignored rules before
Disregard for voluntary rules intended to ensure the flow of electricity opened the way for last summer's blackout in eight states and Canada, investigators said in their final report. There was a clear understanding long before the blackout last August that the Ohio region where the problems began was highly vulnerable to grid instability, said the report from a joint U.S.-Canada task force. Something as simple as shedding 200MW of load an hour before the blackout might have kept the problem from spreading, investigators said. But FirstEnergy Corp., the Ohio utility whose lines initially failed, had little understanding of its own power transmission system because it had not carried out the recommended long-term planning, or developed the safeguards needed, the report said.
AP, as reported in The Washington Times, April 6, 2004.
Things I learned since Isabel
Hampton Roads, VA - These are some humorous lessons gained from living through two weeks of power outages caused by Hurricane Isabel.
* Coffee and frozen pizzas can be made on a BBQ grill.
* No matter how many times you flick the switch, lights don't work without electricity.
* My car gets 23.21675 miles per gallon, EXACTLY (you can ask the people in line who helped
me push it.)
* Kids can survive 4 days or longer without a video game controller in their hands.
* Cats are even more annoying without power.
* He who has the biggest generator wins.
* Women can actually survive without doing their hair (you just wish they weren't around you.)
* A new method of non-lethal torture: showers without hot water.
* Dominion Virginia Power and VDOT [VA Dept of Transp.] are the same company
(not really but their ability to plan are strikingly similar).
* There are a lot more stars in the sky than most people thought.
* TV is an addiction and the withdrawal symptoms are painful.
* A 7-pound bag of ice will chill six 12-ounce Budweisers to a drinkable temperature
in 11 minutes, and still keep a 14-pound turkey frozen for 8 more hours.
* There sure are a lot of trees around here!
* Flood plane drawings on some mortgage documents were seriously wrong.
* Contrary to the beliefs of most natives in Hampton Roads, speed limits on roads without
traffic lights do not increase.
* Aluminum siding, while aesthetically pleasing, is definitely not required.
* "Just because you're over 35 doesn't mean you can stay out as late as you want."
(At least that's what the Hampton cops told me during curfew stop.)
* Crickets can increase their volume to overcome the sound of 14 generators.
* People will get into a line that has already formed without having any idea what the line is for.
* When required, a Lincoln Continental will float; doesn't steer well but floats just the same.
* Some things do keep the mailman from his appointed rounds.
* Telemarketers function no matter what the weather is doing.
* Cell phones work when land lines are down, but only as long as the battery remains charged.
* Twenty-seven of your neighbors are fed from a different transformer than you,
and they are quick to point that out!
* Hampers were not made to contain such a volume.
* If I owned a store that sold only ice, chainsaws, gas and generators...I'd be rich.
* The price of a can of soup rises 200% in a storm.
* Your water front property can quickly become someone else's fishing hole.
* Tree service companies are underappreciated.
* I've learned what happens when you make fun of another state's blackout.
* MATH 101: 30 days in a month, minus 6 days without power equals a 30% higher electric bill ???
* Drywall is a compound word, take away the :dry" part and it's worthless.
* I can walk a lot farther than I thought.
* A 7-mile stretch of "new" road by the Coliseum doesn't drain properly...but wait,
I learned that 2 months ago.
* Water will indeed fill the Midtown Tunnel if the floodgates aren't shut during a flood.
I was pretty sure that was true, but it has now been proven.