| Insights | Electric Reliability Blog

FERC & NERC Staff Issue October 2011 Northeast Transmission Outage Report

On May 31, 2012, FERC and NERC staff released a report issuing findings and recommendations behind a transmission outage which occurred in the Northeastern United States on October 29-30, 2011.  An unprecedented fall snowstorm hit the Northeastern United States, blanketing the region with up to 2 1/2 feet of heavy, wet snow.  The quantity of snow held by the unusually top-heavy trees, coupled with the soft, wet ground, resulted in a great number of healthy trees, most outside of utility rights-of-way, being uprooted and falling onto distribution and transmission lines.  This report makes several recommendations to help reduce the adverse impacts of future, similar weather events on the transmission system, including: (1) where appropriate, taking targeted steps to address off-right-of-way danger trees; (2) employing best practices in managing vegetation on full rights-of-way; (3) laying the foundation for effective vegetation management when establishing new rights-of-way; and (4) enhancing storm preparedness and response plans as needed. In addition, staff recommends increasing reporting of vegetation-caused outages and improving the content of required disturbance reports. To view the report, click here.