Six Million Without Power So Far

Superstorm Sandy has pounded the U.S. East Coast, killing at least 17 people in 7 states. Winds cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio (Associated Press). More than 670,000 customers are without power in and around New York City, alone.

RETA has reported many times on the negative impacts of inclement weather – hurricanes, tornadoes, other high winds, ice storms – on overhead electricity transmission systems. Whenever major storms knock out power to widespread areas, residents, businesses and politicians ask why power lines aren’t buried to avoid these hazardous and costly power outages.

Superstorm Sandy damage estimates are already being projected at $10 billion to $20 billion. Much of this estimate will be the costs to repair damages to the overhead power transmission and distribution systems hit by the storm. There will be other non-transmission-infrastructure costs as well that will be directly attributable to the power outages, including loss of perishable foods, damages caused by cold temperatures because furnaces will not work, and perhaps the greatest financial loss of all – lost productivity caused by the shutdown of industry, businesses, public institutions, and in some cases – all services. Many other costs will be incurred, some during the short-term, some over the longer-term; for example, gasoline prices are predicted to increase dramatically if the power outages put refineries out of service for several days (KFVS), and insurance premiums are bound to increase once insurance companies pay out claims for damages caused by power outages.

Once Superstorm Sandy has passed, people will again be asking why more power lines aren’t buried.

~ by RETA on October 30, 2012.

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