Category Archives: Power Outages

Sawnee EMC (north of Atlanta, GA) power outage map

Sawnee EMC has a recently new power outage map, including a map optimized for mobile access. The press release they issued back in November 2013 has a lot more details.

Sawnee EMC serves electrical customers in portions of Forsyth, Fulton, Dawson, Lumpkin, Cherokee, Hall, & Gwinnett counties, in an area north of Atlanta, Georgia.

Sawnee-emc-service-area-map

The Atlanta area is expecting severe weather and ice the week of February 12, 2014, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

But this time, it’s not just the snow. It’s the ice that has forecasters and government leaders most concerned. And the worst of the storm may not roll through until Wednesday, according to chief meteorologist Glenn Burns with Channel 2 Action News.

“Do be prepared for massive power outages as this is likely to be a massive weather event,” Burns said Monday evening.

For more power information in the Atlanta area see the Georgia Power outage map.

February 5, 2014: Philadelphia area power outages due to ice storm

February 5, 2014: More than 623,000 customers were without power in the service area covered by PECO (Philadelphia, PA area) at the peak of an ice storm on Wednesday. This is the second worst storm that the company has reported, right behind Hurricane Sandy.

Peco-outage-map-feb-5-2014

The PECO power outage map does not go into lots of detail on the map, but it does list individual communities and their outage status in county by county detail pages. Emily Babay from Philly.com graphed the outages as they increased over the span of the morning.

Local news stories:

ABC 6, WPVI –

A PECO spokesperson said on Action News that some customers could be without power for days, and some could even be without power into the weekend.

Philly.com

Gov. Tom Corbett said at a noon press conference that utility crews from out of state would be called in to help with the wide-spread outages. He said as Pennsylvania energy companies had received some 750,000 calls so far, but his office had yet to declare a state of emergency.

How many power outages are there in the nation?

Indianapolis-Power-Light-2014-01-08-outage-map

The world of power outage maps is a very fragmented one, with what looks like dozens of designs and systems and no apparent standardization. There’s no way that I know to get a USA-wide power outage map without going to all 50 states worth of utilities and piecing together incompatible maps. Some places – like Lansing, Michigan’s BWL, don’t have maps, making customer communication difficult.

If you can’t map the whole nation, the next best thing is to count the number of outages nationwide. Here too there’s no one centralized resource to make that happen. What there is, however, is a very efficient system developed by a world where making that power go back on is important – the nation’s utility lineman.

There is a company, Lineman Barn, which has a Facebook page that tracks all kinds of storm-related damage and helps people who do that work connect to each other and find work. (Lineman Barn sells logo clothing for the trade.) When a storm hits, you’ll see periodic updates every 6 to 24 hours of utilities that have lines down.

Established in 2003 to bring pride and recognition to the trade, Lineman Barn is the First Choice of Linemen and their families for custom shirts, hats, decals, gifts, JOBS and Lineman Safety News.

So without further ado here are the outage numbers from January 6, 2014, at noon. Note that many of these utilities have maps that you can see on the power outage maps page.
By my count that’s 150,192 lines out nationwide.

Indianapolis Power & Light: 28,418
ComEd: 23,221
Hydro Quebec: 20,350
Ameren-Illinois: 12,667
Entergy-Arkansas: 7,285
South Central Indiana REMC: 6,719
Southern California Edison: 5,652
Oncor: 5,632
Central Maine Power: 4,939
Duke Energy-Indiana: 4,042
AEP-Ohio: 3,144
AEP-Indiana & Michigan Power: 2,935
ConEdison: 2,719
NB Power: 2,399
Duke Energy-NC: 2,354
Nova Scotia Power: 2,177
AEP-Appalachian Power: 2,048
NYSEG: 1,943
Ameren-Missouri: 1,670
Bangor Hydro: 1,529
Hydro One: 1,516
United REMC: 1,416
Pepco: 1,275
Empire Electric District: 1,219
Dayton Power & Light: 1,010
Florida Power & Light: 1,009
AEP-Kentucky Power: 904

Image credit: Indianapolis Power and Light outage map, http://apps.iplpower.com/outages/outagemap.aspx

Lansing, Michigan (LBWL) crowdsourced power outage map of 29 December 2013

The ice storm of late December 2013 hit the Lansing area hard,
and the municipal power authority has not handled the resulting
outages as well as citizens would have them do.

The Lansing, Michigan area has electrical service from LBWL,
the Lansing Board of Water and Light. Even though the surrounding
area is served by Consumers Energy, LBWL serves an area roughly
encompassing Lansing and East Lansing. For one thing,
LBWL does not maintain an outage map online, which is relatively
unusual in this day and age.

The map below is a crowd-sourced tracking of outages and
restorations in the Lansing area. It’s been put together
under the lead of @jsiarto (Jeff Siarto) with the help of
other Lansing area residents and with data pulled in part from
the LBWL Facebook page.

Lansing-Michigan-LBWL-2013-12-29-outage-map

Sources to look for more information –

I wrote up the ice storm of late December 2013 with some maps of the
other damage to the area.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light is a municipally owned public utility,
governed by a Board of Commissioners. The board is made up of eight
Lansing residents, each appointed for a four-year term on the board
by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council.

