Northeastern utilities gear up for Winter Storm Stella as thousands face blackouts
- Utilities up and down the Eastern Seaboard are prepping linemen and crews to repair damage and mitigate outages left in the wake of nor'easter Winter Storm Stella, as other states issue blizzard warnings and declare state of emergencies.
- At least 18 million residents in the East Coast are under a blizzard warning, according to media reports. New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia have all declared states of emergencies. The storm already knocked out power for 46,000 residents in Central Virginia as it moves up the East Coast.
- Power outages related to extreme weather events, like Winter Storm Stella, will only rise as such events become more common due to climate change. CNN notes that coastal regions like Long Island and parts of New York City will experience coastal flooding from the storm, leaving more opportunities for outages.
Already Winter Storm Stella is leaving power outages and other storm-related damages in its wake as it moves up the East Coast. Dominion Power in Virginia reported 46,000 people were in the dark this morning. At least 12,000 people are without power in Northern Delaware at the time of this post, according to the News Journal.
In the Northeast, Massachusetts utility Eversource dispatched crews to handle tree-related damages and power outages.
“We’re confident our ongoing system improvements and tree maintenance program, combined with our strategic emergency response plan, will enable us to safely and efficiently handle any issues that may arise," said Mike Hayhurst, Vice President of Electric System Operations at Eversource, in a statement.
Exelon-subsidiary and Washington D.C. utility Pepco has mobilized 2,500 employees, including crews, to repair any power outages or downed power lines within its service territory, with help expected from its fellow Exelon utility in Illinois, Commonwealth Edison.
While winter storms like Stella are not out of the norm, they do pose a significant threat to the reliability of the U.S. grid system. Utilities like Pepco and Eversource and in New York are undergoing grid modernization proceedings aimed at boosting reliability and investing in infrastructure upgrades.
- CNN Northeast snowstorm puts 31 million under blizzard warning
- WPRI Utilities, crews prepare for late-March snowstorm
- Masslive.com Utility crews prep for Winter Storm Stella: Eversource loads poles, National Grid sends crews to Nantucket
- WTVR Storm knocks out power to over 46,000 in Central Virginia
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