Electrical Power Blackouts & Emergencies

Title: Massive Power Outage In San Diego
September 8, 2011
IB Times

Abstract: Over 1.4 million people are suddenly without power in San Diego and surrounding areas in the Southwestern U.S. Thursday, just hours after Homeland Security warned of a possible terror strike in the days leading up to the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

The outage is affecting San Diego and Orange County, Calif. as well as other areas served by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), including parts of Arizona and Mexico.

We expect power to be out well into the night and into tomorrow in some areas, a spokesman for SDG&E said in a news conference.

The blackout is believed to have been caused by a severing of the transmitter line between Arizona and California.

Essentially we have two connections from the rest of the world: One of from the north and one is to the east. Both connections are severed, said the SDG&E spokesman. Severe heat could have caused the disruption, and the FBI and SDG&E have said that the outage is not the result of a terrorist attack, NBC reported.

U.S. Homeland Security has advised Americans to be on high alert after intelligence has revealed a specific and credible threat of a terrorist attack to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Three people are believed to be planning a car-based attack, and at least one of those people may be an American citizen.

As we know from the intelligence gathered from the [bin Laden] raid, Al Qaeda has shown an interest in important dates and anniversaries, such as 9/11, Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said in a statement. In this instance, it's accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information.

In this instance, it's accurate that there is specific, credible but unconfirmed threat information, the department said. As we always do before important dates like the anniversary of 9/11, we will undoubtedly get more reporting in the coming days. Sometimes this reporting is credible and warrants intense focus, other times it lacks credibility and is highly unlikely to be reflective of real plots underway.

Regardless, we take all threat reporting seriously, and we have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats that arise. We continue to ask the American people to remain vigilant as we head into the weekend.

The San Diego Police Department and the U.S. Customs Border Patrol were affected by the power outage, and both are running on backup power (IB Times, 2011).

 Lights Go Out (Twice) At Candlestick Park
 December 20, 2011
NBC News 

AbstractThe start of Monday Night Football at Candlestick Park in San Francisco was delayed when a transformer exploded just outside the stadium.

The start of the game was delayed for about 30 minutes.  The lights went out for a second time around 6:45 p.m. causing a second delay of game that lasted 16 minutes in the second quarter.

During both outages, ESPN showed aerial footage of fans sitting in their seats waiting for the lights to go back on. Fans remained calm according to reports from the scene

Multiple PG&E crews were on site to determine the cause, according to PG&E.

The transformer that exploded appeared to only provide power to the stadium. No other parts of San Francisco were impacted.

Following the second outage, an official with the NFL told ESPN that if the power went out a third time, they would attempt to stay and finish the game Monday night. He said the game would be called if power could not be restored or if there was a threat to public safety during an outage (NBC News, 2011).

Title: Storm Causes Power Outages At Local Schools
January 25, 2012
My San Antonio

tormy weather knocked out power to several area schools Wednesday morning.

Thus far no delays or closures have been reported but some students may be eating a cold lunch due to a lack of power.

In North East Independent School District, Madison High, Lopez Middle, and Stahl, Tuscany Heights, Stone Oak, Dellview, Hardy Oak and Northern Hills elementary schools remained without power at about 9:30 a.m.

“We do have generators at all of our schools, so we're not closing schools,” said Chrissie Kolb, North East ISD's spokeswoman. “We're not having students leave early. We're going to have an alternative cold lunch if we have to. We hope to have power on by the time lunch begins.”

Kolb said phone lines were not functioning at Redland Oaks, Woodstone and Steubing Ranch elementary schools.

In Northside ISD, Luna Middle and neighboring Ott Elementary were experiencing power outages Wednesday morning. Fisher Elementary experienced a partial outage. Northside spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said the district expected the power to return before 11 a.m.

“If we're not able to prepare food at that school, we will bring food from another school to feed children,” Gonzalez said. “We have no plans to release kids because their parents are at work.”

Because of wind damage to the neighborhood near Jordan Middle, Northside's maintenance crews were working to remove debris from the school's parking lot.

Three Southwest ISD schools experienced a power outage as well — Scobee Middle, Big Country Elementary and Kriewald Road Elementary, said district spokeswoman Anne Marie Espinoza. Power was restored just before 11 a.m.

In the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, heavy rain caused a power outage Wednesday morning at Corbett Junior High, said Superintendent Greg Gibson. Gibson said the school has back-up generators and that he had been told the power would return around 11 a.m. If the outage continues, the district would bring lunches to Corbett from another location, Gibson said.

Lanier High and Highland Park Elementary in San Antonio ISD experienced partial outages as well. Power was restored to Lanier by 11 a.m. and was expected to return to Highland Park soon after, staff said (My San Antonio, 2012).

Title: Power Outages Reported In North Las Vegas
May 7, 2012

NV Energy confirmed about 2,000 customers in North Las Vegas lost power on Monday afternoon.

The power outage appeared to be caused by a line that went down as high winds swept through the area at about 3:15. 

Crews were able to quickly restore power to most customers, and were working to restore all power into the evening.

Action News will continue to update this story as new information becomes available (KTNV News, 2012).

Title: Power Outages Close 42 Baltimore County Public School Sites For July 2
July 1, 2012
Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County Public Schools has announced that due to the effects of Friday's storms, 42 of public schools are without power as of Sunday evening and will be closed on Monday, July 2.

Summer school does not begin in Baltimore County schools until Monday, July 9, but many have regular administrative offices, and some host programs during the summer months.

School officials said that following the storm, 52 county school sites initially had lost power, and many schools, administrative offices, grounds and parking and walking areas were affected by fallen trees and other debris (Baltimore Sun, 2012).

Title: 1.4 Million Still Blacked Out After Broad US Storm
July 3, 2012
ABC News

Utility crews struggled to catch up with a backlog of millions of people without electricity for a fourth hot day Tuesday as frustration grew and authorities feared the toll of 22 storm deaths could rise because of stifling conditions and generator fumes.

Power was back for more than a million customers but lights- and air-conditioning - were still out for about 1.4 million homes and businesses in seven states and the District of Columbia. The damage was done by powerful wind storms that swept from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic late Friday, toppling trees and branches into power lines and knocking out big transmission towers and electrical substations.

Utilities were warning that many neighborhoods could remain in the dark for much of the week, if not beyond. Public officials and residents were growing impatient.

