Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This Should Have Been A Wake-up Call...!

Probably there were many of you that went through this disaster.

When something like this happens, it should serve as a BIG wake-up call to those in charge to make sure this never happens again! What do you want to bet that nothing much has changed? How many more times are we going to go through this or something like it, until the threat of such happenings causes someone to address the problem?

Aug 14, 2003:
Blackout hits Northeast United States

On this day in 2003, a major outage knocked out power across the eastern United States and parts of Canada. Beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET, 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. Fifty million people were affected, including residents of New York, Cleveland and Detroit, as well as Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. Although power companies were able to resume some service in as little as two hours, power remained off in other places for more than a day. The outage stopped trains and elevators, and disrupted everything from cellular telephone service to operations at hospitals to traffic at airports. In New York City, it took more than two hours for passengers to be evacuated from stalled subway trains. Small business owners were affected when they lost expensive refrigerated stock. The loss of use of electric water pumps interrupted water service in many areas. There were even some reports of people being stranded mid-ride on amusement park roller coasters. At the New York Stock Exchange and bond market, though, trading was able to continue thanks to backup generators.

Authorities soon calmed the fears of jittery Americans that terrorists may have been responsible for the blackout, but they were initially unable to determine the cause of the massive outage. American and Canadian representatives pointed figures at each other, while politicians took the opportunity to point out major flaws in the region's outdated power grid. Finally, an investigation by a joint U.S.-Canada task force traced the problem back to an Ohio company, FirstEnergy Corporation. When the company's EastLake plant shut down unexpectedly after overgrown trees came into contact with a power line, it triggered a series of problems that led to a chain reaction of outages. FirstEnergy was criticized for poor line maintenance, and more importantly, for failing to notice and address the problem in a timely manner--before it affected other areas.

Despite concerns, there were very few reports of looting or other blackout-inspired crime. In New York City, the police department, out in full force, actually recorded about 100 fewer arrests than average. In some places, citizens even took it upon themselves to mitigate the effects of the outage, by assisting elderly neighbors or helping to direct traffic in the absence of working traffic lights.

In New York City alone, the estimated cost of the blackout was more than $500 million.

Luckily, I wasn't affected where I was living. It could have moved this far south without too much trouble, though. I have noticed the city and the county crews go around making sure that tree limbs are not touching, or getting close to power lines. That's a good thing for us here, but unless this happens all over the country it won't help much!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's just way too hot to sit on the patio, ya know?


linda m said...

I feel it is just a matter of "when" this will happen again. Look at all the power outages this year caused by Mother Nature. People have become so reliant on electricity. And horror of all horrors what if we lost all our cell phone towers - whatever would people do. Have a great day!

Sixbears said...

I was affected, but I was already providing 80 percent of my daily electrical needs with solar electric. It was pretty easy to just cut back a little and keep on living.

Friends of mine were at a Mideval reenactment event so they were set up to camp without electricity. They had a problem when it came time to come home as the gas stations couldn't pump gas.

I had internet service so I'd find these little towns with power and direct him to drive there for gas. He had enough cell phone service to make this work.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Nine months later there was a baby boom.

JOJO said...

Way back in the around 1966 there was also a big black out. It was summer and boy let me tell you lots of old people died. It lastes about 4 days. I lived in NJ at the time and NY was also effected. I didn't even remember that until I read this post. Yes a new baby boom with that one too.

Please pass the pot.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
There would indeed be a big mess if the power goes out like this again!

Hope that folks have learned a little on how to prepare, but I wouldn't count on it!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Sixbears...
It's good that you were able to guide your friend to some gas!

Having some reliable contacts in a case like this is so important!

Thanks, my friend, for dropping by today!

Hey Dizzy...
I just bet there was, at that!

Good time to live in the country!

Thanks, buddy, for coming over this morning!

Hey JoJo...
At least if it happened now, you are in a cooler place...right?

You stay powered up and ready, sweetie!

Thanks so much for coming over today!

Billy Bob said...

I never was in one them blackout thingys.....but i had the power company turn my electricity off a few times. That was the pits.

HermitJim said...

Hey Billy Bob...
It can sure mess up your day if you don't have some backup plans!

Worse thing about losing power for an extended time is the loss of food in the fridge or the freezer!

Makes the old time "iceboxes" look pretty good!

Hey, thanks for coming over today!

Bob Mc said...

It’s pretty common to lose power where I am, sometimes for 3 - 4 days at a time. Usually happens in the winter when trees come down across lines or from snow load on the wires. But here’s a case in point such as you describe, as far as things not being taken care of when they should be. A few years ago a tree trimming company, under contract with the power company, came by trimming limbs away from the power lines where they might cause a problem later. Just down the street from my house there were 2 obviously dead but still standing trees. It was obvious to anyone with 1 eye that those trees would probably come down in the next good wind storm, and they were leaning directly toward the power lines. I asked one of the guys on the work crew if they weren’t going to take those trees down. I was told, “Not in our contract”. Well you know what happened. About a month later 1 of those trees came down and took out the power lines. Only then did a crew come out and take down the other tree at the same time they repaired the lines.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
That old way of thinking, such as "not my job" or "not in my contract" has probably caused many a problem over the years!

Unfortunate that many companies put profit over concerns for the folks in their area, but that seems to be the norm these days!

The crews are always busy around our area during an election year! Wonder why that is?

Many thanks, sir, for coming by today!

Anonymous said...

I think we are very vulnerable in America as there are only 3 (I think?) big power grids that cover the whole nation. Even if only one grid goes out for a week or so we are all screwed. The banks and stores will be closed and soon the looting will start. The peoples mentality is just different these days. It's best to prepare now if you haven't done so already. We stocked up on food a few months ago and got a lot of freeze dried food at www.srmarketplace.com. No need for refrigeration ever and a 25 year shelf life.

HermitJim said...

Hey Anon 6:08...
I don't think that most folks know that there is only about three days worth of food in the grocery stores.

Not having 3 months of food at home is a big mistake, in my opinion. We all may be put to the test before long.

Thanks for your visit today!