An engineer at The Johns Hopkins University is predicting power outages for at least 11 million people, specifically in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
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October 29, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Lunday
Cell: (410) 804-2551
Using a computer model based on a current forecast as well as data from past hurricanes, an engineer at The Johns Hopkins University predicts that nearly 4 million people in Pennsylvania will lose power during Hurricane Sandy. New Jersey will follow closely behind with 3.4 million people predicted to lose power, and Maryland with 2 million people predicted to lose power. Washington, D.C., and Delaware will have fewer outages, with 300,000 and 425,000 people predicted to lose power, respectively.
Seth Guikema (pronounced Guy-keh-ma) and his team have developed a computer model built on outage data from 11 hurricanes to estimate the fraction of customers who will lose power, based on expected gust wind speed, expected duration of strong winds greater than 20 meters per second, and population density. They ran their model using the official National Hurricane Center track and intensity forecast from 6 a.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 29, and emphasize that the number of power outages could change as the storm progresses and forecasts become more definitive. While the figures above add up to more than 10 million people, Guikema and his team predict that 11 million people in the path of Hurricane Sandy will lose power. It is possible that 11 million people is a conservative estimate, Guikema said.
Guikema’s model may help power companies allocate resources by predicting how many people will be without power and where the most outages will take place, and it provides information that emergency managers can use to better prepare for storms. Guikema, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, says the goal is to restore power faster and save customers money. Guikema will be running the model today and this week as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.
To speak to with Guikema contact Amy Lunday at 410-804-2551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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