An interdisciplinary team of researchers is using a unique model to predict how many U.S. residents will lose power because of Hurricane Matthew. Researchers predict that approximately 10 million people will lose power due to Hurricane Matthew. The model was developed by researchers from The Ohio State University, University of Michigan and Texas A&M University.
The model looks at a variety of factors at the census tract level to determine who is likely to lose power. Among those factors is land use, such as whether the area is urban and whether it has a lot of trees.
The team have been using the model to predict hurricane-caused power outages for about a decade. They correctly estimated that superstorm Sandy would knock out power for about 10 million people in 2012. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security, among other agencies, use the team’s forecasts to help plan responses to hurricanes.