The Most Significant (and Unusual) Power Outages of 2018

It would be virtually impossible to count the number of power outages that occur in the United States in any given year.

For one thing, there are just too many. Do an Internet search for “power outages” and you’ll see scores of them – every day.

For another, many blackouts don’t get reported by news media, especially in rural areas.

Despite the large number of power outages in our country each year, some stand out more than others. Some because of their length and others due to the unusual circumstances that caused them.

Today we’re going to take a look at 13 of the most noteworthy power outages that occurred in the U.S. last year. First the seven most significant outages:

  • Hurricane Michael. This monster storm that made landfall in Florida as a Category 5 hurricane in October left 2.5 million people in the dark in the Southeast. Including Alabama, the Carolinas and Virginia. Restoring power required some 35,000 utility workers.
  • Hurricane Florence. One month earlier, this Category 1 storm wreaked havoc in the Carolinas, cutting power to some 1.4 million customers. It uprooted trees and caused plenty of other destruction along the way.
  • Nor’easters 1 and 2. In March, back-to-back nor’easters left thousands of East Coast residents in the dark, some for days and others for more than a week. These winter storms broke some 600 poles and 1,700 spans of wire requiring replacement – in New Jersey alone. Overall, more than 1 million were left without power.
  • Nor’easter No. 3. Shortly after the first two nor’easters bombarded the East Coast, number 3 rolled in. This time, more than 350,000 homes and businesses lost power, most significantly in Massachusetts.
  • Spring storm. In mid-May, a storm that attacked Connecticut actually caused more damage to the electrical system than Superstorm Sandy had done in 2012. More than 1,800 utility poles were demolished, as were 288 miles of power lines. About 120,000 customers lost power.
  • Summer storm. Some 150,000 customers in Michigan were forced to wait several days for their power to be restored in late August after storms came rushing through on their way east.
  • Fall storm. Freezing rain and ice were the main culprits in Ohio in mid-November, as more than 130,000 lost power. Trees and wires were strewn all over the landscape, especially in Hamilton County.

Now for six of the most unusual power outages:

  • Bird droppings. Birds will occasionally cause outages by flying into places they don’t belong. But in this case, the blackout was caused by a bird leaving its calling card on a piece of electrical equipment in Eugene, Oregon in early May. Well, poop happens.
  • Underground activity. In Spokane, Washington in late October, a man decided to crawl under the sidewalk. No one knows why. But he came into contact with high-voltage equipment and caused an outage. He was booked for “first-degree malicious mischief.”
  • Iguana Intrigue. In Key West, Florida, an iguana was allegedly zapped by 69,000 watts of power and lived to tell about it. Well, he lived anyway. It occurred in mid-December when he wandered into a substation, knocking out power for 7,600.
  • Corny collapse. Electricity for residents near New Carlisle, Ohio was cut in January after a corn silo fell and took power lines with it. The accident also forced the closure of a state road.
  • Helicopter Horror. While inspecting power lines in late September, helicopter pilots clipped wires, causing grass fires and knocking out power for more than 8,500 near Calistoga, California. Fortunately, the copter landed safely.
  • Zombies. Obviously I saved the best for last. In May, a text alert went out from a Lake Worth, Florida government agency saying that 7,880 customers lost power due to “extreme zombie activity.” City officials later apologized for the message. I’m guessing someone lost their job over that, but at least they went out with a bang.

Some of the power outages I mentioned above actually border on the humorous. But it’s never funny when we lose power.

It’s an inconvenience at best and a major problem at worst. Power outages cause lights to go out, the AC or heat to go off and appliances to stop working.

And the scariest thing of all is that we never know when the power is going to come back on.

The President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council recently told us that a blackout of “catastrophic proportion” could leave large sections of the country without power for months or even years.

Be Prepared for Your Power to Go Out

It’s becoming more and more obvious that our electrical grid is failing and vulnerable. In 2017 alone, it was reported that 36.7 million Americans had some sort of outage. And its only getting worse…

It’s time to take steps to protect your family if you haven’t already.

Thankfully there is a revolutionary device that protects against this disaster. The Patriot Power Generator.

This lightweight, solar generator can be used inside the house (unlike gas/diesel generators). It has two outlets, 4 USB ports and can power almost any device – from power tools to kitchen appliances – for weeks at a time.

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But hurry, it won’t take much for us to sell out of these popular devices… again.

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