If you live in Minnesota and just opened up this story, I am not going to tell you to sit down and get ready to brace for some bad news.  No.  Instead of sitting, we need to prepare for what could potentially happen in not just our area but throughout most of the Midwest.  Yes, that means if you live in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, this is your word of caution too.

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Minnesota Department of Transportation photo
Minnesota Department of Transportation photo
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Is It True That Minnesota Could Experience Blackouts in 2024?

A few months ago, Reuters shared a post on Facebook that led to some major concerns for our winter.

"More than half of the U.S. and parts of Canada, home to around 180 million people, could fall short of electricity during extreme cold again this winter due to lacking natural gas infrastructure..."

- Reuters on Facebook

 

Blackouts Are Possible for the Next Decade in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin

As you are well aware, power is a huge need for the residents of Minnesota in the winter.  Without it, our pipes will freeze, our homes have the potential to suffer incredible damage in extremely cold temperatures, and people will be in danger.  Plus, if our kids lose wifi for more than a minute, they go into complete panic mode!  #YouKnowItIsTrue

Photo by Nicolas Herrera on Unsplash
Photo by Nicolas Herrera on Unsplash
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The good news is that our winter has been unseasonably warm.  We barely have any snow on the ground right now in most of the state.  In fact, it is so warm that ticks have started to emerge again and have been spotted in our state.

READ MORE: Hungry Ticks Already On The Prowl in Minnesota

But, this is Minnesota.  I've lived here long enough to know that just because January and February have had some nice, spring-like days, it doesn't mean winter won't show up again.  If it does and those extreme cold snaps come with it, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, several states in the midwest could experience blackouts.

NERC_WRA infographic_ 2023_board information copy
NERC_WRA infographic_ 2023_board information copy
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A large portion of the North American BPS is at risk of insufficient electricity supplies during peak winter conditions. Prolonged, wide-area cold snaps threaten the reliable performance of BPS generation and the availability of fuel supplies for natural-gas-fired generation. As observed in recent winter reliability events, over 20% of generating capacity has been forced off-line when freezing temperatures extend over parts of North America that are not typically exposed to such conditions. When electricity supplies become constrained, BPS system operators can face a simultaneous sharp increase in demand as electric heating systems consume more power in cold temperatures. These areas are at greatest risk for electricity supply shortfalls this winter: - NERC.com

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash
Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash
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Based on the report from NERC, this concern is going to continue on for the next decade.  In other words, if you don't have batteries in your flashlights, candles, and matches available, along with some extra food and water to allow you to stay indoors and safe for a few days, you might want to stock up.

Top 10 Items People in Minnesota Stock Up On When They Hear "Storm"

I am pretty sure that as soon as the word "storm" shows up in the forecast, people in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin are just trained to hop in their cars and go to the store. Stocking up on supplies becomes our #1 priority and we shop like we have absolutely nothing in our house to eat. So, we will up our carts with all "the things" and hope we grabbed enough to make it through the storm.

FYI - we will make it through the storm, and some of us will do that with Double Stuffed Oreos. Some of us will not...because the store shelf was empty by the time we got there.

Below are a few of the top items that we grab at the last minute before the storm hits.

Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

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