List of power outages

List of power outages

This is a list of notable wide-scale power outages.


* The Northeast Blackout of 1965 in the USA on November 9, 1965.


* A freak early season blizzard on October 13, 1974 caused a major power outage that affected more than a million customers for up to one week in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, Canada.


* On July 13 to July 14, the New York City blackout of 1977 resulted in looting and rioting.


* On December 19, a blackout affected 80% of France.Fact|date=February 2008


* On December 27, a storm destroyed equipment connecting the powerlines in Enköping, Sweden. Resulting in almost total blackout of entire Sweden.


*The Great Storm of 1987 brought down power lines throughout southern England causing extensive blackouts.Fact|date=February 2008


* On March 13, a geomagnetic storm caused the Hydro-Québec power failure which left 6 million people without power for 9 or more hours. [ [ Who cares? Anyone living on Earth!] ]


* On July 7, a powerful wind storm affected a large portion of central North America and knocked power to about 1 million customers from Iowa to Ontario. [ [ The Southern Great Lakes Derecho of 1991] ]


* On October 4, Hurricane Opal, which killed at least 59 people, knocked out power to over 2 million customers across eastern and southern North America. [ [ Hurricane Opal] ]


* On August 11, the Western Intertie buckled under high summer heat, causing a cascading power failure affecting nine western states and parts of Mexico.Fact|date=February 2008

* On November 19, a severe ice storm affected the region around Spokane, Washington, and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, causing power outages lasting up to two weeks.Fact|date=February 2008

* On August 3, the 1996 Peninsular Malaysia electricity blackout crisis occurred.


* The January 1998 Ice Storm in northeastern North America caused prolonged blackouts, particularly in Quebec where many transmission towers were destroyed by ice. Over 3.5 million customers in total lost power during the event. [ [ The Ice Storm of 1998] ]

* From February 20 to March 27, the 1998 Auckland power crisis resulting in the entire Auckland Central Business District in Auckland, New Zealand being without power for several weeks after a line failure had cause a chain reaction leading to the failure of three other lines.

* On May 31, a powerful wind storm knocked out power to nearly 2 million customers across much of Central North America. [ [ The Southern Great Lakes Derecho of 1998] ]

* The Esso Longford gas explosion on September 25, which caused a complete loss of gas supplies to the entire state of Victoria, Australia for 2 weeks.Fact|date=February 2008

* On December 8, affecting San Francisco, California, and its environs, over 350,000 consumers were affected by an outage caused when the PG&E utility placed a San Mateo sub-station online at nowrap|8:17 am PST, while the station was still grounded following maintenance. This drew so much power from the Peninsula transmission lines that 25 other sub-stations in San Francisco automatically and immediately shut down. Power was not fully restored until almost 4 pm the same day. Economic costs were estimated in tens of millions of dollars.Fact|date=February 2008


* On March 11, a blackout affected about 70% of the Brazilian territory, leaving more than 90 million without power for hours. Huge cities like Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Curitiba faced urban chaos lead by huge traffic jams and public subway systems that stopped working.Fact|date=February 2008

* On July 5, the Boundary Waters-Canadian Derecho cut power to over 600,000 homes in Quebec with additional outages in New England and in the Upper Great Lakes region. [ [ JULY 4-5, 1999 DERECHO" The Boundary Waters-Canadian Derecho"] ]

* On July 29, in Taiwan the #326 transmission tower collapsed due to a landslide, which disconnected around 8.46 million electricity consumers.Fact|date=February 2008


* On May 9, a stork caused the Southern Portugal Blackout of 2000.

* During the 12-month California electricity crisis of 2000–01, there were regular power failures due to energy shortages.


* On July 22, a severe wind storm knocked out power to over 300,000 customers in the Memphis, Tennessee metropolitan area. [ [ The Mid South Derecho of 2003] ]

* On August 14, a wide-area power failure in the northeastern USA and central Canada (Northeast Blackout of 2003) affected 50 million people.

* On August 23, power was lost for up to an hour in Helsinki affecting half a million people.Fact|date=February 2008

* There was a 2003 London blackout on August 28 which made worldwide headlines such as "Power cut cripples London" but in fact only affected 500,000 people.Fact|date=February 2008

* On September 2, the 2003 southern Malaysia blackout resulted when a power failure affected 5 states (out of 13) in Malaysia, including the capital Kuala Lumpur, for 5 hours starting at 10 am local time.

