In Bahrain, a fire at a substation blacked out the parliament building, where ministers and MPs were going to meet about energy subsidies. Instead, the Minister of State for Electricity and Water Affairs and senior Electricity and Water Authority executives visited the substation to assess the extent of the damage personally.
Several days after an ice storm, the power remained out for thousands in the Toronto area, ruining Christmas plans and resulting in dangerous conditions for those who couldn’t afford or get to warmer shelter. The same was true for more than 100,000 in Michigan, Vermont, and Maine.
In the UK, more than 50,000 were still without power days after major flooding.
A storm with fierce winds interrupted power to 30,000 customers across Northern Ireland. In Mayobridge, it brought a transmission tower down on two homes. One suffered extensive roof damage; the other caught on fire. Residents of both went to the hospital.
Underground power lines aren’t immune to problems. In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, a drainage contractor dug in to a high-voltage line, knocking out power to 3,000.
In Bondi, Australia, two blackout-inducing underground faults occurred within 12 hours of each other.
Driving only a few blocks from his home, a man in Orange County struck a power pole with his Acura. Both that pole and another fell, leaving 350 local residents without electricity.
Another 1,700 residents in Orange County lost power because of a faulty cable, which also caused a brush fire.