Midwest Derecho Causes Mass Power Outages

A derecho tore through the Midwest early this week, just days after Hurricane Isaias wreaked havoc on the East Coast.

Derechos are widespread, long-lived windstorms accompanied by rapidly moving showers and thunderstorms. The most recent one that ravaged through the Midwest reported wind speeds over 100 miles per hour — making it as deadly as some tornadoes. 

The line of storms slammed through downtown Chicago and surrounding areas, damaging homes and buildings, downing trees and power lines, blocking roadways, and sparking fires throughout the city. 

More than a million homes and businesses in the Midwest are still without power, with Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana having the greatest number of outages. “Everybody in town is without power except those with a generator”, according to Mayor Joel Greer of Marshalltown, Iowa.

ComEd expects that it will take several days to restore power to all of the customers affected by the storm, with more than 800 working around the clock and over 1,100 mutual assistance workers coming in from out of state to assist in restoration efforts. 

Although this derecho isn’t a hurricane, it does signal a turbulent storm season: The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been a record-breaker, with nine named storms so far. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an “extremely active” season and storms with above average intensity.

With all the power outages caused by the recent storms, it’s important to be prepared with a backup generator. The DuroMax XP12000EH offers power and versatility — with 12,000 starting watts and 9,500 running watts, this unit can handle heavy loads from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner. Perfect for home backup, the Dual Fuel option doubles fuel life when running propane, making this unit an effective, low-maintenance solution for your home standby needs.

Cover image by Tyler LaRiviere