First Winter Storm of 2018 Hits Northeast and Midwest with a Fury

November 16, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

Winter storm Avery seemed to catch Northeast off guard yesterday afternoon, with snowy conditions crippling rush hour traffic.  Major roadways across New York City were effectively closed due to traffic congestion that made it impossible for snow plows to clear the roads.  In many places, drivers were forced to abandon their cars when they ran out of gas.  A 30-mile stretch of I-78 in Pennsylvania was at a standstill for hours, with police having to wake up some drivers who had fallen asleep during the wait.  The storm also caused cancellations and delays of thousands of flight to and from airports in the region.

In West Orange (News - Alert), New Jersey, officials forced school buses to stop their routes due to the severity of road conditions until they got the all clear signal from police and could transporting students again.  That forced many students to spend the night in their schools, which fortunately had power so the students were able to stay entertained with games, movies, and were fed with food from cafeterias, remaining safe and warm until parents were able to pick them up in the morning.

Others across the region, including parts of the Midwest, weren’t as fortunate, losing power during the course of first winter storm of the season, which included heavy snow, ice, and rain.  According to PowerOutages.US, nearly 300,000 utility customers were still without power as of 3:00pm today across Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia. 

The storm was one of the earliest major winter storms in history and, with many more likely to come, serves as a reminder to businesses and consumers alike to make sure they are prepared for power outages during the season, which can often take longer to fix due to road conditions and severity of damage due to heavy precipitation.

For businesses, in particular, every power outage represents a risk to the technology that powers their operations.  Surges that typically accompany outages can damage circuitry in technology and cause entire systems be unavailable until repairs can be made or replacement equipment can be located, delivered, installed, and configured.  The expense and business downtime make an easy case for preventative measures, like a power protection system.

Power protection and UPS systems are designed to do exactly that – protect equipment from damage from power fluctuations and outages.  With voltage regulators and backup power, systems are shielded from damaging surges, and UPS units provide enough power to shut systems down properly and prevent data loss or corruption.  Properly sized systems can prevent any sized business from suffering extended impacts of power outages to critical technology, beyond the duration of the outage itself.

Edited by Erik Linask