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Contributed by: [name withheld]
Contributed on: July 17, 2009

Which blackout(s) did you experience?
1977 (New York City Blackout)

In your own words, tell the story of your experience in the blackout(s). Try to recall specific events and the people, places, and things involved; also include more general reactions, images adn last impressions?
I was 19,on 5 week visit to North America,due to fly home from JfK On 17 JULY .I had to reach JFK by helicopter and boy did it take all the last of my money.I was in the dark looking down as New York was in pitch black I often wondered what was going on down below me.I had saved up for 12 months and was so looking forward to seeing New York but hey I had one day there.I got to the top of the World Trade Centres and I send all my heartfelt sorrow and love to all the brave people who perished especially to the firefighters as my father was a firefighter in CHIRK North Wales in the 1950s.I hope one day to return to NYC if I am lucky.

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
At that time it was frightening to me as we were rushing around in the dark .I thought it was some major catastrophy and everyone had to leave NYC.

What is your opinion regarding the general causes of power failures (blackouts)?
Dont like it as I always think we are oveloading the system and its telling us so.

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
1977 only

Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
End of a lovely holiday once in a lifetime just come out of hospital after appendix and doctors said I could go .All seemed rosy as a 19 year old then suddenly I was not in control of this darkness and its very frightening not to be in control of your life,

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
Lights went out in the middle of being driven by friends of this girl I was travelling with.They decided to leave us almost stranded so we made our way to an airport and we were lucky to get a helicopter to JFK.I had no money left at all once I had paid for my flight

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
Very sorry for the people in the areas affected and as my parents owned a business in Chirk North Wales extremely angry that businesses were looted.

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
Too long to spend in the dark wondering what was happening.

What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?
get their act together

Did the blackout(s) have any larger meaning in your mind?
Yes (please explain)

If yes, please explain:
Yes it was huge at the time everyone racing about like end of the world.

Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?
Yes (please explain)

If yes, please explain:
Businesses lost money by being broken

How did the blackout(s) affect your daily reliance on electricity?
Became more reliant

If other, please specify:
realised how much we rely on it.

Cite as: Anonymous, Story #2168, The Blackout History Project, 17 July 2009, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/2168/>.
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