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Contributed by: Marcia A. (Weaver) Reynolds
Contributed on: November 10, 2004

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 went on a trip to New York City ai the 70's with my church group. I was in my 20's and decided that I would stay on and not return to my home town Atlanta, Illinois. I stayed with a friends family and were in their home when the blackout ocured. It was really frightening. My family back in Illinois were quit concerned for my safty. We secured the door. lit a few candles and just waited and prayed for God's safty and protection. We could hear all kinds of sirens, screaming such as I've never heard before or sence. We just waited it out till morning and then were shocked at the devistation we saw on the streets the next morning. What a caotic mess the streets were in. there was broken glass, trash from stores that had been broken into were strewn all down the streets. Empty boxes paper and debre everywhere. I a small young country girl had never seen anything like this and I was sertainly glad to get bact to Illinois. That is my story of the new york blackout. I had been mugged and my purse stolen just days before, but unharmed also in brooklyn but another friends home. So I had been through all I wanted to. M.A. Weaver

Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
Not a clue!!!

Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Neither was significant

How did the blackout(s) affect you?
Made me glad I was raised in the rual country in Illinois.

What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
Glad I was a born again Christian and that God's hand of protection was around me and kept me safe.

How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
HUGE compared to the blackout in a 70's winter ice storm.

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

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

If yes, please explain:
As I stated above GOD was keeping me safe. Glad to be on HIS SIDE.

Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?

How did the blackout(s) affect your daily reliance on electricity?
No effect / same reliance

This is how the story goes: In November of 1965 the lights went out in New York and crime rates temporarily dropped; there were widespread reports of extraordinary cooperation and trust between strangers caught together in the power failure. In July of 1977, little more than a decade later, the lights went out again in New York. This time, a devastating wave of looting and arson broke out. Does this story ring true to you? Explain why or why not:
Yes I was There in 1977.

Cite as: Marcia A. (Weaver) Reynolds, Story #325, The Blackout History Project, 10 November 2004, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/325/>.
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