Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2003

Blackout at a glance

August 16, 2003

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A breakdown of the Northeast blackout:

New York

Power to New York City was fully restored at 9:03 p.m., Consolidated Edison announced, and virtually all the rest of the state had regained electricity as well. The City Council estimated the city lost up to $750 million in revenue, up to $40 million in tax revenue and up to $10 million in overtime pay for the first 24 hours after the blackout started. New York City bridges and tunnels were open. Commuter rail officials said they would run normal service today, and subway officials said there was "firm belief" their service also would be restored today. Hundreds of flights at the region's three major airports were delayed or canceled.

New Jersey

Electricity was restored to nearly all affected customers, with fewer than 5,000 customers still without power, from the peak of 1 million homes and businesses. Commuter railroads and buses had limited to full service.

Ohio

Only spotty outages in the Cleveland area remained Friday evening, from the peak of 1.4 million. Rolling blackouts were the result of a lack of available electricity. Cleveland struggled to restore water service, and residents used bottled water for drinking and bathing.

Michigan

The number of customers without power dropped to about 600,000, but power company DTE said it could be the end of the weekend before everyone's power was restored. At the peak, about 2.4 million were without power. Detroit Metropolitan Airport had limited operations. Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared a state of emergency.

Connecticut

Just 705 customers, down from a peak of 278,000, remained dark by Friday. Fire officials in Waterbury said a blaze that killed a 42-year-old woman and burned her husband and son was caused by a candle.

Pennsylvania

No major problems reported after 100,000 customers, mostly in northwestern counties, initially lost power. Most recovered electricity shortly after nightfall Thursday, and FirstEnergy Corp. said all its customers in the state regained service by noon.

Massachusetts

All 20,000 customers affected by the blackout had power restored.

Vermont

A quick shutdown of transmission lines from New York averted major outages in Vermont. A small area near the Canadian border lost power briefly, but it affected only a few thousand customers.

Canada

Blackouts occurred in Toronto and much of southern Ontario, from Ottawa in the province's eastern region to Windsor, across the border from Detroit. Ontario Premier Ernie Eves declared a state of emergency. The blackout hit the southern part of Ontario, where most of the province's 10 million residents live, and electricity slowly returned Friday. Eves said electricity generation was expected to reach two-thirds capacity by the end of Friday. After Canadian and U.S. officials traded accusations of blame for the outage, the countries formed a joint task force to investigate what caused it and how to prevent it from happening again.

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