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Telecommunications Power Plant Damage Assessment for Hurricane Katrina– Site Survey and Follow-Up Results

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4 Author(s)
Alexis Kwasinski ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA ; Wayne W. Weaver ; Patrick L. Chapman ; Philip T. Krein

This paper extends knowledge of disaster impact on the telecommunications power infrastructure by discussing the effects of Hurricane Katrina based on an on-site survey conducted in October 2005 and on public sources. It includes observations about power infrastructure damage in wire-line and wireless networks. In general, the impact on centralized network elements was more severe than on the distributed portion of the grids. The main cause of outage was lack of power due to fuel supply disruptions, flooding and security issues. This work also describes the means used to restore telecommunications services and proposes ways to improve logistics, such as coordinating portable generator set deployment among different network operators and reducing genset fuel consumption by installing permanent photovoltaic systems at sites where long electric outages are likely. One long term solution is to use of distributed generation. It also discusses the consequences on telecom power technology and practices since the storm.

Published in:

IEEE Systems Journal  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 3 )