With the growing trend of extreme weather events in the Northeast U.S., a region of dense vegetation, evaluating hazard effects of wind storms on power distribution systems becomes increasingly important for disaster preparedness and fast responses in utilities. In this paper, probabilistic wind storm models for the study region have been built by mining 160-year storm events recorded in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Atlantic basin hurricane database (HURDAT). Further, wind storms are classified into six categories according to NOAA criteria and IEEE standard to facilitate the evaluation of distribution system responses under different levels of hazards. The impacts of wind storms in all categories are accurately evaluated through a Sequential Monte Carlo method enhanced by a temporal wind storm sampling strategy. Extensive studies for the selected typical distribution system indicate that our models and methods effectively reveal the hazardous effects of wind storms in the study region, leading to useful insights towards building better system hardening schemes.
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