"This has happened time after time and year after year, and it seems as if they're always unprepared," said John Murphy, a professional chauffeur from Burtonsville, Md., who was waiting for Pepco to restore power Monday to the homes of himself and his mother and sister, who live nearby.

The wave of late Friday evening storms, called a derecho, moved quickly across the region with little warning. The straight-line winds were just as destructive as any hurricane - but when a tropical system strikes, officials usually have several days to get extra personnel in place.

So utility companies had to wait days for extra crews traveling from as far away as Quebec and Oklahoma. And workers found that the toppled trees and power lines often entangled broken equipment in debris that had to be removed before workers could even get started.

Adding to the urgency of the repairs are the sick and elderly, who are especially vulnerable without air conditioning in the sweltering triple-digit heat. Many sought refuge in hotels or basements.

Officials feared the death toll, already at 22, could climb because of the heat and widespread use of generators, which emit fumes that can be dangerous in enclosed spaces.

After Maryland reported Monday that three people had died in the recent heat wave - the deaths were not storm-related - Deputy Secretary Fran Phillips stressed that people who are in areas without power need to take advantage of cooling centers.

At the Springvale Terrace nursing home and senior center in Silver Spring, Md., generators were brought in to provide electricity, and air-conditioning units were installed in windows in large common rooms to offer respite from the heat and darkness.

Residents using walkers struggled to navigate doors that were supposed to open automatically. Nurses had to throw out spoiled food, sometimes over the loud objections of residents.

The lack of power completely upended many daily routines. Supermarkets struggled to keep groceries from going bad. People on perishable medication called pharmacies to see how long their medicine would keep. In Washington, officials set up collection sites for people to drop off rotting food. Others held weekend cookouts in an attempt to use their food while it lasted. And in West Virginia, National Guard troops handed out food and water and made door-to-door checks.

When it comes to getting the power running again, all utilities take a top-down approach that seeks to get the largest number of people back online as quickly as possible.

First, crews repair substations that send power to thousands of homes and businesses. Next, they fix distribution lines. Last are the transformers that can restore power to a few customers at a time.

Some people said the destruction over the weekend was reminiscent of that caused by Tropical Storm Isabel in 2003 and Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Last year, it took Baltimore Gas and Electric company eight and a half days to restore service to all 750,000 customers who lost power during Hurricane Irene. This time, the power company initially confronted more than 600,000 people without power. It said restoration efforts will extend into the weekend.

Baltimore Gas and Electric said in a letter posted on its website that it would take hundreds of thousands of man-hours to clear debris and work through outages. Crews were working around the clock in 16-hour shifts.

"This type of widespread, extensive damage also complicates our ability to quickly provide accurate restoration times, especially when original damage assessments are revised upon closer inspection of the work required," the letter said.

However, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has been blunt that the utilities must work faster: "No one will have his boot further up Pepco's and BGE's backsides than I will," O'Malley said Sunday.

In Baltimore County, Eveena Felder, a registered nurse, had been relying on air-conditioned public areas to keep cool during the day and a fan to help her family sleep.

"We've purchased a ton of batteries, that's where most of our money has gone," Felder said. "Turn the fan on and keep still, don't move, less energy" (ABC News, 2012).

Title: 2nd Day Of Power Failures Cripples Wide Swath Of India
July 31, 2012
New York Times

It had all the makings of a disaster movie: More than half a billion people without power. Trains motionless on the tracks. Miners trapped underground. Subway lines paralyzed. Traffic snarled in much of the national capital.

On Tuesday, India suffered the largest electrical blackout in history, affecting an area encompassing about 670 million people, or roughly 10 percent of the world’s population. Three of the country’s interconnected northern power grids collapsed for several hours, as blackouts extended almost 2,000 miles, from India’s eastern border with Myanmar to its western border with Pakistan.

For a country considered a rising economic power, Blackout Tuesday — which came only a day after another major power failure — was an embarrassing reminder of the intractable problems still plaguing India: inadequate infrastructure, a crippling power shortage and, many critics say, a yawning absence of governmental action and leadership.

India’s coalition government, battered for its stewardship of a wobbling economy, again found itself on the defensive, as top ministers could not definitively explain what had caused the grid failure or why it had happened on consecutive days.

Theories for the extraordinarily extensive blackout across much of northern India included excessive demands placed on the grid from certain regions, due in part to low monsoon rains that forced farmers to pump more water to their fields, and the less plausible possibility that large solar flares had set off a failure.

By Tuesday evening, power had been restored in most regions, and many people in major cities barely noticed the disruption because localized blackouts are so common that many businesses, hospitals, offices and middle-class homes have backup diesel fuel generators.

But that did not prevent people from being furious, especially after the government chose Tuesday to announce a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle — in which the power minister was promoted to take over the Home Affairs Ministry, one of the country’s most important positions.

“This is a huge failure,” said Prakash Javadekar, a spokesman for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. “It is a management failure as well as a failure of policy. It is policy paralysis in the power sector.”

For millions of ordinary people, Tuesday brought frustration and anger; for some, there was fear. As nighttime arrived, Kirti Shrivastava, 49, a housewife in the eastern city of Patna, said power had not been restored in her neighborhood. “There is no water, no idea when electricity will return,” she said. “We are really tense. Even the shops have now closed. Now we hope it is not an invitation to the criminals!”

Tuesday also brought havoc to India’s railroad network, one of the busiest in the world. Across the country, hundreds of trains were stalled for hours before service resumed. At the bustling New Delhi Railway Station, Jaswant Kaur, 62, found herself stranded after a miserable day. Her initial train was stopped by the power failure. By the time she reached New Delhi, her connecting train was already gone.

“Now my pocket is empty,” she said. “I am hungry. I am tired. The government is responsible.”

Sushil Kumar Shinde, the power minister, who spoke to reporters in the afternoon, did not specify what had caused the grid breakdown but blamed several northern states for consuming too much power from the national system.

“I have asked my officers to penalize those states which are drawing more power than their quota,” said Mr. Shinde, whose promotion was announced a few hours later.

Surendra Rao, formerly India’s top electricity regulator, said the national grid had a sophisticated system of circuit breakers that should have prevented such a blackout. But he attributed this week’s problems to the bureaucrats who control the system, saying that civil servants are beholden to elected state leaders who demand that more power be diverted to their regions — even if doing so threatens the stability of the national grid.

