Earth Watch Report - Power Outage – Storms
|25.06.2013||Power Outage||USA||State of Nebraska, Omaha|
|A severe thunderstorm hit the Omaha metro area around 10 am packing 70 mph winds and heavy rain. Those strong winds downed trees, power lines and caused outages throughout Douglas and Sarpy Counties. There are reports of trees down all over the city blocking streets and bringing down power lines. Omaha Fire Department units are busy responding to calls of smoldering tree limbs on power lines. Omaha Public Power District perhaps has the biggest job ahead of them. Nearly 50,000 customers are without service. Loss of service also means traffic lights are not working and that is causing backups throughout the entire metro area. The storm also impacted Council Bluffs and most intersections there are also four-way stops. There were reports of trees down at several locations in that city as well. MidAmerican Energy is reporting is reporting that about 5,000 customers are without service.|
‘Intense’ morning storm causes power outages, tree damage around Omaha
A summer storm that blasted through the Omaha metropolitan area Monday morning downing trees and power lines came about when several thunderstorms joined forces about 4 a.m. in eastern Nebraska.
Frank Strait, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, The World-Herald’s private weather consultant, said forecasters had been predicting chances of thunderstorms, but they “were caught off guard” by the strength of the severe weather.
“We knew there was a good chance of thunderstorms popping up, but what we got was a cluster of thunderstorms organizing into a squall line with high winds in the eastern part of the state,” Strait said. “That made everything more intense.”
More photos: Storm damages trees around Omaha
Scott Dergan, of the National Weather Service in Valley, said the storm began with winds of 40 mph on the western edge of Douglas County about 10 a.m. By the time the storm reached Eppley Airfield on the eastern boundary of the county 45 minutes later, winds there were clocked at 69 mph.
The storm continued through Iowa, with Harlan reporting winds of 75 mph, Dergan said. The line of thunderstorms was expected to hit Chicago late Monday or early Tuesday.
“A lot of times storms like this take time to brew before they get what we call water loaded, and then they accelerate,” Dergan said. “It was nothing specific about the metro area such as the urban heat island effect. It was just Mother Nature.”