Last weekend, a severe winter storm struck the eastern United States and left one million Americans without power. The blackouts spanned from Arkansas to Massachusetts. But, any fears of Sandy-level outages were not realised.
All told, the blizzard brought more than a foot of snow to at least 14 states, with several places recording record snowfall levels. But, because of advanced warning, utilities were able to prepare for potential power outages. In the end, the number of people impacted was less than one-eighth (11.7%) of those impacted during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
According to the U.S. DOE, Duke Energy had the most outages of any utility in the area, with nearly 500,000 customers in the Carolinas losing power. According to the DOE’s Energy Assurance Daily, the power was back online for almost everyone affected by the storm by Wednesday afternoon. Conversely, many of those impacted by Sandy were without power for over a week.
The blizzard took out power to PBF Energy’s Delaware City refinery, which accounts for 15% of East Coast's total operable refining capacity. But, this was the only refinery that reported storm-related problems over the weekend. While natural gas demand rose slightly, both prices and supply remained stable.