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Causes of Power Outages

What Can Cause a Power Outage?

There are many reasons a power outage may occur. Weather and demand for power at peak hours can cause the majority of outages.

High Winds

Storms, tornados, blizzards, and hurricanes all have to possibility to damage property. High winds can pick up debris and fling it at buildings, homes, and power lines. It is easy for high winds to cause power loss to surrounding homes and businesses.

Heatwaves and Hot Weather

It is easy to imagine how much demand there is to fuel the army of A/C units in heatwaves. For the power plant, heat is a bigger issue. Hot weather makes energy generation less efficient. When there is a high demand, it plays a big role in what causes power outages in summertime.

Heatwave Safety Tips

Winter Storms
Severe winter storms can cause all kinds of danger. Low visibility, frostbite, hypothermia, loss of electricity, and risk of elderly and young children’s health contribute to the dangers of winter. Without power, pipes can freeze and heat quickly becomes a concern.

Read more about Winter Storms

High Winds

Power lines in winter may accumulate ice. When they do, ice forms in an upside down teardrop shape. The shape acts as a sail and makes the power lines sway in the wind. When the power lines sway, there is a possibility for them to make contact with each other and cause a fault or subsequent outage. In strong winds, the movement can also cause power line arms to break and the lines to fall to the ground.

Load Shedding

When a generator is under too much demand, the power company decides to shed some of the load. Areas experience a power outage for a short period, then regain power. This repeats in multiple alternating areas until the demand is decreased.

Learn More About Power Lines

Read more about the power grid and how different types of power are generated.