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Major Blackout Hits NY up to Toronto

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Old 08-14-2003, 05:49 PM
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Default Major Blackout Hits NY up to Toronto

Massive Blackout Hits Northeast Cities

NEW YORK - A huge power blackout hit U.S. and Canadian cities Thursday, driving workers in New York and Toronto into the streets, shutting subways in blistering heat and closing four nuclear power plants in Ohio and New York state.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was no evidence of terrorism as a cause. "Probably a natural occurrence which disrupted the power system up there," he said, referring to a power grid based in the Niagara Falls area.

The FBI was checking into the extraordinary outages but had no immediate information about the cause, said spokesman Bill Carter in Washington. Blackouts stretched from New York City as far west as Detroit, at least.

"We have no idea how extensive it is," said an official with the Office for Emergency Management in New York City.

In New York, the blackout affected subways, elevators and airports, including John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Thousands of people streamed into the streets of lower Manhattan in 90-degree heat.

In Toronto, Canada's largest city, workers also fled their buildings after the blackout hit shortly after 4 p.m. EDT. There also were widespread outages in Ottawa, the capital.

Traffic lights were out throughout downtown Cleveland and other major cities, creating havoc at the beginning of rush hour.

There were reports of outages in northern New Jersey and in several Vermont towns. In Connecticut, Metro-North Railroad service was knocked out. Lights flickered at state government buildings in Hartford.

Every prison in New York state reported a loss of power and switched to backup generators, said James Flateau, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

In Albany, N.Y., several people were trapped in elevators in Empire State Plaza, but most had been freed by 5 p.m. People in New York City lined up 10 deep or more at pay phones, with cell phone service disrupted in some areas.

Mike Saltzman, a spokesman for New York Power Authority, a state-owned utility in White Plains, N.Y., said its two largest hydroelectric plants, including Niagara Falls and St. Lawrence-FDR, were operating. He said he did not know the status of 18 other smaller plants.

The blackouts rivaled those in the West on Aug. 11, 1996, when heat, sagging power lines and unusually high demand for electricity caused an outage that affected 4 million customers in nine states, one of the most severe outages in U.S. history.

A blackout in New York City in 1977 left some 9 million people without electricity for up to 25 hours.

"There is no evidence of any terrorism at this point," said Michael Sheehan, deputy commissioner for terrorism of New York City's Police Department. "We've talked to Washington and there are rumors, but none of them pans out."

Top New York police officers gathered at the department's operations center downtown where the focus was on the ramifications of the blackout rather than its cause.

"We're more concerned about getting the traffic lights running and making sure the city is OK than what caused it," a police spokesman said at the center.

In Cleveland, Olga Kropko, a University Hospitals labor and delivery nurse, said the hospital was using its back-up generators and had limited power. "Everyone is very hot because the air conditioning is off," she said. "Our laboring moms are suffering."

Police in Mansfield, Ohio, spread into the streets to keep traffic flowing. "A lot of officers are out there trying to make sure nobody gets hurt, to try to cut down on the accidents," said jail officer Randi Allen.

Bloomberg, on CNN, described New Yorkers as calm. He advised people to go home, open windows and drink liquids.

"The good news is that in New York City, while we have lost all the power, Con Ed's facilities have shut down properly, which we have programmed them to do," he said. "We don't know when Con Ed can power up again but clearly it will take some time."

The North American Electric Reliability Council, an industry group responsible for monitoring the integrity of the system, said the power outages were "widespread and appear to be centered around Lake Erie, although they are affecting the entire eastern interconnection."

"We do not know the cause at present but will continue to evaluate the situation," said Ellen Vancko, speaking for the council.

The Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites) instituted airport ground stops at Cleveland, Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark, N.J. That meant planes from other cities heading to those four airports could not take off.

However, air traffic control facilities had backup power, and planes already in the air could land at those airports, said Laura Brown, speaking for the FAA.

At the Homeland Security Department, spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said federal officials were still gathering information and had not determined a cause.

The department "is working with state and local officials and the energy sector to determine the cause of the outage as well as what response measures may be needed to be taken," he said. He said everyone should "listen and heed the advice of the local authorities."

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Old 08-14-2003, 07:11 PM
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Hmmmmakes me say have more Nuke power plants
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:56 PM
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Im all set the generator is ready
Bring it on

well turn it off
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:03 PM
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Ya' know there's some people having OSO withdrawls there!!
Man...I couldn't imagine!!
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:06 PM
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Hopefully Nostradomis (sp) didn't predict this!!
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Consintracy
Ya' know there's some people having OSO withdrawls there!!
Man...I couldn't imagine!!

I have that taken care of too
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:22 PM
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Oh....I know why that thought process entered my head....from the Left Behind series of books.
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:31 PM
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Im stranded in NYC.....but obviously, I have power. And AC too! Glad i work in a computer center......Gonna have to work through the night tho......no one's getting in or out right now......Good news is i wont have to work tomorrow, so i can go see the race in Pt Beach !!! If i can stay awake.......
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:32 PM
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now would be a good time to start an eastcoast vs westcoast post whore competition.
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Old 08-15-2003, 12:35 AM
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East will win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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