“The dispatchers at both the state and the regional level should have cut off the customers who were overdrawing, and they didn’t,” Mr. Rao said. “That has to be investigated.”

India’s power sector has long been considered a potentially crippling hindrance to the country’s economic prospects. Part of the problem is access; more than 300 million people in India still have no electricity.

But India’s power generation capacity also has not kept pace with growth. Demand outpaced supply by 10.2 percent in March, government statistics show.

In recent years, India’s government has set ambitious goals for expanding power generation capacity, and while new plants have come online, many more have faced delays, whether because of bureaucratic entanglements, environmental concerns or other problems. India depends on coal for more than half of its power generation, but production has barely increased, with some power plants idled for lack of coal.

Many analysts have long predicted that India’s populist politics were creating an untenable situation in the power sector because the government is selling electricity at prices lower than the cost of generating it. India’s public distribution utilities are now in deep debt, which makes it harder to encourage investment in the power sector. Tuesday’s blackout struck some analysts as evidence of a system in distress.

“It’s like a day of reckoning coming nearer,” said Rajiv Kumar, secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

India’s major business centers of Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad were not affected by the blackout, since they are in the southern and central parts of the country that proved to be immune from the failure.

Phillip F. Schewe, a specialist in electricity and author of the book “The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World,” said the demand pressures on India’s system could set off the sort of breakdown that occurred on Tuesday.

In cases when demand outstrips the power supply, the system of circuit breakers must be activated, often manually, to reduce some of the load in what are known as rolling blackouts. But if workers cannot trip those breakers fast enough, Mr. Schewe said, a failure could cascade into a much larger blackout.

Some experts attributed excessive demand in part to the lower levels of monsoon rains falling on India this year, which have reduced the capacity of hydroelectric power and forced many farmers to turn to electric pumps to draw water from underground.

It was unclear how long it would take to restore power fully in areas still lacking it — or if the problem would recur this week. In Lucknow, capital of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Sachendra Raj said his private hospital was using two large rented generators to power air-conditioners and dialysis machines.

“It’s a very common problem,” he said of power failures. “It’s part and parcel of our daily life.”

Meanwhile, about 200 coal miners in the state of West Bengal were stranded for several hours in underground mines when the electricity to the elevators was shut off, according to reports in the Indian news media.

“We are waiting for the restoration of power to bring them up through the lifts, but there is no threat to their lives or any reason to panic,” said Nildari Roy, an official at Eastern Coalfields Ltd., the mine’s operator. Most of the miners had been rescued by late evening, news agencies said.

Ramachandra Guha, an Indian historian, said the blackout was only the latest evidence of government dysfunction. On Monday, he noted, 32 people died in a train fire in Tamil Nadu State — a reminder that the nation’s railway system, like the electrical system, is underfinanced and in dire need of upgrading.

“India needs to stop strutting on the world stage like it’s a great power,” Mr. Guha said, “and focus on its deep problems within” (New York Times, 2012).

Title: Car Accident Causes Eight Hour Power Outage
August 4, 2012

Crews with NV Energy have restored power to Las Vegas residents affected by a power outage.

Power was fully restored to all customers just before 9 p.m. Saturday evening.

The outage happened around 1 p.m. in the area of Sloan Lane and Carey Avenue, between Nellis and Hollywood Boulevards.

NV Energy told Action News a car struck a fuse cabinet, causing the outage.

About 1,200 customers in that area were without power.

Power was restored for most of the customers about an hour later, while 200 others remained without power. Their power came back in about eight hours later.

NV Energy was able to re-route power to most of the customers, once they found where the problem was (KTNV News, 2012).

Title: Power Restored To NE Valley After Major Outage
August 22, 2012
8 News

NV Energy is reporting power has been restored in the area of Nellis Boulevard and Carey Avenue. The outage, which was weather related, impacted 14,000 customers. NV Energy reports there are about 3,000 customers still without power around the valley (8 News, 2012).

Title: Orleans Substation Outage Knocks Out Power For 11,000
September 4, 2012

As Entergy New Orleans works to restore power to Orleans, a substation outage is affecting nearly 11,000 customers in New Orleans.

The outage is affecting areas in the Central Business District, Mid-City and Uptown.

Before the substation failure, Entergy New Orleans was reporting the number only 5,000 without power in Orleans Parish.

There were reports of a fire at the substation causing heavy outages in the downtown area (WWLTV News, 2012).

Title: Millions Plunged In Darkness As Power Goes Out In Havana, Other Parts Of Cuba
September 10, 2012

Cubans are used to the mundane inconvenience of brief, localized power outages that regularly hit the country's aging electricity grid, but the large blackout that plunged the western part of the Caribbean island into darkness Sunday night was unusual.

More than 2 million residents of the capital, Havana, lost electricity, except for those at hospitals and other places with generators, a government spokesman, who was not identified per government policy, said late Sunday.

Residents elsewhere in the socialist-ruled nation, including in Ciego de Avila in central Cuba, also said they didn't have any power, except for a few pockets of light.

By early Monday, power began to return to homes in Havana and elsewhere after several hours of outage.

The website of the state-run newspaper Trabajadores reported an outage on a 220,000-volt transmission line between Ciego de Avila and Santa Clara that affected service from Pinar del Rio -- the area on the western tip of the long, slender island -- as far east as Camaguey.

The brief report late Sunday said that the incident was under investigation and that workers were trying to restore power.

The streets of Havana lost electricity around 8 p.m. Residents of the capital took the outage in stride, congregating on the stoops of buildings in search of cooler air on a warm, humid night.

The dark streets were quiet early Monday, save for the hum of loud generators every few blocks.

Massive outages on this scale are rare in Cuba, unless a big storm passes over the island.

Weather reports for Havana indicated partly cloudy conditions on Sunday night with temperatures in the high 70s. Temperatures were forecast to hover around 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday (CNN, 2012).

Title: Power Outages Force School District To Close
September 19, 2012
My Fox Philly

Power outages from Tuesday's storm damage have forced an entire school district to shut down.

Schools in Montgomery County's Spring-Ford Area School District are closed Wednesday because of those outages.

Here are the latest power outage numbers we have this morning.

PECO has 3,000 customers in the dark. PSE&G is reporting 600 without power. Atlantic City Electric has 748 customers without service, and for Delmarva Power the number is 400 customers in New Castle County (My Fox Philly, 2012).

