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2008 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
- US storm causes massive power outage
An ice storm has knocked out power to 1.25 million homes and businesses in the
northeastern New England states and upstate New York, and authorities say it could take days for all of them to get service back.
The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire declared states of emergency.
Fire departments were responding to reports of transformer explosions, wires and utility poles down and trees falling on homes. Utility crews were so busy dealing with public safety hazards such as live power lines that they were not immediately able to begin restoration efforts.
Customers without power totaled 392,000 in New Hampshire, 350,000 in Massachusetts,
200,000 in Maine, 26,000 in Vermont, 17,000 in Connecticut, 5,000 in
Pennsylvania. Outages also exist in New York and Ohio due to this
AP and other sources, Dec 12, 2008.
- Ike knocks out power from Texas to New York
HOUSTON — Nearly 4 million customers were without power and the electricity supply to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico was still limited Tuesday in the wake of Hurricane Ike.
Power outages afflicting broad areas of the nation were among the nation's largest ever.
About 2.2 million customers were without power in Texas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. There were about a million outages in Ohio, where remnants of Ike packed winds of up to 78 mph Sunday.
Thousands of utility workers traveled south to provide emergency assistance to states that took the full brunt of Ike, then turned around as the storm passed over them and wreaked havoc in their homes states.
The U.S. Department of Energy said on Wednesday morning that about 3 million remained without power in seven states.
Entergy has restored most affected customers in Louisiana and Arkansas, and
some customers in Texas. Entergy hopes to have many more customers back by September 25.
Hardest-hit areas, including Beaumont, may not get service before October 6,
and no dates have been set for coastal areas.
AP & Reuters, Sept 16-17, 2008.
- Gustav power outage Entergy's third worst - 750,000
HOUSTON - Hurricane Gustav knocked out power to 750,000 Entergy
customers, the third-highest outage in the utility's 95-year history, officials said
Monday. Entergy's biggest problem is damage to 13 of 14 lines that move power into the New Orleans area.
With just one high-voltage line linking Baton Rouge to New Orleans, Entergy was forced to drop New Orleans into a "power island," a situation where the city and a corridor along the Mississippi River - dotted with large refineries - are disconnected from the rest of the Entergy supply network.
Limited electric service in that area is coming from three older Entergy power plants.
It "...could take in some areas up to two weeks or more to get everyone back on line," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Reuters, Sept 1-3, 2008.
- CIA Says Hackers Have Caused Power Outages
In a rare public warning to the power and
utility industry, a CIA analyst this week said cyber attackers have hacked
into the computer systems of utillity companies outside the United States
and made demands, in at least one case causing a power outage that affected
multiple cities. "We do not know who... or why, but all involved
intrusions through the Internet," said Tom Donahue, the CIA's top
cybersecurity analyst. And the U.S. grid is no less vulnerable.
On Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved eight
cybersecurity standards for electric utilities. The U.S. electricity
grid has always been vulnerable to outages. "Cybersecurity is a
different kind of threat, however," said Joseph Kelliher, the
The Washington Post and other sources, Sat Jan