Two Million? Five Million? Real Size of U.S. Blackouts a Mystery


(Bloomberg) — It’s not easy putting a number on what is undoubtedly the largest forced blackout in U.S. history.

If you take the Texas power grid operator’s word for it, the rolling outages that have plunged much of the state into darkness amid an unprecedented cold blast have affected at least two million homes and businesses. If you trust a well-known website that scrapes data from 725 utility outage maps nationwide, it’s about 3.3 million in Texas alone, and 3.6 million across four states. But that may not include rolling outages that some power companies aren’t accustomed to reporting.

And if you’re looking at the sheer size of the power load that fell off of Texas’s power grid Tuesday, you’d think it could be exponentially more: As much as 26,000 megawatts of load have been wiped off the grid managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas since Sunday, when the agency warned it would start rolling blackouts to keep the entire system from collapsing, data compiled by Bloomberg show. For reference: A megawatt can power about 200 homes in Texas, according to its grid operator.

The only real way of knowing exactly how many people are being plunged into darkness in one of the worst energy crises America has ever faced would be to call up all of the utilities across the central U.S. cutting power and collect real-time data from them by the second.

But then there’s also the fact that utilities count outages by “customers” rather than actual people. Judging by the average size of a U.S. household, and the amount of load shed in Texas, at least 15 million people may have been plunged into darkness in that state lone.

12 thoughts on “Two Million? Five Million? Real Size of U.S. Blackouts a Mystery

  1. We’ve still got power, had it flicker a bit this morning, but didn’t shut down. We’re using the stored water we put aside because the well is shut off so it doesn’t freeze.
    I woke up in the winter apocalypse several days ago.

        1. And there’s a reason for that, right? You live where there is an actual winter with snow and ice. We don’t, well we didn’t until the sun became less active. Welcome to winter Texans. Get prepared.

          1. Yup Katie, get prepared is right. The winters everywhere will be colder than usual and the growing seasons shorter.

          2. No, they gave you our winter to see how many more of our old people they can kill off with smoke this summer.
            I couldn’t come close to crying this year. Didn’t want Jim and Mary and Hal teasing me.

  2. My power here in Mckinney, TX has been coming on every other hour for the past few days. Finally got hot water back today as it is finally warming up a little.

    Texas has no clue how to deal with a few inches of snow or a cold winter storm. Coming from a person who grew up in Buffalo, NY, I find it kinda pathetic and downright hilarious.

    Oh well. I guess having a fireplace in Dallas is good for something now. LOL!

    1. I’m not from or in Texas and I’m certainly not arguing with you BUT I seriously doubt the weather had anything to do with it.. these fuks lie when the truth is easier. i have no doubt they turned it off for whatever horshit reason and just blame it on weather cause we have NO WAY to prove it yea or nay. EVIL. that’s who they are that’s what they do. I’ve NEVER seen power go out because it snowed or iced. as far as that kind of weather.. Texas and Alabama ain’t so different. it’s all lies just to get us mad at the wrong things.. take care good luck.

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