* On September 19, Hurricane Isabel knocked out electricity for 4.3 million people across nine US states and parts of Ontario, Canada.Fact|date=February 2008

* On September 23, a power failure affected 5 million people in Denmark and southern Sweden. [ [ømafbrydelsen i Østdanmark og Sydsverige 23.09.2003 – Endelig hændelsesrapport, 4.11.2003] ]

* On September 27 to September 28, the 2003 Italy blackout resulted from a power failure that affected all of Italy except Sardinia, cutting service to more than 56 million people.


* On June 29, a disruption in natural gas supplies from Indonesia caused a widespread blackout in the northern, eastern and western parts of Singapore.Fact|date=February 2008

* On July 12, two power plants in Lavrio and Megalopoli, Greece, shut down due to malfunction within 12 hours of each other, during a period of high demand (heat wave); that led to a cascading failure causing the collapse of the entire Southern (Power) System, affecting several million people in southern Greece.Fact|date=February 2008

* On September 4, five million people in Florida were without power at one point due to Hurricane Frances, one of the most widespread outages ever due to a hurricane.Fact|date=February 2008

* On September 15, the government of Puerto Rico decided to shut down the island's power to prevent damage to the lines during Hurricane Jeanne.Fact|date=February 2008


* The 2005 Malaysia electricity blackout crisis occurred.

* On January 8, about 341,000 homes lost power in Sweden and several thousand of these were out of power for many days and even weeks in some cases. Power outage was because of the storm Erwin with wind speeds of up to 126 km/h.Fact|date=February 2008

* On May 25, most of Moscow was without power from 11:00 MSK (+0300 UTC). Approximately ten million people were affected. Power was restored within 24 hours.Fact|date=February 2008

* On June 16, two-thirds of the people of Puerto Rico lost power due a 250 kV line damage. The power was restored the same night.Fact|date=February 2008

* On August 18, almost 100 million people on Java Island, the main island of Indonesia which the capital Jakarta is on, and the isle of Bali, lost power for 7 hours. In terms of population affected, the 2005 Java-Bali Blackout was the largest in history.Fact|date=February 2008

* On August 22, all of southern and central Iraq, including parts of the capital Baghdad, all of the second largest city Basra and the only port Umm Qasr went out of power for more than 7 hours after a feeder line was sabotaged by insurgents, causing a cascading effect shutting down multiple power plants.Fact|date=February 2008

* On August 26, 1.3 million people in South Florida lost power due to downed trees and power lines caused by the then category 1 Hurricane Katrina. Most customers affected were without power for four days, and some customers had no power for up to one week.Fact|date=February 2008

* On August 29, millions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama residents lost power after a strengthening Hurricane Katrina badly damaged the power grid.Fact|date=February 2008

* On September 12, a blackout in Los Angeles affected millions in California. [ [ Final report on the causes.] ]

* On October 24, Hurricane Wilma caused loss of power for 3.2 million customers in South Florida and Southwest Florida, with hundreds of thousands of customers still powerless a week later, and full restoration not complete until November 11.Fact|date=February 2008

* On December 15, wintry weather including extensive ice knocked out power to 700 000 customers across portions of the Atlantic Coast of the United States.Fact|date=February 2008

* On December 22, a blizzard and snow storm cause a three cable transmission line to be broken from a tower, which knocked out power to 650,000 customers across Niigata prefecture, include Niigata, Nagaoka, Kashiwazaki, Sado and Joetsu.


* On June 12, half of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, suffers an 8-hour long power outage affecting 230,000 customers due to a shackle in a substation dislodging and short circuiting a mains wire

* On July 17, nearly half a million customers in Ontario and Quebec were affected after derechos and other isolated severe thunderstorms tore through those two provinces. "See : Great Lakes-Atlantic Coast derecho"

* On July 18, the 2006 Delaware Valley blackout is the result of more than 365,000 PECO customers of the Philadelphia area losing power due to violent storms with convert|71|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on winds, which left two dead and thousands of dollars in property damage. In addition, around 26,000 homes were without power in New Jersey, as well as thousands in the Northeast United States stretching from rural Pennsylvania to southwestern Connecticut.Fact|date=February 2008

