Eaton has released its 2014 Blackout Tracker Annual Report. For the sixth consecutive year, California topped the list of states with the most power outages, followed by Texas and Michigan. On average, 3,996 people were affected for more than 40 minutes per outage in 2014, and power failures impacted people and businesses in all 50 states.
Data for the annual report is based on a full year of reported power outages across the United States from news services, newspapers, websites (including those of newspapers and TV stations) and personal accounts. Overall, 3,634 reported outages were used as the basis for the 2014 report, representing an increase of more than 12 percent from the 3,236 outages reported in 2013. The reported number of people affected by outages increased from 14 million in 2013 to 14.2 million in 2014.
Among the most unusual causes of power outages in 2014:
- On December 13, a parking attendant in Atlanta, Ga., accidentally gave the keys to an Audi A7 to the wrong person. Instead of pointing out the mistake, the person took the car and crashed into a power pole, leaving 4,800 residents without power.
- On September 28, a chicken in Lihue, Hawaii, knocked out power to nearly half the island when it got into co-op equipment at the Kapaa switchyard and tripped the circuit breakers.
- On February 24, a fire truck was blamed for an outage in St. Petersburg, Fla., that left 400 residents in the dark. The truck’s ladder accidentally hooked some power lines and pulled them down.
According to federal databases at the Department of Energy and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the United States suffers more blackouts than any other developed nation. Power outages cost the US economy $150 billion in damages annually.
Eaton has tracked power outage information since February 16, 2008.