Here’s How Much Damage Snowstorm Jonas Can Do To The Power Grid

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The massive winter snowstorm expected to cover the East Coast with record levels of snowfall this weekend could cause serious problems to the nation’s energy infrastructure, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA even created a webpage overlaying real time information about the storm over the nation’s energy infrastructure. Electric transmissions lines as well as oil and gas wells are sure to be adversely affected.

EIA Disruption Report

(Source: Energy Information Administration)

The storm’s heavy snow and strong winds could lead to serious power outages, making essentially impassable roads extremely difficult to fix.

Governors in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, and the mayor of Washington, D.C. have declared states of emergencies ahead of the storm. Forecasters expect the strongest winds and most life-threatening conditions will occur Friday night through Saturday night.

“By Sunday morning, nearly one-quarter of the U.S. population (about 75 million people) could get 6 inches or more of snow,” Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, wrote on his blog. “Consistent with the weather model forecasts for the last several of days… the area around Washington D.C. would be hardest hit, with about 2 feet of snow expected.”

The National Weather Service says that more than two feet of snow could accumulate between Friday night and Sunday morning across the East Coast.

Public schools will be closed, and “non-essential” government employees will leave work by noon on Friday. Even the D.C. Metro will be closed for the weekend starting late Friday evening.

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