* On July 22, parts of greater London, U.K., lost power. EDF Energy stated the reason was due to a higher energy demand, as more customers are using air conditioning in England's capital due to the 2006 European heat wave; more blackouts occurred right up to the July 27. Similar blackouts have affected the county of Kent due to the drought.Fact|date=February 2008

* On August 1, in the Laurentians, in the province of Québec, Canada, a large amount (146,000, at its peak in the evening of August 1st) of households were left without electricity for a whole day, and some for up to a whole week due to intense thunderstorms that rolled through southern Quebec including the Greater Montreal Area. Over 450,000 customers in total were affected. [ [ 2 killed in Quebec storm, thousands without power] ]

* On August 2, nearly a quarter million customers of Hydro One lost power after severe thunderstorms that included tornadoes and damaging wind ripped through southern and eastern Ontario. [ [ Ontario storm leaves 150,000 without power] ]

* On September 12, parts of east London, U.K., lost power, at approximately 9:15 pm.Fact|date=February 2008

* On October 12, an unusual early-season lake effect snow storm hit the Buffalo, New York area and other surrounding areas of the United States and Canada. The storm dumped snow from that night through the morning of Friday October 13, 2006. At 8:00 pm, NWS Buffalo began to receive numerous reports of trees and power lines toppling after convert|3|in|cm of snow accumulated. It was later called the "October Surprise Storm" or Lake Storm "Aphid".Fact|date=February 2008

* On October 24, in Lima, Peru, an aerostatic balloon accidentally crashed against transmission towers causing a short circuit which affected nearly 13 districts in the capital. The power was restored that same night.Fact|date=February 2008

* On the night of November 4, in parts of Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Portugal over five million people were left without power after a big cascading breakdown. The root cause was an overload triggered by the German electricity company E.ON switching off an electricity line over the river Ems to allow the cruise ship Norwegian Pearl to pass through safely. The impact of this disconnection on the security of the network had not been properly assessed, and resulted in the European transmission grid splitting into three independent parts for a period of two hours. The imbalance between generation and demand in each section resulted in the power outages for consumers. [ [ (UCTE) Final Report on the disturbances of 4 November 2006] ]

* On November 15, a massive wind storm struck the GVRD in BC, Canada causing over 200,000 homes to lose power, in some cases for over a week.Fact|date=February 2008

* On November 30, in St. Louis, as a result of a winter storm, about 500,000 people lost power due to outages which lasted from 1 day to 2 weeks.Fact|date=February 2008

* On the night of December 1, in parts of Ontario, tens of thousands of people lost power due to a severe winter storm, resulting in a state of emergency being declared in Russell Township. Blackouts continued into December 2. [ [ Ottawa Sun] ] .

* Also on December 1, half of Long Island, New York received blackouts due to a fire at the Long Island electricity department. Fact|date=February 2008

* On December 15, the Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006 caused a power failure throughout the Seattle area, causing 1 million people to lose power. Areas including Tacoma, Seattle, Federal Way, Bremerton, Everett, Olympia and Bellevue were affected. Some areas (Redmond) were without service for 4–5 days. Parts of coastal British Columbia and Oregon were also affected. Most of the damage was caused by trees falling into electrical transmission and distribution lines. Restoration was hampered by nested outages where multiple problems needed to be fixed before electricity to some customers could be restored.Fact|date=February 2008

Outages stemming from the 2006 North American heat wave

* 2006 Queens blackout: On July 18, and continuing for over one week, upwards of 50,000 Queens, New York, and Westchester County Con Edison customers lost power due to excessive heat and dilapidated infrastructure. In Astoria, several power lines and transformers caught fire, melted, or failed as Con Edison attempted to restore service. Two air control towers at LaGuardia Airport lost power briefly on the 18th, resulting in the cancellation of some 45 flights and re-routing of 11 others. Subway service on several Queens lines (BMT Astoria Line, IRT Flushing Line, and IND Queens Boulevard Line) was suspended and/or reduced throughout the outage. On July 20, Con Edison announced that approximately 2,500 Queens customers were still without power. On July 21, Con Edison announced a revised estimate of "at least 25,000." On the same day, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that Con Edison's definition of "customer" referred to each building they provided power and that the number of people without power was possibly 100,000. More than 3,000 Con Edison customers—an estimated 10,000 people—remained without power as of July 24.Fact|date=February 2008

