More than 11 Million Could Lose Power from Sandy

By Pete Winn | October 29, 2012 | 3:19 PM EDT


Flooding in Virginia Beach, Va., during Hurricane Sandy. (AP photo)

( - More than 11 million people along the Eastern Seaboard could lose power before Hurricane Sandy is over, according to a Johns Hopkins University engineering professor, who based his prediction on a computer model that he developed based on both current forecasts and data from outages in 11 past hurricanes.


Engineer Seth Guikema says hardest hit will be Pennsylvania, with nearly 4 million people losing power during Sandy. New Jersey will follow, with 3.4 million people predicted to lose power, and Maryland will be right behind with 2 million people predicted to lose power.

Washington, D.C., Delaware and Northern Virginia will have fewer outages, with under a million people combined predicted to experience outages.

Guikema and his team of researchers are using the official National Hurricane Center track and intensity forecast as well as historical data. The computer model is based on expected gust wind speed, expected duration of strong winds greater than 20 meters per second, and population density.

“It is possible that 11 million people is a conservative estimate,” Guikema said in a news release.