Massive winter storm batters US

January 10, 2024 10:40 am

A person walks in snow and high winds as a winter storm moves through the midwest United States in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. [Source: Reuters]

A massive winter storm moving across the eastern half of the U.S. on Tuesday knocked out power to over 418,000 homes and businesses in 12 states ahead of a brutal freeze expected to blanket the region starting this weekend.

The hardest hit states so far were Florida with over 102,000 power outages, Georgia with over 62,000 outages and North Carolina with over 44,000 outages, according to data from

The biggest power companies in those states are units of NextEra Energy (NEE.N) in Florida, Southern Co (SO.N) in Georgia and Duke Energy (DUK.N) in North Carolina.

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Extreme weather is a reminder of the February freeze in 2021 that left millions in Texas and other U.S. Central states without power, water and heat for days, and a winter storm in December 2022 – known as Elliott in the energy industry – that almost caused the collapse of power and natural gas systems in parts of the eastern half of the country.

The current storm is covering most of the country east of the Mississippi River, according to It is moving toward the U.S. Northeast.

The storm is coming ahead of what will likely be the nation’s coldest weather since December 2022, according to data from financial firm LSEG.

LSEG projected gas demand, used to heat about half the homes in the country, would reach a daily record of 170.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Jan. 15 and 173.7 bcfd on Jan. 16.

Traders noted it would be unusual for gas use to hit a record on Jan. 15 since it is the U.S. Martin Luther King Day holiday when many businesses and government offices will be shut for a long weekend.

If correct, gas demand, including exports, on Jan. 15 and 16 would top the current daily record of 162.5 bcfd set on Dec. 23, 2022, according to federal energy data from S&P Global Commodities Insights.

One billion cubic feet is enough gas to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

Despite the coming cold, spot power and gas prices have not reacted much to the current storm, but gas futures have soared about 30% over the past six days and were trading at a two-month high of around $3.25 per million British thermal units.