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Comparing the Impacts of the 2005 and 2008 Hurricanes on U.S. Energy Infrastructure - February 2009

The energy infrastructure and supply disruptions caused by the 2008 hurricanes were similar but not as severe as those caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005. Although worst-day outages between both hurricane seasons were comparable, HurricanesKatrina and Rita were more powerful and caused more lasting damage to energy infrastructure than Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. As a result, energy production and supply recovered more quickly in 2008 than in 2005.

This report compares the impact of the major hurricanes of 2005 and 2008 on U.S. energy systems, including those that produce, process and transport oil, natural gas, and electricity. The magnitude and duration of hurricane-induced production and supply disruptions are compared, as well as the extent of damage to energy infrastructure. The effect of disruptions on energy prices and supply is analyzed. The report describes the actions taken by DOE and other Federal agencies to assist the energy industry in restoration.