* On July 19, "at least 486,000" customers lost power in the greater St. Louis, Missouri, area due to convert|80|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on winds and thunderstorms that rolled through the area. Two-thirds of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was out of power, stranding hundreds who slept on the concourses. A portion of the airport's roof sheared off and flew onto Interstate 70, closing lanes. A heat advisory for the area was issued due to temperatures reaching as high as convert|104|°F|°C. Power was out for up to 9 days for some people, in part due to a second storm on the 21st. Together, some 600,000 people were affected.Fact|date=February 2008


* From January 12 to January 24, about 1 million customers from Texas to Atlantic Canada lost power due to a series of winter storms including 330,000 in Missouri, 200,000 in Michigan and 120,000 in Oklahoma due to an ice storm.Fact|date=February 2008

* On January 16, power to 200,000 people in the Australian state of Victoria is cut off when bushfires caused the state's electricity connection to the national grid to shut down. The cities of Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are affected, with the outage disabling up to 1,200 traffic lights and affecting public transport systems. At some stage, up to 1/3 of the Victorians were affected by the power outage. Ten people were trapped in lifts and the stock exchange was forced to suspend trading, officials said. January 16 was one of the highest consumer electricity demand days ever recorded, mainly due to high temperatures (close to 40 °C) and large use of air conditioning. The Victorian grid was forced to take power from New South Wales lines, which when cut led to rolling power blackouts throughout large portions of the state.Fact|date=February 2008

* On April 19, Costa Rica experienced a national blackout at 20:10 local time. It affected nearly all the 4,328,000 Costa Ricans at that time. Power restoration started gradually at 21:45 local time.Fact|date=February 2008

* On April 26, Colombia experienced a nation-wide blackout at about 10:15 am local time. At first officials believed it was carried out by one of the country's rebel groups, particularly FARC; this however was later ruled out. It was caused by an undetermined technical failure at a substation in the capital, Bogota, Colombia. More than 80% of Colombia was affected. Power returned to most parts of the country after several hours. Only some rural regions were still being affected by the blackout.Fact|date=February 2008

* On June 8 a power failure occurred in Sydney, Australia, affecting mainly the Northern Beaches. It lasted for around 1 day, with a gradual return to full power throughout the following days. The power failure was caused by extreme weather in the area at the time.

* On June 27 a power failure occurred in New York City. About 136,700 customers were without power during the height of the outage. The outage affected Manhattan and the Bronx for approximately one hour. [ [ NYC Power Outage Shuts Down Train Lines] ]

* Also on June 27, a severe thunderstorm hit Long Island causing half of Long Island to lose power after 8:30 pm.Fact|date=February 2008

* On July 23, the city of Barcelona suffered a near-total blackout. Several areas remained without electricity for more than 78 hours due to a massive electrical substation chain failure. [See Spanish Wikipedia] .

* On July 25, a blackout occurred in the Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Greece,parts of South Serbia, Montenegro and parts of Greece were affected.The main cause of this is believed to be as result of 2007 European heat wave. Power was restored by the following day.Fact|date=February 2008

* On October 10, a blackout occurred around the area of Oxted in Surrey, England at about 19:00 local time (18:00 GMT) and lasted for a total of up to 20 minutes, having been restored for about 2 seconds before a second blackout occurred.Fact|date=February 2008

*On October 31, a blackout occurred in Greater Manchester in England, at about 19:30 local time and lasted for around 15 minutes.Fact|date=February 2008

*On December 2, a blackout occurred in much of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador affecting close to 100,000 customers. A Winter storm caused a series of malfunctions on the power grid and knocked down seven large support structures for transmission lines. About two kilometres of transmission line also collapsed. Although total power was restored within 10 hours, customers in some pockets including neighbourhoods in the St. John's area, and in Flatrock, a small town north of St. John's were without service for almost 2 days. About 7,500 customers on the Bonavista Peninsula were without service for almost a week. [ [ Power lines torn down in eastern Newfoundland] ] [ [ Week may pass before all juice restored: Newfoundland Power] ]

