Punishing March Weather Continues With Winter Storms Quinn and Skylar

Published On
Mar 15, 2018

In the weeks after Winter Storm Riley tore through the Midwest and the East Coast, Mother Nature has not slowed down. Two more nor’easters have since impacted the Northeast, leaving utilities with little downtime before jumping into recovery mode once more.

The storms—dubbed winter storms Quinn and Skylar, respectively—hit the area between Philadelphia and New York particularly hard. Winter Storm Quinn impacted the Philadelphia region starting on March 6, bringing with it heavy snow and interrupting restoration efforts following the storm from the previous weekend.

PECO, the utility serving the Philadelphia region, said that through the duration of both winter storms Quinn and Riley, more than 2,600 employees and local contractors were working on restoration efforts. Approximately 2,800 line workers from other states were mobilized to assist, as well.

PECO restoring power in Philadelphia
PECO employees work diligently to remove and replace a downed utility pole damaged by high winds in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. Credit: Paul Philpott

On March 11, PECO announced that all electrical service had finally been restored to customers affected by the storms. The utility estimates that about 750,000 of its customers were affected in total.

“We understand the frustration of our customers who experienced outages for multiple days,” said Craig Adams, President and CEO of PECO, in the March 11 statement. “Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked to safely repair the widespread damage and restore power to those impacted by the storm.”

For those in New England, one more storm was waiting to create havoc for utilities and their customers. Winter Storm Skylar impacted the region starting March 12, with some areas getting as much as 25 inches of wet snow along with blustering winds.

National Grid, the utility serving areas in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as areas in New York state, stayed active through all three storms. On March 14, it announced it was finally nearing complete restoration. Before Skylar hit, the company had already restored power to 548,000-plus customers across Massachusetts.

Eversource crews working on power restoration during the blizzard. Credit: Peter Marteka/Hartford Courant
Eversource crews working on power restoration during the blizzard in Middletown, Conn. Credit: Peter Marteka/Hartford Courant

“Outages for National Grid customers peaked at more than 241,000 after Riley and nearly 307,000 after Quinn,” according to a National Grid statement. “National Grid was in the midst of restoration efforts for Quinn as the company began planning for Skylar.”

Through all the storms, National Grid said more than 800,000 customers lost service at some point. On March 14, the company announced a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund.

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