“Mother Nature roughed up the power industry this year,” National Geographic recently reported. 2012 put up a good fight to keep the world in the dark while power outages swept the globe over the last 12 months. With only two weeks left until New Year’s Eve, it seems like the perfect opportunity to count down the top five most impacting power outages of the year.
1.) Hurricane Sandy – October 2012
While Hurricane Sandy did not create the most number of blackouts, it surely was the most detrimental, damaging and life-threatening this year. 8,100,000 homes lost power, N.J. boardwalks were destroyed and lives were tragically taken as Sandy blew through 17 states across the East Coast as far west as Michigan, racking up a total of $25,000,000,000 in estimated dollar value lost for affected businesses. Sandy even caused the New York Stock Exchange to close for two consecutive days – something which hasn’t happened in 124 years since the Blizzard of 1888. In a once in a lifetime experience, many residents of the Big Apple (News - Alert) saw the New York City skyline completely plunged into darkness.
Image via The Atlantic
2.) Hurricane Isaac – August 2012
At the surface, Hurricane Isaac seemed like a slow-moving tropical cyclone, which although caused severe damage in the Caribbean, brought hope of a relatively calm impact on the U.S. Unfortunately this was not the case, as Isaac barreled through and pummeled Florida and the Gulf Coast with flooding rain. At the time, presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both visited the grief-stricken areas. Power outages specifically hit Louisiana hard, where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) even issued a list of tips for keeping communication steady during such emergencies. Below, a flooded community in LaPlace, L.A.
3.) Halloween Nor’easter - November 2012
About one week after Hurricane Sandy started to finally settle, a horrible Nor’easter passed through already devastated areas of the East Coast. Before some residents even had a chance to recuperate or embrace relief efforts, Mother Nature sent a wintry mix their way, where certain regions with no power experienced over a foot of snow. Some families were forced to create fires in their backyard using destroyed furniture thrown out into the streets. This Nor’easter only prolonged power protection efforts, and its grim timing leaves it as a contender on this list.
4.) India Power Outage – July 2012
With 620 million people affected by the power outage in India this summer, it was named one of the world’s biggest blackouts in history. The blackouts were caused by the country’s energy crisis, which cascaded over half of India when three of its regional grids collapsed, the Huffington Post reported, adding that the blackout made huge waves in the country’s political standing as well. This monstrous outage caused many to second-guess the country’s outdated infrastructure as well as the government’s inability to meet the country’s great need for energy, the site reported, as this event transpired only one day after a smaller yet similar outage happened when one of India’s northern power grids collapsed for several hours.
Image via The Huffington Post
5.) Marmara Blackout – January 2012
Soon to be one year ago, a massive power outage swept over parts of Marmara, Turkey due to a technical failure, which left most of Istanbul, its most densely populated city, in the dark. Specifically, a total of about 20 million lost power due to a transformer failure, leaving six cities in the Marmara Region of the country affected. Not only were all methods of transportation knocked out, but gas heating systems didn’t work and industrial production was severely affected as well.
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