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Agency: 2017 saw longer power interruptions due to hurricanes, winter storms | TribLIVE.com
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Agency: 2017 saw longer power interruptions due to hurricanes, winter storms

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Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
A Duquesne Light Co. employee works on high power lines along Hulton Road near 13th Street in Oakmont in July.

The average U.S. electricity customer had interruptions in power totaling nearly eight hours in 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Friday.

The number of hours without power was nearly double the average total duration in 2016, which the EIA attributed to more hurricanes and winter storms in 2017 and longer interruptions caused by major events.

Excluding major events, the average duration of interruptions customers experienced was almost identical in 2016 and 2017 — about two hours in both years. In 2017, the average customer experienced 1.4 interruptions counting major events and 1.0 interruption excluding major events, the EIA said.

Washington, D.C., New Jersey, North Dakota, Arizona and South Dakota had the shortest total time interrupted in 2017, with average interruptions ranging from 58 minutes (District of Columbia) to 95 minutes (South Dakota).

Maine, Florida, New Hampshire, Georgia and Vermont on average had the longest total time interrupted in 2017. In each of those states, the large interruption durations were caused by major events such as winter storms (in the case of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) or hurricanes (in the case of Florida and Georgia). The average customer interruption time in the latter five states ranged from 15 hours in Vermont to 42 hours in Maine.

Puerto Rico experienced the longest U.S. blackout in history as a result of Hurricane Maria; however, the data in this analysis does not include Puerto Rico.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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