1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 14, 2021 7:50 AM by Rachael Salyer

    Seeking records of a power outage on a certain day

    judy ganeles Newbie

      Would utility companies track this? Any other suggestions?

        • Re: Seeking records of a power outage on a certain day
          Rachael Salyer Tracker

          Dear Ms. Ganeles,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          Where you might look for information about a specific power outage could depend on a number of factors, including when and where the outage occurred. You also may wish to consider the context of the outage; if it occurred, for example, as the result of a serious storm, then there may be some record of it with weather-related information.

           

          For example, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Photographs Relating to Disasters and Emergency Management Programs, Activities, and Officials, 1998-9/26/2016 in the Records of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Record Group 311), which includes 96 images related to power outages. These records have been digitized and may be viewed online in the Catalog. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Still Pictures (RDSS) at stillpix@nara.gov with any questions you might have about them.

           

          Next, we located the series News Releases, 2007-2010 in the General Records of the Department of Labor (Record Group 174) that includes 4 files related to power outages. These records have been digitized and may be viewed online via the Catalog. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Electronic Records (RDE) at cer@nara.gov for assistance with these records.

           

          Plus, we located the series Storm Data Files, 1993-2005 from the Records of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Record Group 370) that includes 8 files related to power outages. These records have been digitized and are available online via the Catalog. Please contact RDE with questions about them.

           

          In addition, you may use The National Archives Catalog to explore records created by the Federal Power Commission, by the Department of Energy’s Bonneville Power Administration, and by other Federal agencies and organizations that may be relevant to your research.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDSS and RDE. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          We located several other online resources that may be helpful for your research, including this List of major power outages and this Data: Explore 15 Years Of Power Outages. Websites like PowerOutage.US and Power Outage Tracker also are available. Plus, state, county, and/or local governments may have the information you are looking for.   

           

          Further, if a general internet search does not yield the information you are looking for, we suggest that you search newspapers from the place and time you are interested in for a record of a power outage. Many newspapers have their own online archives, which may or may not require a fee. Your local library may also offer access to archived newspapers. State or local historical societies might be able to assist you further, too.

           

          Finally, as you noted in your inquiry, individual power companies should be able to provide you with data about power outages. Their websites might contain information about relatively recent outages, and their contact information should also be there. Please note that if you are looking for older information, you may first need to confirm the name of the power company that served a particular area as the name and/or company may have changed over the years.

           

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!