Hurricane Florence Power Outage Forecasts

This page contains power outage forecasts for Hurricane Florence from the Spatially Generalized Hurricane Power Outage Model (SGHOPM) developed by Guikema, et al. The paper describing it, Predicting Hurricane Power Outages to Support Storm Response Planning, IEEE Access, 2014, is available (open access) here.

Hurricane Florence Power Outage Forecast. Colors show the fraction of the population predicted to be without power at the census tract level. The total number of people predicted to be without power is shown in the figure legend. Please go to the National Hurricane Center for details on the storm and the currently active storm warnings and advisories.

A note on how to interpret the total provided. Technically, this model is estimating population without power, not customers without power. On utility outage web pages, customers without power is reported. A customer is a meter. Our model estimates people without power instead. In most states the ratio of people to meters is between 3:1 and 4:1. If our model estimated 3 million people without power, this would translate to approximately 750,000 to 1 million customers without power.

Please note that this model was trained with data primarily from hurricanes that did not stall out or move slowly, producing large amounts of rain (e.g, Harvey). Because of this, the model does not fully account for inland outages caused by riverine flooding due to prolonged, heavy rainfall. There is uncertainty on the level of inland outages, and the model may be underestimating outages in inland areas, particularly in and near flood-prone areas.

This is likely our last update of the projected outage map for Hurricane Florence. The storm is slowly approaching land fall. Keep in mind when considering the outage estimates that our model estiamtes wind-induced outages, not flood-induced outages. In remains to be seen how many additional outages occur in inland areas due to flooding. Flooding is certainly one of the largest hazards from this system.

A few details: This model takes as input track and intensity forecasts from the National Hurricane Center and estimates the fraction of the popualtion without power at the census tract level. The model is a statistical outage forecasting model based on wind speed estimates and population density. Note that this is a simpler model than the model we ran for Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, and Harvey. If the results from the more recent models can be made available, they will be added to this web page as well. The results presented here are from the same model that we used for Hurricane Sandy.

The outage estimates are provided for informational purposes only and are the product of a research project at the collaborating institutions. The information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. The investigators and their universities do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained on this website. This research was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and a private utility.

For further information, you can contact Seth Guikema via email. In addition, it should be noted that Chengwei Zhai , a University of Michigan PhD student, automated the model and created the graphics of the output.