Title: Thousands Left Without Power In Hayward After Car Smashes Power Pole
Date: October 7, 2012

Abstract: About 5,000 customers were without power early Sunday morning after a car crashed into a power pole in Hayward.

The driver slammed into a 45-foot power pole at around 3 a.m. at Cheney Lane and Caliroga Road.

The car sliced the pole in half and power lines were tossed into people’s yards and onto parked cars.

One neighbor said he heard a loud pop and saw sparks flying.

The driver of the car was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Police are currently investigating whether the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Power was restored to all but 111 customers, according to PG&E officials.  Officials estimated that it will take until 9:30 p.m. to restore power to those customers.

PG&E said it needs to completely replace power the pole and customers may be without cable and phone access until Sunday night (KTVU News, 2012).

Title: Winds Leave 21,000 Without Electricity In Colorado
October 17, 2012
Yahoo News

More than 21,000 electricity customers are without power in the Denver area and northern Colorado after a powerful wind storm.

Xcel Energy says the blackouts affected about 50,000 customers in Denver, Fort Collins and Greeley starting at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Crews restored service to most by mid-day Wednesday.

The company expects to have everyone online Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service expects sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph with gusts of up to 60 mph possible across eastern Colorado Wednesday.

The wind and low humidity prompted forecasters to issue a red flag warning for eastern and southeastern Colorado, meaning the danger of fire is very high to extreme (Yahoo News, 2012).

Title: Con Edison Shuts Off Power To Part Of Lower Manhattan Due To Sandy
October 29, 2012

New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc said on Monday that it had shut off power to part of Lower Manhattan to protect company equipment and customers and to allow for quicker restoration after Hurricane Sandy passes (Reuters, 2012).

Title: Santiago, Cuba's 2ND Largest City, Still Without Power Or Water In Hurricane Sandy's Wake
October 29, 2012
Fox News

Residents of Cuba's second-largest city of Santiago remained without power or running water Monday, four days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall as the island's deadliest storm in seven years, ripping rooftops from homes and toppling power lines.

Across the Caribbean, the storm's death toll rose to 69, including 52 people in Haiti, 11 in Cuba, two in the Bahamas, two in the Dominican Republic, one in Jamaica and one in Puerto Rico.

Cuban authorities have not yet estimated the economic toll, but the Communist Party newspaper Granma reported there was "severe damage to housing, economic activity, fundamental public services and institutions of education, health and culture."

Yolanda Tabio, a native of Santiago, said she had never seen anything like it in all her 64 years: Broken hotel and shop windows, trees blown over onto houses, people picking through piles of debris for a scrap of anything to cover their homes. On Sunday, she sought solace in faith.

"The Mass was packed. Everyone crying," said Tabio, whose house had no electricity, intermittent phone service and only murky water coming out of the tap on Monday. "I think it will take five to ten years to recover. ... But we're alive."

Sandy came onshore early Thursday just west of Santiago, a city of about 500,000 people in agricultural southeastern Cuba. It is the island's deadliest storm since 2005's Hurricane Dennis, a category 5 monster that killed 16 people and did $2.4 billion in damage. More than 130,000 homes were damaged by Sandy, including 15,400 that were destroyed, Granma said.

"It really shocked me to see all that has been destroyed and to know that for many people, it's the effort of a whole lifetime," said Maria Caridad Lopez, a media relations officer at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Santiago. "And it disappears in just three hours."

Lopez said several churches in the area collapsed and nearly all suffered at least minor damage. That included the Santiago cathedral as well as one of the holiest sites in Cuba, the Sanctuary of the Virgin del Cobre. Sandy's winds blew out its stained glass windows and damaged its massive doors.

"It's indescribable," said Berta Serguera, an 82-year-old retiree whose home withstood the tempest but whose patio and garden did not. "The trees have been shredded as if with a saw. My mango only has a few branches left, and they look like they were shaved."

On Monday, sound trucks cruised the streets urging people to boil drinking water to prevent infectious disease. Soldiers worked to remove rubble and downed trees from the streets. Authorities set up radios and TVs in public spaces to keep people up to date on relief efforts, distributed chlorine to sterilize water and prioritized electrical service to strategic uses such as hospitals and bakeries.

Enrique Berdion, a 45-year-old doctor who lives in central Santiago, said his small apartment building did not suffer major damage but he had been without electricity, water or gas for days.

"This was something I've never seen, something extremely intense, that left Santiago destroyed. Most homes have no roofs. The winds razed the parks, toppled all the trees," Berdion said by phone. "I think it will take years to recover."

Raul Castro, who toured Cuba's hardest-hit regions on Sunday, warned of a long road to recovery.

Granma said the president called on the country to urgently implement "temporary solutions," and "undoubtedly the definitive solution will take years of work."

Venezuela sent nearly 650 of tons of aid, including nonperishable food, potable water and heavy machinery both to Cuba and to nearby Haiti, which was not directly in the storm's path but suffered flash floods across much of the country's south.

Across the Caribbean, work crews were repairing downed power lines and cracked water pipes and making their way into rural communities marooned by impassable roads. The images were similar from eastern Jamaica to the northern Bahamas: Trees ripped from the ground, buildings swamped by floodwaters and houses missing roofs.

Fixing soggy homes may be a much quicker task than repairing the financial damage, and island governments were still assessing Sandy's economic impact on farms, housing and infrastructure.

In tourism-dependent countries like Jamaica and the Bahamas, officials said popular resorts sustained only superficial damage, mostly to landscaping.

Haiti, where even minor storms can send water gushing down hills denuded of trees, listed a death toll of 52 as of Monday and officials said it could still rise. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe has described the storm as a "disaster of major proportions."

In Jamaica, where Sandy made landfall first on Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane, people coped with lingering water and power outages with mostly good humor.

"Well, we mostly made it out all right. I thought it was going to be rougher, like it turned out for other places," laborer Reginald Miller said as he waited for a minibus at a sunbaked Kingston intersection.

In parts of the Bahamas, the ocean surged into coastal buildings and deposited up to six feet of seawater. Sandy was blamed for two deaths on the archipelago off Florida's east coast, including a British bank executive who fell off his roof while trying to fix a window shutter and an elderly man found dead beneath overturned furniture in his flooded, low-lying home (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Massive Explosion At NY Power Plant
October 30, 2012
9 News

A New York camera operator has filmed a transformer erupting in a huge ball of blue light in downtown Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy made landfall.

