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Power Earth United States

2M Americans Lost Power After 'Bomb Cyclone' ( 129

An anonymous reader quotes the Associated Press: Tens of thousands of utility workers in the Northeast raced to restore power to more than 1.5 million homes and businesses just days after a powerful nor'easter caused flooding and wind damage from Virginia to Maine... Flood waters had receded in most areas, but Friday's storm had taken huge chunks out of the coastline in Massachusetts and other states... Residents in other areas, meanwhile, bailed out basements and surveyed the damage while waiting for power to be restored, a process that power companies warned could take days in some areas.

Power outages on the East Coast dipped by about 500,000 from a peak of 2 million earlier Saturday, but officials said lingering wind gusts were slowing repair efforts. The storm's aftermath also was still affecting travel, with airports from Washington, D.C. to Boston reporting dozens of delays and cancellations, while service was slowly returning to normal on rail systems throughout the region... The death toll from the storm increased by four, with authorities saying at least nine people had lost their lives.

Airlines canceled more than 2,800 flights, according to the Associated Press, while Amtrak suspended service along the northeast corridor (though it's saying they should all return to service on Sunday).

CNN reported roughly 1 in 4 Americans were in the storm's path, facing winds as high as 50 mph, while the Associated Press reports gusts up to 90 mph on Cape Cod.
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2M Americans Lost Power After 'Bomb Cyclone'

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  • This just shows the differences in levels of preparedness for certain weather conditions of different airports. It takes some serious weather to bring down air infrastructure in North America.

    In Europe on the other hand, temperature is below 0deg, there's this very subtle white powder falling from the sky, CLOSE EVERYTHING!
    Facetiousness aside as climate change is expected to bring about more extreme weather conditions it's time the European airports looked across the ocean for tips on how to cope with a lit

    • by Zumbs ( 1241138 )
      That depends a lot on where you are in Europe. Airports in Northern Europe generally cope a lot better with snow and freezing temperatures than airports to the South and West. The difference between the US East Coast and Southern and Western Europe is not surprising as the Gulf stream means that snow and freezing temperatures in Lisbon is rare compared to Washington DC, even though they are at the same latitude.
      • That depends a lot on where you are in Europe.

        It doesn't really because the airports most affected by this include the 4 biggest European hubs: Heathrow, Schiphol, Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt. Only Istanbul is alone in the top 5 that hasn't imposed runway restrictions due to weather multiple times in the past few years, each time with quite a bit of ensuing chaos throughout all of Europe.

        • All 4 of those are in a zone that has average temperatures above 0 year-round. They experience 0-5 snow days a year. The cost of the occasional closure due to a snowstorm will be less than buying and maintaining an army of snowplows, deicers etc. of the calibre used by airports that see 3 solid months of snow each year.

          That's why this area has trouble with snow: it's too rare to bother preparing for.

          • That's exactly my point. As the weather starts becoming more extreme they need to start learning to cope with the weather.

            I never said that the problems weren't insurmountable or based on faulty assumptions during original airport design, just that the world is changing and in winter it seems like the two busiest hubs in Europe both managed to have a 90% reduction in capacity for several days, several months in a row.

            What may have been occasional closure is unlikely to be going forward, and I would challeng

  • SpaceX are scheduled to launch a rocket on Tuesday, 05:33 UTC. Weather should be fine for the launch by then, but the sea states off shore are another matter.

    They were going to recover the first stage on a floating platform, but the ships that would have taken it out should have left are still in port, with only 43 hours left to go - they'd take 42 hours flat out to even get there.

    The reason for this seems smple - 14 foot seas. Even a 100 meter long platform isn't going to stay still enough in that. So it

    • The reason for this seems smple - 14 foot seas. Even a 100 meter long platform isn't going to stay still enough in that.

      That's because they're doing it wrong. If they want stability, they have to go semi-submersible.

      • by robbak ( 775424 )

        Yes. I half expect them to do that at some stage. But a fitted out barge is a much simpler thing to start out with.

