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Although the blackouts of 1965 and 1977 were unique in many ways, they also reveal problems that remain with us today. Despite our "high tech" economy good old-fashioned power failures are still with us, and appear to be an increasing likelihood due to rising electricity consumption and delayed utility investments in generating capacity. This page provides some links to recent blackouts that made the news.

Heat wave eases; New York, other cities plagued by blackouts

"But New York police reported a only handful of attempted store break-ins and nine arrests -- a sharp difference from the 1977 blackout that affected the whole city and led to widespread looting . . ."

excerpted from
CNN Interactive, 7/7/99

Thousands Lack Power, Mostly on Lower East Side

"Giuliani said he would continue to seek compensation from Con Ed for police overtime accrued during the blackout, which he put at least $1.5 million. He added that the cost to businesses and residents from lost goods or commerce was easily several times that, and he urged people to take up the utility's offers of compensation. Con Ed has offered reimbursement for lost perishables, up to $100 for residents and $2,000 for businesses. But the Mayor, offering free legal advice, encouraged residents not to sign anything."

excerpted from
New York Times, 7/9/99

Lessons From the Blackout

"Last week's blackout in northern Manhattan and power shortages in New Jersey provided timely reminders that the New York metropolitan region's power supply is not inexhaustible. On the contrary, a robust economy, combined with the increasingly widespread use of computers, fax machines and other high-tech devices, has created an appetite for electricity that could someday exceed the region's capacity to generate it. One answer is to build more power plants and transmission capacity. But that should be only one element in a broader strategy that seeks as well to conserve energy and exploit newer, more efficient technologies."

excerpted from
editorial, New York Times, 7/13/99

Ad campaign aims to prevent summer blackouts

"Officials of Austin Energy and other utilities expect the statewide power shortage to disappear after the Legislature decides how to structure the deregulation of electricity production and distribution . . ."

excerpted from
Austin360.com, 4/6/99

Ice Storm damage tallied

"Almost a year after the great ice storm slammed Quebec, Ontario and parts of the Maritimes, Statistics Canada has produced a storm of numbers on precisely what went down. More than 1,000 power transmission towers and 30,000 wooden utility poles, for starters. Close to 1.4 million people in Quebec and 230,000 in Ontario without electricity. In many municipalities, power not fully restored for at least a week. Approximately 100,000 people taking refuge in shelters. More than 2.6 million people, 19 per cent of Canada's labour force, had difficulty getting to work or couldn't get to work at all."

excerpted from
CANOE CNews, 12/15/98

Ice Storm 1998 Resources

"Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County is providing this information to assist the residents of Jefferson County and Northern New York deal with the ice storm that arrived on Thursday, January 8, 1998 . . .

. . .
2. Preparing Food During a Power Failure . . .
4. What to Do During a Power Failure in the Home . . .
9. Helping Pets Adapt to Cold Weather and Power Outage . . ."

excerpted from
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, 1/29/98

What I learned during Ice Storm '98

"I learned that when you have no power that it is so peaceful and quiet - no tv - no Nintendo - no nothing - it's alot easier to live I think except you have no hot water."

excerpted from student Bryant Pond of Maine (10 yrs. old)
Stories from the Ice Storm of '98, 4/13/98

Major power failure hits San Francisco area

"A major power outage hit greater San Francisco and parts of the Peninsula Tuesday morning, causing scattershot problems for Internet Web operators and service providers."

excerpted from
ZDNet, 12/8/98

Blackout in foggy San Francisco

"A trolley cars sits on Market Street in San Francisco after a power failure stopped the cars mid-route. Trains, planes and cars were halted."

excerpted from
Mercury Center, 12/8/98

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jts{28 July 1999}