Power outages plague over half a million on U.S. East Coast due to winter storm

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By Carina

Over 500,000 homes and businesses from Florida to Maine are grappling with power outages due to a severe winter storm. 

According to PowerOutage.us, this extensive disruption has left numerous states struggling, with New York experiencing the most significant impact. 

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High customer outages plague multiple U.S. states amidst winter storm

The state faces nearly 143,000 customer outages, surpassing Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and New Jersey, where the outage numbers are also high.

Key power companies, including Con Edison in New York, FirstEnergy in Pennsylvania, Duke Energy in North Carolina, and Public Service Electric and Gas in New Jersey, strive to manage and rectify the situation. 

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Current storm echoes Texas freeze, raises grid vulnerability concerns

This storm draws parallels to the catastrophic February 2021 freeze that caused widespread outages across Texas and other central U.S. states, highlighting the vulnerability of the nation’s power infrastructure.

The current storm arrives as the U.S. braces for what is expected to be the coldest weather since December 2022, as per LSEG data. 

Lessons from Winter Storm Elliot December 2022’s energy crisis

Reflecting on the previous winter storm in December 2022, known as Elliott within the energy sector, the crisis led to enforced rotating outages by energy companies like the Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke. 

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This was a response to numerous power plant failures and a significant decline in gas flows into pipelines, mainly due to freezing conditions.

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Challenges in energy supply and demand

The Elliott storm profoundly impacted the energy industry, notably affecting gas production. 

The freezing of gas wells and pipelines resulted in reduced gas flows, while the demand for gas for heating and power generation surged. 

This imbalance caused a dramatic drop in line pressures, underscoring the challenges faced by the energy sector during extreme weather conditions.

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