Power grid blackouts: Are they preventable and predictable?
The blackout's primary cause was a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of the FirstEnergy Corporation in Ohio. Operators were unaware of the need to re-distribute power after overloaded transmission lines hit unpruned foliage. What should have been a manageable local blackout cascaded into widespread chaos on the electric grid.
Sunrise over NYC the morning after the largest power outage in US history---August 14, 2003 (Photo courtesy of Mike Albans/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
I was 16 years old when the lights went out in Brooklyn at 5:27 PM on November 9, 1965. The entire Northeast went out plus large parts of Canada.
On a hot summer night in July 1977, again I experienced a major blackout in NY. These were not pleasant experiences.
Again on August 14, 2003, we experienced a huge power failure in NY.
No power---no trains, no traffic lights in NYC---we walk from Manhattan across the 59th Street Bridge to Queens toward our homes. (Photo courtesy of Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)