Burying short sections of power lines would drastically reduce hurricanes’ future impact on coastal residents

August 18, 2022

Phys org: As Earth warms due to climate change, people living near the coasts not only face a higher risk of major hurricanes, but are also more likely to experience a subsequent heat wave while grappling with widespread power outages.

Princeton researchers have investigated the risk of this compound hazard occurring in the future under a “business-as-usual” climate scenario, using Harris County, Texas, as an example. They estimated that the risk of undergoing at least one hurricane-blackout-heat wave lasting more than five days in a 20-year span would increase 23 times by the end of the century. But there is some good news: Strategically burying just 5% of power lines—specifically those near main distribution points—would almost halve the number of affected residents.

This work is the result of DTI-funded energy and climate security research led by P.I. Arindam Banerjee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and co-PI Ning Lin, Princeton University.

Read the article.