(RightWing.org) – Large parts of the South have been swept by violent weather systems. Severe thunderstorms developed on Sunday, followed by tornadoes and heavy rain — and now hundreds of thousands of people don’t have power.
— One America News (@OANN) June 19, 2023
On Sunday, June 18, the National Weather Service issued severe weather alerts across much of the South, from central Texas east to the Florida Panhandle and north to southeast Arkansas and western Tennessee. The storms moved in as predicted, battering some areas with 75 mph winds and unleashing heavy rainfall. The storms followed deadly tornadoes that killed at least three people in Texas the week before.
In the aftermath of the storms, over 640,000 people were left without electricity. The worst affected state was Oklahoma, with almost 291,000 people in the dark. Another 110,000 were blacked out in Louisiana and Texas, 62,000 in Arkansas and 53,000 in Mississippi. By Tuesday, power had been restored to many homes, but tens of thousands of people still didn’t have lights — including over half of the Oklahoma victims.
The US electricity infrastructure isn’t in good condition. For a start, it’s really three separate grids with poor connections between them. It’s suffered from a lack of investment since the 1970s, with 70% of our power lines approaching the end of their planned lives.
Although the Biden administration has borrowed billions to spend on grid upgrades, that money is going to green projects instead of replacing old lines. Meanwhile, we’re powering our 21st-century lifestyles through a grid designed for a much smaller population with few appliances.
With the system in such bad shape already, severe weather can easily knock out huge chunks of it — and, as more people buy electric cars, the problem is just going to get worse.
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