Power outages can be a nuisance. And in severely cold areas they can be deadly too. In this day and age, electricity is a must to complete our everyday tasks. So, it is important to know the duration of a power outage.
Which brings us to today’s question, how long do most power outages last?
The answer varies. Based on the cause of the outage, and the state of the outage. As each state has a variety of weather issues to deal with which may differ from other states. Not to mention the damage done to the power lines can also vary the duration of the power outage.
In this article, I will go over the average and total duration of power outages all over the USA, as well as the factors that can dictate and directly affect the duration of the power outage.
How Long Do Power Outages Last?
The duration of power outages depends often on the cause, and it can vary based on the state. Let’s delve further into the statistics.
The average power outage duration in the USA range from 106 minutes up to 118 minutes. Which means around 2 hours on average. But not all states face the same amount of power outages. Or outages of the same duration. Some states have a longer duration than others.
So, how long do most power outages last (USA)? Let’s take a look at the top ten states with the longest duration of power outages per year and the ten states with the shortest duration of outages per year.
Ten States with the Most Power Outages
1. Maine: 15 Hours.
Mostly due to the harsh winter winds and storms. The heavy forests combined with extreme winds are the main catalyst of power outages in Maine.
2. West Virginia: 12 Hours.
In West Virginia, power disruptions are frequently caused by severe climate conditions. Residents of West Virginia are frequently without power due to ice storms and extreme cold.
3. California: 10 Hours.
California mostly suffers from wildfire and planned outages by the authorities.
4. Michigan: 9 Hours.
In Michigan, not many huge climate disasters were the culprit behind the power outages. Instead, there were numerous small weather events that caused the summation of power outages.
5. Louisiana: 8 Hours.
Hurricanes are no strangers to the people of Louisiana. They are the main catalyst behind most of the power outages in the state.
6. Vermont: 8 Hours.
Vermont’s condition is pretty similar to Maine’s. Vermont has to face a huge amount of snow each year. And combined with the forests of Vermont, is a perfect recipe for power outages.
7. Arkansas: 7 Hours.
In Arkansas, power outages are mostly contributed to heavy storms throughout the year.
8. Mississippi: 7 Hours.
Small power outages due to small weather malfunctions contributed to all of the power outages in Mississippi.
9. Wisconsin: 6 Hours.
Storms and heatwaves in the summer, and high winds and heavy snowfall in the winter, were among the extreme weather occurrences which caused the power outages in Wisconsin.
10. South Carolina: 5 Hours.
Hurricanes and storms are the main culprits for power outages in South Carolina.
These are the states suffering from the longest outages over the years. I have also explained the causes of these long duration for each different state. Now let’s take a look at some of the states with the least duration of power outages.
States with the Least Power Outages
- District of Columbia: 77 Minutes.
- Nebraska: 79 Minutes.
- Arizona: 83 Minutes.
- Nevada: 87 Minutes.
- Florida: 89 Minutes.
- Delaware: 102 Minutes.
- Illinois: 116 Minutes.
It’s always a good idea to have a backup generator installed. You may install a generator for a 2000 Sq. Ft House. Or a small one to run a single room or so.
Which Factors Determine the Duration of an Outage?
Power outages can be a result of either a planned load shedding or a weather hazard. The duration of the outage is affected by the cause. I will discuss more of these factors below.
The Cause of the Power Outage:
The cause of the outage directly contributes to the duration of the outage. As workers can easily fix a minor issue within a small amount of time. But if the cause is something major, such as a broken pole, or heavy snow. In such a case, it will naturally take a greater time to fix the issue and supply power again. As it might take a while for the workers to start working.
Damage to the Power Lines:
In some cases, the damage is very minimal. For example, when a bird or a bat is somehow responsible for the power outage. The fix is pretty simple in such a case. But if a car has crashed into a pole, or a transformer has blown, it will take longer to fix the issue.
Fixing the Damage:
If the fix is simple or does not require any special components to be replaced, it will result in a minor power outage. But if a major component has been destroyed or damaged, it will require a longer duration to be fixed.
Resources to Fix the Issue:
If the resources, both the components and the workforce is at disposal on time, then the power outage can be solved sooner. But if the resources are not available at the moment, it will take some time to gather them. And thus, prolonging the outage.
These are some of the most common factors that dictate how long it would take to fix the power outage. There obviously are other factors at work as all. Hence it is always a good idea to have a backup generator. You can also connect a generator without a transfer switch.
So, how long do most power outages last (USA)? I hope this article has managed to give you an explanatory answer to that question. I have gone through most of the reasons and factors behind the duration of a power outage.
Though in most cases outages do not last that long. But it is always a good idea to stay prepared for a long power outage. Make sure you have enough supplies till the power comes back on.