The Sperry-Piltz Ice Accumulation Index (power outage index), an extremely useful, well-validated, tool for gauging the severity of ice storm damage to the electric grid has reached its (rare) highest value. The latest (via Twitter) is below:
Now, consider these SPIA values across a map of electrical transmission lines (the type you see on tall towers).
Here are the impacts of the damage corresponding to SPIA values:
While this is, generally, a sparsely populated area, if you or relatives live there, here are things to be thinking about:
- If you wish to make a move do it tonight before the storm arrives.
- If you have a baby or infant, infirm relative or someone who is dependent on electricity for medical assistance, consider evacuating now.
- Thinking about staying? Make sure you are able to live independently for two weeks.
- At minimum, fill your fuel tank, charge devices, etc. Turn off your phone and computer except when you absolutely need them. You may have to make that charge last a very long time.
This storm is very roughly a 50-year event. So, don't judge this as a typical winter storm. It is a powerful, rare event.