This is a story idea from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications and External Relations staff member identified at the end of the tip.
In the aftermath of last year's Hurricane Katrina, responders looked to the Department of Energy for information on the condition of vital infrastructural resources such as the electric power grid. In the meantime, ORNL researchers, in a partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, have developed a visualization system that gives responders a real-time sense of the state of a hurricane-prone region's power grid before, during and after a potentially catastrophic storm or other emergency. The project sprang from the 2003 Northeast blackout, when it was realized that a wider awareness of the status of the power grid would have helped operators react to the crisis. The resulting grid visualization program has been cited as one of the ways the government has enhanced its preparedness for the 2006 hurricane season.
Contact: Bill Cabage; 865.574.4399; email@example.com