Power Outages Cost Millions

RETA ice storm damage image 1This past weekend, about 1 million households were left in the dark because ice storms knocked down overhead electricity transmission and distribution lines in eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. Thousands of households may not get their power back on until this coming weekend.

It’s not only major storms that wreak havoc with overhead power lines. Every day in Canada and the U.S., tens of thousands of households are without power because either minor storms, lightning, traffic accidents, birds or aircraft impact overhead lines. The following power outages are but a few of the many that occurred in the U.S. and Canada within the past 6 days (and are not included in the 1 million household statistic above):

1. About 80,500 customers were without power in Oklahoma due to a winter storm last weekend (The Times).

2. About 5,000 customers in Missouri had their power knocked out by a winter storm last weekend (fourstateshomepage.com).

3. Strong winds knocked out power Christmas morning to about 5,000 customers in Simi Valley, southern California (NBC 4).

RETA tree fallen onto power line image4. About 9,000 people had no power December 21 in Sitka, Alaska when an old hemlock tree fell on a high voltage transmission line (KCAW).

5. A tree fell into power lines on December 23, causing a blackout to about 6,390 customers in Seattle, Washington (Seattle pi).

6. About 3,000 people in Tulsa, Oklahoma were without power December 24 when a tree limb fell on a power line (Fox 23).

7. A power pole that caught fire December 25 due to equipment malfunction knocked out power to about 3,500 residents in Des Moines, Iowa (DesMoinesRegister.com).

8. A snowplow that hit a power pole guy wire December 22 caused a power outage to portions of Platteville, Wisconsin (Telegraph Herald).

RETA Car crash with power pole image9. A power pole was damaged during a vehicle accident December 24 in Gainesville, Georgia. Electricity had to be shut off to the area while the power company repaired the damage (Accessnorthga.com).

10. Power was knocked out Christmas Day to about 75 homes in Sparta, New Jersey, when a vehicle sheared off a utility pole at its base (Alternative Press).

11. About 30 customers were without power December 26 in Holiday Park, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, after a truck hit and split a power pole (Star Phoenix).

12. A vehicle crash December 26 knocked out power to some residents in Dayton, Ohio. Power lines fell to the ground and caused sparking near the crashed vehicle (Dayton Daily News).

RETA osprey nesting image13. An osprey building a nest dropped large branches onto electricity facilities on Captiva Island, Florida, causing a power outage December 23 to more than 2,000 customers (ABC 7).

14. Over 3,000 customers lost power December 24 in Green County and Dane County, Wisconsin, following trouble with a high voltage transmission line (Pierce County Herald).

Millions of dollars are spent repairing damaged overhead power lines, and power outages cost millions of dollars in lost productivity. Power outages can also be hazardous to people’s health and safety. For example, 2 people died this week in Newcastle east of Toronto from carbon monoxide poisoning as they tried to heat their home with a gas-powered generator. An ice storm had knocked out power to about 300,000 households in the Toronto area (UPI).

Power outages such as those described above can be prevented if power lines are buried.

~ by RETA on December 26, 2013.

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