Shot from across the East River in Brooklyn, the video posted online shows a series of bright flashes illuminating the sky from explosions at the Con Ed (Consolidated Edison) power plant.

An Australian living in Brooklyn told ninemsn she saw a series of blue flashes before hearing a whooshing sound.

"My heart dropped into my stomach and for a few seconds I thought we were all going to die," she said.

"Then I doubted what I saw because it seemed too crazy."

Con Ed has announced that it has already shut off power to customers to part of Lower Manhattan so it can be restored faster after the storm passes.

Much of Manhattan is now without power, with millions of homes elsewhere also facing blackouts.

Water levels are now at record highs in the city, with the Fire Department of New York headquarters evacuated by boat.

The sea surged a record of nearly four metres at the foot of Manhattan.

Authorities worried that seawater would seep into the New York subway and cripple it, along with the electrical and communications systems that are vital to the nation's financial centre.

The saltwater has the capacity to spark dangerous fires and manhole explosions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

At least 12 people have been reported dead in the US, while Canadian police have said a woman was killed by flying debris in Toronto (9 News, 2012).

Title: Over A Dozen Dead, Over 7 Million Without Power As Sandy Pummels the East Coast
October 30, 2012
Fox News

Monster Storm Sandy slammed into the East Coast Monday, killing at least 16 people, hurling a record-breaking 13-foot surge of seawater at New York City and knocking out power to more than 7.5 million across the East Coast. 

The massive storm was downgraded from a hurricane after it barged ashore in southern New Jersey around 8:00 p.m., bringing more than 85-mph winds and a roiling wall of seawater as it moved through New York City. 

The 16 deaths were reported in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Some of the victims were killed by falling trees. At least one death was blamed on the storm in Canada.

President Obama declared a major disaster in New York, Long Island, and New Jersey early Tuesday, making federal funding available to people in the area.

New York was among the hardest hit, with its financial heart closest for a second day and seawater cascading into the still-gaping construction pit at the World Trade Center. 

Water lapped over the seawall in Lower Manhattan , flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads. Rescue workers floated bright orange rafts down flooded downtown streets, while police officers rolled slowly down the street with loudspeakers telling people to go home.

New Jersey was also hit hard, with many residents of Atlantic City and other barrier island communities stranded by high floodwaters as of Monday night.

Most of Atlantic City was covered with water, as the storm brought together the bay and ocean in nearby Longport and flooded all three roads into and out of Ocean City. Flooding also was reported at PATH train stations in Hoboken and Jersey City.

Gov. Chris Christie gave a strong rebuke Monday to the people who chose to stay behind and to Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford for allowing residents to shelter in schools on the barrier island rather than move inland.

Christie, a Republican, called the Democratic mayor, whom he has criticized in the past, "a rogue mayor" who's "impossible to work with." The mayor didn't return messages seeking comment.

The power was out for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and an estimated more than 7.5 million altogether across the East, with the full extent of the storm's damage across the region unclear and unlikely to be known until daybreak.

The MTA cut power to some subway tunnels in lower Manhattan, after water came into the stations and tracks. The MTA said late Monday it is not yet sure how much damage had been done, and how much time it would take to restore everything to normal. Consolidated Edison was prompted to cut power to part of the area to avoid storm damage. 

New York University's Tisch Hospital was forced late Monday to evacuate 200 patients after its backup generator failed. NYU Medical Dean Robert Grossman said patients -- among them 20 babies from neonatal intensive care that were on battery-powered respirators -- had to be carried down staircases and to dozens of waiting ambulances.

The former hurricane, still a powerful, 900-mile-wide hybrid of several weather systems, is now considered an extratropical cyclone. It is forecast Tuesday to head across Pennsylvania before taking another sharp turn into western New York by Wednesday morning. 

Although weakening as it goes, the massive storm -- which caused wind warnings from Florida to Canada -- will continue to bring heavy rain and local flooding

"[It's a] very intense, very dangerous storm. People will die in this storm," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said Monday. "So folks will need to mind their families, stay home and hunker down."

The National Guard was deployed along the densely-populated Atlantic Coast, and airports shut down Monday afternoon as the massive system churned in from the sea. 

"People will die in this storm." ~Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

Sandy has already been blamed for 69 deaths in the Caribbean before it began traveling northward, parallel to the Eastern Seaboard.

In Washington, President Obama urged the millions in Sandy’s path to heed warnings from local and state officials.

“When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate,” Obama said. “Don't delay, don't pause, don't question the instructions that are being given because this is a powerful storm."

States of emergency were declared from North Carolina, where gusty winds whipped steady rain on Sunday, to Connecticut. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities on Sunday, while Ocean City, Md., also was evacuated. 

Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate in anticipation of the storm, including 375,000 in lower Manhattan and other parts of New York City. At least 50,000 were ordered to evacuate in Delaware alone and 30,000 in Atlantic City, N.J., where the city's 12 casinos were forced to shut down for only the fourth time in the 34-year history of legalized gambling there.

Airlines canceled more than 8,962 flights and Amtrak suspended passenger train service across the Northeast for Monday and Tuesday. 

New York and Philadelphia shut down their subways, buses and commuter trains Sunday night and announced that schools would be closed on Monday. Boston, Washington and Baltimore also called off school. In Washington and New Jersey, Metrorail and PATH train services were canceled.

In Connecticut, the number of power outages began climbing as the storm moved through the state. In New York City, 250,000 homes were reported to be without power. 

"We're looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people," said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

An assistant manager at a Lowes store in Columbus, Ohio, told 10TV.com that people were calling in from West Virginia and Maryland to ask for supplies, and in northern Virginia, a cashier at Pitkins Ace Hardware in Dale City said batteries, flashlights and candles were flying off the shelves, PotomacLocal.com reports.

The storm even put Lady Liberty on hold.

The Statue of Liberty was scheduled to reopen Sunday to the public after a renovation project, but the monument will be closed Monday and Tuesday as Sandy passes through the area.

The danger of the storm is hardly limited to coastal areas. Forecasters were far more worried about inland flooding from storm surge than they were about winds. Rains could saturate the ground, causing trees to topple into power lines, utility officials said, warning residents to prepare for several days at home without power.

