Oregon is the #10 state with the most power outages in the last year

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November 20, 2021

Oregon is the #10 state with the most power outages in the last year

An aging power infrastructure and a growing climate crisis have left U.S. residents increasingly in the dark. Traditionally, power outages are caused by singular disruptions—a car rams into a pole, equipment fails, or a tree falls onto a power line. These incidents usually affect small areas for short periods. However, as the changing climate spurs more natural disasters, power outages also become more frequent and severe.

Stacker analyzed data from the Department of Energy to identify the states that have experienced the most power outages since the start of 2021. Data was available through June 2021, so it does not include more recent natural disasters like Hurricane Ida. These states do share one severe weather incident: the arctic blast that caused record low temperatures across 48 states in February 2021.

Read on to find out how many power outages your state has experienced this year, or check out the top 15 here.

Oregon by the numbers

- Total electric disturbance events (2021): 7
--- Most common cause: system operations

- Total electric disturbance events (2020): 14
--- Most common cause: vandalism, system operations

While system malfunctions are the most common cause of power outages in Oregon, extreme weather can also cause power failure. Power lines aren't equipped to handle excessive ice, and in February 2021, an ice storm disrupted power for at least 260,000 Oregonians. In September 2020, Portland General Electric shut off power for 5,000 customers to mitigate a wildfire risk—a first for the company.

These outages are life-threatening in more ways than one. Power outages leave residents without air conditioning or heating, making them susceptible to heatstroke or hypothermia. Furthermore, improper use of alternative energy sources like grills or gas-powered generators can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

During an outage, hospitals resort to contingency plans to power only the most vital equipment. Accessibility is hindered as motorized stair lifts and elevators stop functioning. Prolonged power outages also disrupt the food supply chain. Factories pause or halt production, warehouses stop loading trucks, and stores lose perishable food.

Keep reading to see which states had the most and least power outages this year.

States with the most power outages in the last year

#1. Texas: 66 total electric disturbance events (2021)
#2. Louisiana: 19 total electric disturbance events (2021)
#3. California: 15 total electric disturbance events (2021)

States with the least power outages in the last year

#1. West Virginia: 1 total electric disturbance events (2021)
#2. Virginia: 1 total electric disturbance events (2021)
#3. Tennessee: 1 total electric disturbance events (2021)

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