January 5, 2018

Bomb Cyclone Hits United States and Canada, Causes Over 100K Outages

The new year started off extremely frigid, with a “bomb cyclone” blowing through Florida and Georgia and up the Northeastern U.S. coast. According to CNN, the storm brought over a foot of snow across eight states, and caused power outages for over 133,000 customers across 11 states and parts of Canada. Although the storm moved away from the coast by Friday, January 5, strong winds and cold temperatures remained in the area, making it hard for utility crews to restore power.

Even with the challenging weather conditions, utilities have been hard at work fixing damage and restoring power as quickly as possible. KUBRA has multiple Storm Center outage maps deployed in the area, and they proved instrumental in keeping customers, stakeholders, and the media informed both during and after the storms. The maps saw a combined total of over 1 million views across 15 utilities, from Jan 1-5, with a spike of nearly 70,000 views during the peak of the storm on Jan 4.

Those who viewed the Storm Center outage maps were able to quickly gain an understanding of how broad the damage was across their service territory, as well as details on their individual outage, estimated restoration times, and even locations of utility aid stations, such as warming stations. The alert feature built into the map was also used by utilities to give customers updates, info on what to expect when the storm hits, links to resources, and more.

The KUBRA team was busy behind the scenes making sure that these maps stayed both available and accurate throughout the entire length of the storm and were able to scale to accommodate the huge spike of web traffic.

In order to prepare, KUBRA took several proactive measures:

  • Checked KUBRA-hosted server health including system logs and application logs
  • Verified resources were available for any system that might see increased storm traffic
  • Coordinated 24×7 support plans for increased KUBRA resource availability

KUBRA also had several instances of Notifi deployed in areas affected by the storm. Notifi is an alerts and preference management solution, and utilities were able to use it to proactively communicate with customers, as well as give customers an additional communication channel to self-serve. Notifi was used to send 682,000 messages across 10 utilities, and customers reported over 15,000 outages via two-way text messaging during the week of the storm.

At the conclusion of the storm, KUBRA is happy to announce that all systems performed as expected, without any downtime or major issues affecting the outage maps or alert systems. The Storm Center outage maps were able to provide the necessary information and give a great snapshot of the severity of the storm while the Notifi alert system provided proactive alerts and another self-serve channel for customers.

See below for a sample of Storm Center outage maps during peak outage times.


To view the live map, click here.


Duke Energy – North Carolina

To view the live map, click here.


FirstEnergy – Pennsylvania and New York

To view the live map, click here.


Georgia Power

To view the live map, click here.


National Grid – Massachusetts Electric

To view the live map, click here.


Nova Scotia Power

To view the live map, click here.


PSEG Long Island

To view the live map, click here.



To view the live map, click here.