        You know, they are currently working on a new droneship, quixotically named "A Shortfall of Gravitas". It will probably be just another Marmac 300 series barge with thrusters, but we'll have to see. This is SpaceX, who put spider arms on a ship a few months ago; they could do anything.

  • Trump didn't get to the latest school shooting and confront the shooter because it was over before he could get on AF One, but surely he could have faced this storm off.

    • That sounds like typical liberal criticizing, in fact Trump is imposing a 25% tariff on imported snow and rain: "A weather war is easy to win!"

  • Not one mention about the weight of the snow. We barely had any wind, but the heavy snow was snapping lines and trees all over the place. Typical snow to water ratio is 25:1, this storm was closer to 5:1.
  • Winds of 50MPH with gusts of up to 90MPH and you have 2 million power outages? Here in the UK we spend a great amount of winter having those kinds of wind speeds as we get hit with several winter storms with those and everything just carries on as normal with the only real issue being certain bridges and high elevation roads being closed to high sided trucks.
    • You talk about a third world country ...
      They will fix it so that it barely works and next storm with similar size will nock it out again.
      Then they will cry how much stronger their Hurricanes are versus a Taifun or an Orkan ... and that is going on since half a century or longer like that :)

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Try looking at a Google Maps satellite view of the Northeastern US vs. southern Britain, and you'll see the reason why. The power outages are caused by downed branches. The US is heavily wooded in comparison to southern Britain; go a few miles out of a major city and there is extensive tree cover. Britain, in comparison, looks largely denuded, a patchwork of fields. This is the legacy of centuries of wood burning followed by efforts to become food secure in WW2.

      Another difference is in how the UK and

  • Title says 2M and CNN says 1 in 4 Americans. Wikipedia says that the census bureau says there are around 327 million folks living here in the US. Something doesn't add up. Assuming that 2M means 2 Million, one in four would mean that there are only 8 million Americans? No CNN, I don't think that is right. 25% of 327 is about 82 - if that number was the actual impact of the storm, "82 million impacted" would be a much more interesting headline.
    • by Nkwe ( 604125 )
      Reading the summary again, I realize that the the title is talking about loss of power and the CNN reference is about being in the storm's path. So my math rant kind of jumped the gun. That being said, the mixing those two kinds of stats is not stellar editing. A much better title would have referred to a storm with record breaking impact.
  • I'm in Florida and since we do get hurricanes frequently I have to say that ninety mph winds are hardly a breeze to us. The idea that 90 mph winds would cause much loss of power to our homes would invoke hostility from the public. The idea that a home would come apart in 120 mph winds is absurd. Apparently the construction requirements for these northern states is set way too low.
    • Just going by random street views on google maps, the trees look pretty short down there. I see many without tops. Those frequent winds you get sort of keeps the problem at bay. Up here winds like these are rare, so the trees keep growing up and up with nothing to stop them. When the winds do come they are tall and break or fall over. It is rare enough that disruptions like this are tolerated.

      As for building codes, things like hurricane ties are now a requirement here. But the problem with this storm is not

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
      How would homes in Florida stand up to a 7.0 earthquake? What would your heating bill be if the temperature stayed below freezing for 20 days straight?

      Think about it a bit, different regions have different standards.

      A little snow on the ground in Florida and people think the day of reckoning is upon us.
  • ....was due to both their personal unpreparedness and a continuingly decaying infrastructure, especially up in the upper Midwest and NE regions of the country.

    They gotta start burying that stuff too; that would help a ton.

  • that comes out of this story are the silly ass names they come up with for these storms.

    You can't just call it a Winter Storm. . . . oh no, that's too boring. Not American enough.
    We have to go and name it a " BOMB CYCLONE ". :|

    I swear, our entire culture absolutely glorifies War, Death, Demise and Doom.

    And folks wonder why some people are goin all crazy anymore.

  • So, umm, how many Puerto Rican's lost power, how long ago, and how many are still waiting for power to be restored?

    They are also citizens of the USA, you know.

    And yet a quick scan shows no comments obviously comparing continental USA with island USA?


    So, how is Puerto Rico going, US friends?

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell