Think the unthinkable couldn’t happen in your neck of the woods? The following are among the most unusual causes of U.S. power outages last year, according to Eaton Corp.’s Blackout Tracker Annual Report for 2011:
· In Spokane, Wash., strong winds picked up a trampoline and dropped it into a substation.
· In East Missoula, Mont., a bald eagle dropped a deer carcass onto a power line.
· And in Salt Lake City, a paraglider got tangled in a power line—and survived.
For the third year in a row, California had more power outages than any other state, followed by New York and Texas. The data is based on reported U.S. power outages and is organized into two sections: an overview of national power outage data and power outage data by state.
The Blackout Tracker evaluated a full year of data with 3,071 reported outages affecting more than 41.8 million people across the country in 2011. The report includes statistics that illustrate the importance of reliable backup power and features top outage lists, including the most significant reported outages and reported data center outages.
An average of 21,109 people were affected per outage in 2011, and power failures caused problems in all 50 states. The report also includes a state-by-state ranking.
“In an era where businesses and major institutions require continuity in their IT infrastructure, it is more critical than ever that we understand the causes and likelihood of utility power outages,” said Mike DeCamp, senior marketing communications manager of Eaton Power Quality Division.
Eaton has tracked power outage information since Feb. 16, 2008, in an effort to educate consumers on the causes and potential impact of outages. Data for the annual report is based on reports from news services, newspapers, websites (including those of newspapers and TV stations) and personal accounts.