One of the concerns with the snow storm last week was the potential for power outages. Because the leaves were still on the trees, the surface area that snow can accumulate on was greatly expanded. With temperatures above freezing, the snow that fell was quite heavy as it had very high water content.
The average ratio of water content in the snow in this area is 14:1. Meaning it would take 14 inches of snow to equal 1 inch of rain. Last Thursday’s snow event that ratio was as low as 4:1. A gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds. If you took a gallon jug of water and hung it on a tree branch, you would quickly realize how easily some branches can bend. With so many power lines near trees, the snow laden branches in several cases either touch the lines causing arcing to occur, or just fell on the line breaking it.
Either way, power was lost for many and for some for a very long time.