In North Carolina's Outer Banks, there was some scattered, minor flooding Sunday on the beach road in Nags Head. 

The Virginia National Guard was also authorized to call up to 500 troops to active duty for debris removal and road-clearing, while homeowners stacked sandbags at their front doors in coastal towns.

President Obama said the storm is "serious and big" and will be "slow moving," while he was at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get an update on plans for responding to Hurricane Sandy.

The White House said in a news release that the president on Sunday signed the state of emergency declaration, which had been requested by Mayor Vincent Gray. It says federal aid should supplement the city's response efforts due to the emergency conditions.

The move follows the federal government's decision to close offices on Monday. The district's board of elections also announced it was suspending early voting on Monday. It has not been determined whether here will be early voting on Tuesday.

Obama nixed his participation in a campaign rally in Orlando on Monday and flew back to Washington to monitor the storm. The president has instructed his team to make sure that needed federal resources are in place to support state and local recovery efforts.

Mitt Romney canceled all his campaign events for Monday night and Tuesday due to the storm. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, announced in a rare move it would not convene on Tuesday. The court will hear Tuesday's arguments on Thursday (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Squirrel Knocks Out MTSU Power
November 5, 2012
NBC News

Much of the Middle Tennessee State University campus experienced a power outage Monday morning, but it's not affecting classes.

A squirrel caused a transformer to malfunction, but the university remains open and on normal schedule, according to Associate Vice President & Spokesman Andrew Oppmann.

Officials estimate it could be 1 p.m. or later before full power is restored.

Electrical service has been restored to the Student Union Building, Campus Recreation Center, Peck Hall, the University Honors College, Peck Hall, the College of Education Building, Keathley University Center and Greek Row.

Phone and email service to and from the campus were restored by 10 a.m.  However, the university's websites and web-based digital services are still down (NBC News, 2012).

Title: Power Out At Two Guilford Co. Polling Locations; Machines On Battery Backup
November 6, 2012
My Fox 8

Two polling locations in Guilford County are still without power after an accident near Jamestown on Tuesday afternoon.

The outages were caused by an accident near East Fork Road around 2:20 p.m. Power was restored to all buildings on GTCC’s campus by 3:30 p.m., officials said.  

Duke Energy officials said two voting sites — Turner’s Chapel on Florence School Drive and Deep River Friends Meeting on Wendover Avenue — also lost power.

Officials said voting was interrupted for about 20 minutes while the machines were switched to battery backup. During this time, voters could vote use regular ballots while the machines were offline.

Energy officials estimated power should be restored to all customers by 8 p.m.

Jamestown Town Hall, which is a voting site, was also without power for a short period of time. However, polling officials say the electronic voting machines had backup batteries that prevented them from losing power.

No serious issues were reported. 

No other details on the crash were immediately available (My Fox 8, 2012).

Title: Storm Brings New Outages For Sandy-Battered States
November 8, 2012
Yahoo News

The nor'easter that stymied recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy pulled away from New York and New Jersey Thursday, leaving hundreds of thousands of new people in darkness after a blanket of thick, wet snow snapped storm-weakened trees and downed power lines.

From Brooklyn to storm-battered sections of the Jersey shore and Connecticut, about 750,000 customers — more than 200,000 from the new storm — in the region were without power in temperatures near freezing, some living for days in the dark.

"We lost power last week, just got it back for a day or two, and now we lost it again," said John Monticello of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. "Every day it's the same now: turn on the gas burner for heat. Instant coffee. Use the iPad to find out what's going on in the rest of the world."

But most were just grateful the new storm didn't bring a fresh round of devastation.

"For a home without power, it's great. It came through the storm just great," said Iliay Bardash, 61, a computer programmer on Staten Island without electricity since last week. "But things are not worse, and for that I am thankful."

Nearby, Vladimir Repnin emerged from his powerless home with a snow shovel in his hand, a cigarette in his mouth and a question from someone cut off from the outside world.

"Who won? Obama?" he asked.

He didn't like the answer.

"The Democrats ruined my business," he said, referring to his shuttered clothing manufacturing firm.

Unlike other holdouts who got by with generators or gas stoves, the 63-year-old from the Ukraine has been without power since Sandy brought eight feet of water through his door and his neighbor's deck into his yard. He tried to beat the cold Wednesday night by sleeping with his Yorkie Kuzya and cat Channel.

"I had the dog right here," he said, pointing to his left side, "and the cat on my chest. It was still too cold, but I cannot leave my house."

Throughout Staten Island's beach area, the storm had blanketed growing piles of debris with several inches of snow. By mid-morning, it was starting to melt, filling the streets with filthy sludge.

Roads in New Jersey and New York City were clear for the morning commute, and rail lines into New York were running smoothly so far, despite snow still coming down heavily in some areas.

The nor'easter, as promised, brought gusting winds, rain and snow, but not the flooding that was anticipated.

"The good news, thank goodness, is except for maybe 2 inches of snow, there were no other problems," said Randi Savron, 51, a schoolteacher who lives in the Rockaways, one of the areas that flooded badly last week. The idyllic beachfront boardwalk was loosed from pilings and ended up outside her apartment building door.

She said it seemed like work would continue.

But additional outages could stall recovery efforts, even though utility companies had prepared, adding extra crews ahead of the nor'easter.

In New Jersey, there were about 400,000 power outages early Thursday; 150,000 of those were new. In New York City and Westchester, more than 70,000 customers were without power after the storm knocked out an additional 55,000 customers.

For Consolidated Edison, the extra outages were dealt with swiftly, so there were only about 3,000 additional customers without power from the total Wednesday of 67,000.

"I think we're going to be able to power through. Our objective was to get power restored to everyone by the weekend and we're still working with that goal," said Alfonso Quiroz, a spokesman for the utility.

On Long Island, an area badly battered, there were 125,000 new outages, but about 80,000 were restored, making a total of about 300,000 customers without power. Long Island Power Authority spokesman Mark Gross said the utility was assessing new damage while working to restore outages.

Paul Farash of West Babylon, N.Y. said he got power back after three days and didn't lose it again.

"Whatever I experienced was minimal compared to a whole lot of other people," he said. "I've seen some things. I've heard about some things. and I know some things. And I'm counting my blessings. I'll survive."

Anthony Gragnano, who lives in Lindenhurst, worried the new storm would further stall getting power returned to his flooded family home.