The Lansing Area Power Outages map is a Google map, and this image
is just a snapshot of it.

News coverage –

WILX-TV – East Lansing Resident Creates Public BWL Outage Map

Unlike Consumers Energy and DTE, Lansing Board of Water and Light doesn’t have a real time outage map for customers, but it’s something the company is currently developing, according to company spokesperson Steve Serkaian.

“We’re working on a “smart grid” system that’s similar to what other utilities offer, but it’s something that costs a significant amount of money to implement,” he said. “But we have heard our customers loud and clear and we’re committed to working on communicating with them better.”

Lansing State Journal – Board of Water and Light: ‘We have heard loud and clear’; BWL promises to review its handling of the ice storm cleanup

(BWL General Manager J. Peter Lark) said BWL is running at “optimum” staffing levels. On Friday, he said, 30 crews were on the ground, a figure that includes 12 line crews and five tree-trimming crews. Crews are made up of two or three people, with most line crews using three.
The utility to date has brought in outside help from five other municipally owned utilities, but Lark said Friday he doesn’t plan to bring in more — at least one BWL employee would have to ride with the outside crew, and that would reduce the number of BWL crews in operation.

Michigan Radio – Most power restored in Michigan, LBWL still has work to do

Most of those still without power are customers of Lansing’s public utility. Angry customers showed up at a company press conference yesterday to complain about the slow repairs. The number of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers without power actually increased yesterday as melting ice from tree limbs damaged more power lines.

Lansing Online News – 5 lingering questions about the Lansing ice storm – yours?

The press conference confirmed communication failures on the part of the officials involved. But when will that get better? Why not now? When will the outages be over? When will the community return to normal? When will the powers-that-be get their act together so people can make wise choices? Temperatures are expected to plunge into single digits tonight. What should people whose power is out do now? Move their families, especially the elderly and infirm, to other locations? Can people with pets still take them to the Ingham County Animal Shelter? When will those who should have the answers start communicating effectively?

A tale of two Toronto mayors: @ToMayorFrod and @ToMayorFord

Toronto, Ontario is coated in ice tonight. A severe winter ice storm slowing the city to a slippery crawl, with widespread power outages. It’s a city in crisis.

Mayor Rob Frod of Toronto is not the Mayor of Toronto; it’s a Twitter parody account, prepared for the purpose of poking fun at Mayor Rob Ford.

So, given the need for crisis communications, who do you turn to in a pinch? Hopefully it would be the Mayor, but in the absence of a functioning Mayor, you turn to the Twitter account that pokes fun at the Mayor. @MayorRobFrod has been tweeting out news of power outages, transit service updates, warming centres, flight delays, and other emergency management info.

Truth, stranger than fiction.

More Toronto news:

The real Rob Frod has come forth with his true identity.

An map of Toronto Hydro outages, attributed to @toastywaffle as a Google fusion table:

Toronto-hydro-outage-map-22-Dec-2013

Ann Arbor area closings for Monday, 18 November 2013

High winds took down trees and knocked out power to thousands in Washtenaw County the night of 17 November 2013, and the next morning a number of schools and government offices closed because of lack of power.

From various sources including email and twitter; this is surely incomplete.

Ann Arbor Public Schools: Tappan and King are closed today due to power outages at both schools. Tonight’s Listen and Learn at Tappan will be rescheduled. Bryant Elementary now closed in Ann Arbor due to power outage-caused heating failure. Students that arrived at school sent back home.

Ann Arbor District Library: “The power is out at Malletts Creek Branch, it is currently closed. All other @aadl locations will open at 10 AM. Stay tuned for updates!”

Ypsilanti Township offices are closed.

14-B District Court is closed.

Eastern Michigan University: Rec/IM: Due to technical problems, the Jones Pool will be closed until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience. (via @EMU_Swoop)

Chelsea Police say power is still out and is expected to be out for “the next several hours,” as of 8:15 a.m. Chelsea schools have also been closed. (Heritage News) Chelsea Center for the Arts will be closed today, Monday, November 18, 2013 due to a citywide power outage.

DTE statement on power outage at beginning of 3d game of 2013 ALCS at Comerica Park in Detroit

From DTE Energy:

DTE Energy addresses temporary lighting failure at Comerica Park

DETROIT, Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — DTE Energy’s preliminary investigation of the temporary lighting failure that occurred at Comerica Park during Major League Baseball’s American League Championship Series (ALCS), has found there was a cable failure in the area near the stadium, which caused the problem.

The lights in the stadium were out for approximately 20 minutes beginning at approximately 4:41 p.m. Power was restored in the stadium at around 5:00 p.m.

The cable failure caused a voltage reduction, which tripped the lights in the stadium. The momentary sag in voltage was an isolated incident.

DTE Energy maintains two independent electrical feeds for precisely this kind of an event. Both feeds to the park continued to provide power during the incident.

“We’ve identified the cause of the disturbance and we worked with officials at Comerica Park to resolve the issue quickly,” said Steve Kurmas, President and Chief Operating Officer for DTE Electric, a unit of DTE Energy. “We regret the interruption.”

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy .

SOURCE DTE Energy