Power Knocked Out for Hundreds of Thousands in the Mid-Atlantic
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, March 06, 2013, 04:14 PM EST
Nearly 600 Maryland residents with FirstEnergy are without power. Pennsylvania FirstEnergy is reporting over 2,300 outages. Numbers in the nation's capitol are still low but slowly rising as the storm builds into the area.
Virginia's Dominion Electric is reporting over 91,000 people without power as of 11:00 a.m. on March 6. Nearly 70,000 of those outages are from out of the Shenandoah Valley/Western Piedmont region.
Overall, The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is reporting 160,000 without power from various companies across the state.
There have been 17 outages affecting over 500 Delmarva Power customers, which includes the nation's capital.
Heavier snow causes power outages to be especially common during early- and late-season storms. At the start and end of winter temperatures tend to be higher. This change in temperature, even if only by a few degrees, can make a big difference in the consistency of snow. When surface temperatures are well below freezing, snow stays light and powdery. When snow falls on ground that is just above freezing it melts slightly, which adds more moisture to the snow that accumulates. This results in heavier, stickier snow that not only weighs down power lines, it also weighs down tree branches that hang over power line, causing them to snap under the weight. Moisture-laden snow is also more likely to develop a heavy layer of ice when the temperatures drop overnight.
By Samantha-Rae Tuthill, staff writer for AccuWeather.com