"It's just colder now," he said. "We still don't have heat or power, but aside from a little snow, we're good."

Under ordinary circumstances, a storm of this sort wouldn't be a big deal. But large swaths of the landscape were still an open wound, with the electrical system highly fragile and many of Sandy's victims still mucking out their homes and cars and shivering in the deepening cold. As the storm picked up in intensity Wednesday evening, lights started flickering off again.

Residents from Connecticut to Rhode Island saw 3 to 6 inches of snow on Wednesday. Worcester, Mass., had 8 inches of snow, and Freehold, N.J., had just over a foot overnight. Some parts of Connecticut got a foot or more.

There was good weather news: temperatures over the next few days will be in the 50s in southern New England, said meteorologist Frank Nocera, and on Sunday it could edge into the 60s.

Ahead of the storm, public works crews in New Jersey built up dunes to protect the stripped and battered coast, and new evacuations were ordered in a number of communities already emptied by Sandy. New shelters opened.

All construction in New York City was halted — a precaution that needed no explanation after a crane collapsed last week in Sandy's high winds and dangled menacingly over the streets of Manhattan. Parks were closed because of the danger of falling trees.

Airlines canceled at least 1,300 U.S. flights in and out of the New York metropolitan area, causing a new round of disruptions that rippled across the country.

Sandy killed more than 100 people in 10 states, with most of the victims in New York and New Jersey (Yahoo News, 2012).

Title: Cuba Says Lights Back On For 99.8 Percent Of Homes In Santiago 3 Weeks After Hurricane Sandy
November 14, 2012
Fox News

Cuban authorities say power has been almost completely restored in the eastern city of Santiago nearly three weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

A report in Communist Party newspaper Granma says the lights are back on for 99.8 percent of customers in the city and 47 percent in outlying areas.

Santiago took a near-direct hit from Sandy on Oct. 25. The storm killed 11 people on the island, damaged more than 200,000 homes and caused significant crop losses.

Authorities have not given an estimate of the total economic damage. But the U.N. says Sandy may end up being the most devastating storm to hit that part of Cuba in at least 50 years.

Granma said Wednesday that phone service is expected to be at 90 percent of normal by month's end  (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Latest Storm Leaves Trail Of Car Crashes, Power Outages And Flood Warnings
Date: December 2, 2012

Abstract: The third storm to hit the Bay Area in the past week resulted in flood warnings, car accidents, felled trees and several thousand PG&E customers without power early Sunday morning.

The latest storm came ashore Saturday night and was expected to force several rivers over their banks as it saturates the region Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said.

KTVU meteorologists forecast that Sonoma County could receive up to four inches of rain Sunday.

The Petaluma, Napa and Russian rivers in the North Bay were expected to flood Sunday due to the storm.

The Napa River may hit flood stage Sunday, around noon in St. Helena, and 1 p.m. in Napa, then rise two more feet.

Flooding was expected north of Napa, at Oak Knoll Avenue, in an agricultural area and there could be minor flooding near the Lincoln Avenue Bridge and Veterans Memorial Park. The riverfront promenade would be closed Sunday in preparation.

"We've been building our flood project for many years now. We're about 2/3 completed,” said Napa Community Outreach Coordinator Barry Martin. “It's providing a lot of protection for areas that used to get flooded. We're hoping that the improvements that have been completed so far will protect us in this storm, too.”

Napa leaders plan to meet at 8:30 a.m. and open an emergency center if needed.

The Russian River may reach flood stage in Guerneville early Monday morning and crest around noon.

People in Guerneville haven't been filling sandbags as much as those in Napa, but there's been plenty of chatter among some folks about the potential flooding

While a number of roads and campgrounds were evacuated, many people were choosing to wait and see what happens with the river Sunday.

"Everybody is talking about it and going to Safeway and stocking up. But this is minor compared to how it has been," said Adorno's Pizza employee Shirley Bannert.

In 1986, the Russian River rose to 49 and a half feet -- more than 17 feet above flood level.

The National Weather Service predicted that the river would get as high as 32-and-a-half feet at Guerneville tomorrow at 10 a.m, and the flood stage is 32 feet.

As the threat of flooding wasn’t bad enough, trees pushed over by gusty winds collided with power lines overnight, leaving many in the North Bay without power Sunday morning. According to PG&E, as of 8 a.m. almost 40,000 of its customers were sitting in the dark and 20,000 of them were Santa Rosa/Sonoma Co. residents. Another 6,400 were without power in other areas in the North Bay.

As of 11 a.m., a broken power pole that left around 8,500 San Francisco residents in the dark this morning had been repaired, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said.

About 1,930 residents throughout the city remained without power, he said.

In the East Bay, about 7,620 customers were in the dark, and PG&E crews were working to restore service to 5,060 customers in the North Bay, Molica said.

Around 4,730 Peninsula residents were without power, and 1,310 customers were impacted in the South Bay, according to PG&E.

Since Thursday, PG&E estimated that 276,780 customers around the Bay Area lost power at some point, Molica said.

About 93 percent of those outages have been resolved.

Rain-slick roads and gusty winds were to blame for driving conditions that resulted in multiple car crashes Sunday morning, the first being an injury crash on northbound I-880 around 3:30 a.m.

Two people had to be transported to the hospital after their car flipped over on the freeway near the High Street exit in Oakland.

Authorities said the man and woman, in their 20's had non-life threatening injuries. The male driver told the CHP that he possibly fell asleep at the wheel.

Later, wind knocked over a big rig on the eastbound lanes of the Richmond-San Rafael bridge around 4:45 a.m., according to California Highway Patrol. There were no reports of any injuries.

Eastbound lanes were blocked for more than five hours, with traffic using the right shoulder to pass. Tow crews had to wait for winds to subside before attempting to  salvage the fallen vehicle.

The truck was uprighted and removed from the roadway by about 10 a.m.

Around the same time on the Peninsula, two cars had collided on northbound Highway 280 near the Eastmoor Ave off-ramp.

The crash was so bad that firefighters were called to extract one person from their vehicle and another person died on scene from injuries.

The CHP issued a Sig-alert at 5:25 a.m. The roadway's left-hand lane re-opened at 6:18 a.m.

The storm was also expected to back up flights at SFO later Sunday morning.

The airport’s duty manager told KTVU that they would begin a program to control the flow of some flights beginning at 9 a.m.

