10 U.S. states with the longest power outages
Most families have experienced a power outage at one point or another. Meanwhile, some families live in states that experience the longest power outages.
Every state in the U.S. experienced a power outage in 2019. This is according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Power Industry Report. On average, we went without power and electricity for 4.7 hours throughout the year. Meanwhile, residents of the following 10 states experienced the longest power outages.
States with the longest power outages
Power outages in Maine
Maine residents experienced an average of over 15 hours of power outage. Winter storms with strong winds and heavy precipitation were key reasons for power outages in Maine. For example, the nor'easter in October 2019 alone left over 200,000 Mainers without electricity. A combination of heavily forested areas and high winds also often cause power outages in Maine. Unfortunately, Maine has been the state with the longest power outages three of the last four years.
Power outages in West Virginia
West Virginia residents experienced a power outage an average of over 12 hours. The state is also frequently ranked year over year among the top five states with the longest power outages. Severe weather is the common cause of power outages in West Virginia. Ice storms and deep freezing often leaves residents of West Virginia without electricity.
Power outages in California
California residents experienced an average of over 10 hours without power. California is a new entrant to the top section of states with the longest power outages list. Wildfires and associated planned power outages have been primary reasons for long power outages in California. Nearly 1 million customers were without power during one instance of a planned power outage. You can read more what is planned power outage and preparation tips.
Power outages in Michigan
Michigan residents experienced an average power outage of over nine hours. There was not a single large weather event that caused a significant power outage in Michigan. Instead, frequent severe weather events throughout the year kept causing power outages. These included the ice storm in February, thunderstorms in July and September, and high winds in November.
Power outages in Louisiana
Louisiana residents experienced an average power outage of over eight hours. It is not surprising to have Louisiana towards the top of the states with the longest power outages list. Hurricane season often causes power outages in Louisiana. Moreover, we are experiencing increased activity during hurricane seasons in recent years. This often results in increased duration of power outages.
Power outages in Vermont
Vermont residents experienced an average of eight hours without power. Forests and snow, two things most of us imagine when we think of Vermont. Vermont gets lots of snow, more than 80 inches per year to be accurate. Vermont is also one of the most heavily forested states. A combination of dense forests and heavy snowfall makes falling tree limbs a key reason for power outages.
Power outages in Arkansas
Arkansas residents experienced an average power outage of over seven hours. Severe weather came in the form of heavy storms in the state. Two rounds of storms made it even worse for the residents and the local utility company, Entergy, to recover from extended power outages.
Power outages in Mississippi
Mississippi residents experienced an average of over seven hours without power. There was not a single major event that caused the lengthy outage. Instead, a range of weather events throughout the year caused frequent outages. These included stormy weather in August, Tropical Storm Olga in October and gusty winds in November.
Power outages in Wisconsin
Wisconsin residents experienced an average of over six hours without power outage. A mix of severe weather events throughout the year caused this power outage duration. These severe weather events included storms and heatwaves in the summer, and high winds and heavy snowfall in the winter. Many families even stayed in the dark during Thanksgiving.
Power outages in South Carolina
South Carolina residents experienced an average power outage of over five hours. Hurricane Dorian was one key reason for this extended power outage duration. The hurricane left more than 270,000 residents in the dark as it travelled up coast.
States with the shortest power outages
Residents in seven states experienced an average of less than two hours without power a year. Here are the states and the average annual duration of time without power:
- Illinois: Just under two hours of power outage a year; 116 minutes.
- Delaware: 102 minutes of power outage a year.
- Florida: 89 minutes of power outage a year.
- Nevada: 87 minutes of power outage a year.
- Arizona: 83 minutes of power outage a year.
- Nebraska: 79 minutes of power outage a year.
- District of Columbia: Just a little over an hour of power outage; 77 minutes a year.
Florida is the one state that is surprising to see on the shortest power outage times list. Florida often ranks towards the top of states with the longest power outages. The is primarily due to the hurricanes impacting the state. In 2019, Florida was able to manage these severe weather events and minimize the length of power outages.
Check out how long is the power outage are in each state if you are interested in power outages in other states. You can also read about the linkage between weather events, disasters and power outages in your state.
Preparing for a power outage is key in protecting your family and home. Consider purchasing a home generator. This ensures vital medical equipment and appliances like sump pumps and refrigerators stay on during a power outage. A home generator can provide backup power in case of an unexpected or planned power outage. Cummins home generators are extremely quiet, aesthetically pleasing and remotely accessible.