* From December 8 to December 12, a series of ice events cut power to over 1 million homes and businesses across the Great Plains of the United States from Oklahoma to Nebraska. [ [ Massive 'ice-maker' stops Heartland cold] ]

*On December 28, Christmas Day, a blackout occurred which affected the Florida Keys, from Key West to Big Pine Key. It occurred at 9:00 pm and lasted until 10:00 pm. 21,000 residents were without power. [ [ Cause of power outage on Christmas undetermined] ]


*On January 4, a winter rainstorm hit northern California causing 1.6 million Pacific Gas & Electric customers to lose power. Most customers had power restored by the morning of January 5.Fact|date=February 2008

*On January 9, a powerful windstorm hit the province of Quebec leaving over 100,000 Hydro-Québec customers without power for a period of over 3 hours. Flooding caused by the rise in temperatures has also caused major damage to infrastructures and shutdown many highways, especially in the Montérégie region, where the Yamaska river and Richelieu river had caused major flooding, leaving thousands of evacuees to leave their homes and hundreds of stranded people to seek help due to the rising water.Fact|date=February 2008

*On January 22, the same area affected by the 2007 Halloween power-cut in Greater Manchester, England suffered another blackout, this time lasting an hour, from 19:15 to 20:15 local time.Fact|date=February 2008

*Also on January 22, the East Bay of San Francisco (i.e. San Leandro, South Oakland, Hayward) suffered a partial blackout lasting several hours, beginning approximately 20:00 local time. The provider is PG&E corporation.Fact|date=February 2008

* From January 25 to February 6, heavy snowstorms in China knocked down transmission lines. Fossil fuel power plant were running low on supply of coal as trains were unable to deliver coal due to frozen/blocked track. The storms were directly responsible for at least 129 deaths.

*On January 29, strong wind gusts in excess of convert|60|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on caused around 70,000 people to lose power in Dallas County. In Southern Denton County, many customers also lost power. In Lewisville, around 2,000 people lost power. In Flower Mound, there were many dropouts. However, they only lasted from 10 seconds to 1 minute.Fact|date=February 2008

* On February 20, Coal supplies to some power plants in Java have been stopped, as ships cannot go to ports because of big waves, resulting in an electricity deficit of about 1,000 megawatts affecting the Indonesian capital, Jakarta [ [ Blackout On Indonesia's Java Due To Coal Disruption] ]

* On February 26, a failed switch and fire at an electrical substation outside Miami triggered widespread blackouts in parts of Florida affecting four million people. The nuclear reactors at Turkey Point power plant were shut down on the convert|84|°F|°C day. [ [,9171,1718539,00.html Citizen Soldiers. Amanda Ripley. TIME. February 29, 2008.] ] The failure knocked out power to customers in 35 southern Florida counties and spread into the northern Florida peninsula. The affected region ultimately ranged from Miami to Tampa on the state's west coast and Brevard County, home to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, on the east. [ [ FPL: Fire at substation was the cause] ] [ [ Failed switch and fire causes massive Florida power outage] ]

*On April 2, 2008 around 420,000 households were left without power in the Australian city of Melbourne, as well as other parts of Victoria after the state was hit by winds of up to 130 km/h, power was restored to most homes later that night or early the next morning, although some homes remained without power until mid Monday April 7 most of which where individual homes whose power had been cut by fallen trees, rather than wide spread blackouts.

*On April 8, 2008, since around 3:30 am around 400,000 persons were left without power in the city of Szczecin and its surroundings (as far as 100 km away from the city), in northwest Poland. The outage has been mostly fixed within 18 hours. The reason was snowfall of wet, heavy snow, which glued to the power cables causing them to break, as well as breaking of one of the major powerline pillars. [ [,80273,5098390.html Awaria w Szczecinie (in Polish)] ]

*On June 24, 2008, a faulty underground wire caused a power failure in Maidstone Town Centre and sorrounding areas, this affected The Mall Maidstone, Fremlin Walk, Royal Star Arcade, Broadway Shopping Centre and the hospital to lose power for numerous hours.

*Between September 13 and September 15, 2008, Hurricane Ike caused approximately 7.5 million to lose power in the United States from Texas to New York.

See also

* Power outage
* World Alliance for Decentralized Energy
* Brittle Power


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