They say arrivals could be delayed up to 73 minutes.

Low visibility delayed some arrivals by two hours Saturday.

Oakland and Mineta San Jose reported no problems Sunday or the day before (KTVU News, 2012).

Title: U-Verse Back Up After Outage Hit Thousands
Date: January 24, 2013

Abstract: Service had been restored by midday Thursday for tens of thousands of AT&T's U-verse TV, Internet and phone customers after an outage that lasted several days.

""U-verse service has been restored for all customers affected by the outage.," AT&T spokeswoman Emily Edmonds told CNN on Thursday. "We know our customers count on their U-verse service, and we apologize for the inconvenience."

Edmonds said the outage hit "a limited number of customers" in the South, some of whom were without service since Monday. The service has roughly 7.4 million subscribers.

In all, fewer than 1% of those customers experienced the outage, according to an earlier AT&T statement.

The outage was related to a software upgrade, Edmonds said, saying the problem was fixed by AT&T engineers Thursday morning. The service outage did not affect AT&T's landline or wireless service subscribers.

User reports on a discussion thread in the AT&T forums spread from Florida to parts of Texas. By Thursday, many of them were reporting that service had returned.

Not that it prevented several from venting their frustration.

"I just got an AT&T ad in email that said how wonderful they are too," wrote one subscriber from Oklahoma. "Come on already. My husband says we are canceling. There is no excuse for no service at all for 3 days, no explanation, and not even following through on the ones that you had appointments scheduled with ... . Bad, bad, bad business."

Edmonds said that affected customers will receive a credit on their bills. The credits will appear within 30 to 60 days, she said.

U-verse is a "triple play" bundle of cable TV, phone and Internet services offered by AT&T. It was launched in 2006 and is available in 22 states (CNN, 2013).

Title: Super Bowl XLVII Blackout: Power Outage Leaves Superdome Dark
February 3, 2013
Bleacher Report

Abstract: T
he Baltimore Ravens defeated San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII, but it was the power outage early in the third quarter in the Mercedez-Benz Superdome that has been driving the most buzz.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7:51 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

It is now being reported on ESPN.com that officials were worried about a potential power outage in the Superdome prior to Super Bowl XLVII.

An Oct. 15 memo released by the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, which oversees the Superdome, says tests on the dome's electrical feeders showed they had "some decay and a chance of failure."

Entergy New Orleans, the company that supplies the stadium with power, and the structure's engineering staff "had concerns regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy's connection point to the Dome," the memo says. Those concerns were due in part to "circumstances that have previously occurred with the electrical service regarding transient spikes and loads"...

..."As discussed in previous board meetings, this enhancement is necessary to maintain both the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena as top tier facilities, and to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl," says a LSED document dated Dec. 19.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 4, at 12:51 a.m. EST by Tim Keeney

After hours of wondering how it happened, Rachel Nichols finally gave us the official reason for the blackout:

Superdome statement on why the lights went out: "Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue" (Bleacher Report, 2013).

Title: Thousands Without Power As Second Major Snowstorm Wallops Missouri, Kansas
Date: February 26, 2013
Fox News

Abstract: The second major snowstorm in a week battered the nation's midsection Tuesday, dropping a half-foot or more of snow across Missouri and Kansas and cutting power to thousands. Gusting winds blew drifts more than 2 feet high and created treacherous driving conditions for those who dared the morning commute.

About 40,000 people in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas awoke to no power as heavy, wet snow weighed on power lines. Kansas City, Mo., was in a state of emergency as blinding snowfall -- made worst by sustained gusts estimated at 30 mph or higher -- made car and truck traffic too dangerous. About 8 inches of new snow had fallen on parts of the Kansas City metro area as the sun rose Tuesday.

Flights in and out of Kansas City International Airport were canceled, schools, government offices and businesses across the region were closed. City buses were getting stuck.

Numerous accidents were reported in the area, and Mayor Sly James declared the emergency in an unwanted encore to a major snowstorm that dumped nearly a foot of snow on his city just five days earlier. He urged residents to stay home, given that the new storm was expected to dump nearly a foot of new snow on the city.

"This one has the potential to be quite serious," James said.

A strong low pressure system fueled the storm, which also included heavy rain and thunderstorms in eastern Oklahoma and Texas.

The storm knocked power out to thousands of homes in Texas and Oklahoma and was blamed for the death of a 21-year-old man whose SUV hit an icy patch on Interstate 70 in northwestern Kansas and overturned Monday. In Oklahoma, a person was killed after 15 inches of snow brought down part of a roof in the northwest town of Woodward.

In the Texas Panhandle, wind gusts up to 75 mph and heavy snow had made all roads impassable and created whiteout conditions, said Paul Braun, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation. A hurricane-force gust of 75 mph was recorded at the Amarillo, Texas, airport. The city saw the biggest snowfall total in Texas with 17 inches.

Motorists were stranded throughout the Texas Panhandle, with the NWS in Lubbock reporting as many as 100 vehicles at a standstill on Interstate 27.

Schools and major highways in the Texas Panhandle remained closed for a second day Tuesday. State officials said they hoped that stretches of Interstate 40 near the Oklahoma border, which have been closed since Monday morning, would reopen by Tuesday afternoon.

Texas Tech's men's basketball team stayed overnight at a hotel in Manhattan, Kan., after playing Kansas State on Monday night, rather try to drive back to Lubbock. Also late Monday, officials with Oklahoma State University announced it would be closed Tuesday due to the weather.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter Monday night in Woodward, Okla., for stranded travelers. It also told its volunteers and workers in Kansas City to be prepared to help in the case of power outages or large numbers of stranded travelers.

Area hospitals closed outpatient and urgent care centers, and the University of Missouri canceled classes for Tuesday. The Missouri Department of Transportation issued a "no travel" advisory asking people to stay off affected highways except in case of a dire emergency.

Meteorologist Mike Umscheid of the National Weather Service office in Dodge City, Kan., said this latest storm combined with the storm last week will help alleviate the drought conditions that have plagued farmers and ranchers across the Midwest, and could be especially helpful to the winter wheat crop planted last fall.

But getting two back-to-back storms of this magnitude doesn't mean the drought is finished.

"If we get one more storm like this with widespread 2 inches of moisture, we will continue to chip away at the drought, but to claim the drought is over or ending is way too premature," Umscheid said (Fox News, 2013).