Weekend snow storm knocked out power to more than 1 million people

More than one million people in the eastern half of the United States lost their electric power over the weekend, although the vast majority had their service restored by late afternoon, on Monday Jan. 25.

That’s according to a summary published by the Department of Energy (DOE), which also said that Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) was the hardest hit utility with nearly a half-million people temporarily losing power.

The DOE’s Energy Assurance report issued for Jan. 25 also said that thousands of people in Alaska lost electric power following a 7.1-Magnitude earthquake southwest of Anchorage.

“A high-impact winter storm in the Eastern U.S. began Friday, January 22, continuing into Saturday, January 23, knocking out power to 1,030,618 electric customers from Arkansas to Massachusetts,” DOE reported.

“As of 3:30 p.m. EST, January 25, 8,239 customers remained without power. The storm brought a range of snow accumulation—including more than two feet in some areas—, blizzard conditions to parts of the mid-Atlantic, and coastal flooding,” DOE said. Duke Energy was the hardest-hit utility with 484,000 customers without power as a result of the severe weather.

DOE said that 12 states and the District of Columbia issued emergency declarations due to the major snow storm.

Meanwhile, on Jan. 24 at approximately 5:30 a.m. EST, an M 7.1 earthquake shook the Kenai Peninsula southwest of Anchorage, Alaska from its Cook Inlet epicenter, knocking out power to nearly 15,000 electric customers across the region, DOE said.

Homer Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association and Chugach Electric Association were among the utilities affected by the Alaskan earthquake, DOE said.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.