Post Number: 1
|Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:50 pm: || |
im doing some research on the blackout that occured in august of 2003. does anyone have any recordings of the news from that day? or any links to archived news stories?
Post Number: 369
|Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 11:05 pm: || |
Post Number: 227
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:29 am: || |
Did any organization ever figure out why the power went out? I never heard of an explanation. All I heard was it started in Ohio.
Post Number: 1565
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:35 am: || |
here is some light 238 pages of reading about it
Post Number: 786
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 2:19 am: || |
Here's the Cliffs Notes:
Post Number: 11423
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 2:53 am: || |
Here is a picture of downtown, taken with my camera phone at the time. A friend and I, DRM on here, went bar hopping. After Mac's on 3rd closed up around dark we headed to the CBD, stopped into Steve's Place next to St Andrews, as they were still serving under candle light. Surprisingly, we weren't the only ones who decided to venture out. This was a shot looking downtown.
This was on Monroe Street in Greektown. Only light from the cop cars in the area.
Post Number: 200
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 3:31 am: || |
Unless you just want strictly news articles, I would look up some of the related threads on some of the various boards and blogs. Some of the threads end up being interesting "historical documents" I suppose of peoples comments as the events unfold.
Those are the only ones I can remember frequenting off hand that have threads saved.
Also, I might as well post the two pics that I took that night around 2am...
Post Number: 787
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 5:12 am: || |
I took a bunch of pics and video that night, but none of the images (or lack thereof) came close to capturing the moment. Too bad one can't capture emotions in the dark with cameras, because that was one of the best nights I've ever had in NYC.
Our neighborhood has a ton of bars & lounges (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). It's great for walkable bar-hops, and this was the perfect night for a bar-hop (one warm beer after another...). After the sun went down, people didn't want to be cooped-up in their dark apartments, so EVERYONE ventured downstairs to the bars, including a lot of people who don't normally go out to bars, We had a great chat with a Polish grandmother at one bar, who was having the time of her life, sipping vodka by candle light, with one of her grandchildren in her lap, sipping apple juice out of a sippie-cup.
At another bar, we danced on their outdoor patio with maybe 50 people, by the surreal light of hundreds of tea lights, to a jazz & funk band that decided to stop in and do an impromptu set.
Working evenings in Manhattan, I hadn't yet left for work when the power went out (at around 4:30PM), so thankfully, I didn't have to walk home (as millions did that day). We were also thankful not to have been stuck on the subway. Some were trapped on dead subway trains for more than 4 hours, then ultimately had to walk through nasty, rat-infested, pitch-dark subway tunnels, holding hands along the train tracks to get out.
We had great talks with people who walked home with the masses across the Williamsburg Bridge, and everyone recalled that the only other time they were forced to do that was 9/11. One woman we spoke with summed it up perfectly: "Today was just like 9/11, except without the tears."
It was a party, and everyone partied like there was no tomorrow.
But when the sun rose the next day, everyone woke up hung-over to refrigerators full of spoiled food, and still no electricity. The mood had changed. As I walked up & down Bedford Ave. (the main strip in Williamsburg) looking for any store that still had batteries in stock, the desperation was palatable on the street. People were pissed off, and the party was definitely over. I started to think about the "Blackout of '77", which resulted in mass rioting and looting, and started to get a knot in my stomach about what the next night might bring...
But just a few minutes later (at around 3:30PM) I heard a collective roar out of every storefront. It was like being at a concert and the headline act just walked out on stage: "LIGHTS!"
Thank god the electricity came back before nightfall, because I think that night 2 would have been VERY different from night 1....
Sure, everything wasn't all lovey-dovey throughout NYC that first night: there was a street gang that went on a spree that night, robbing people at gunpoint all over the East Village...but considering past history, it was far from a worst-case scenario for this city. I have to give a ton of credit to the citizens of NYC for keeping the overall vibe calm & cool that first night. Great time, great party!
Post Number: 220
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 5:24 am: || |
Post Number: 701
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 6:15 am: || |
wowwwwww. It's like the ocean crept in! Thanks ramcharger.
Post Number: 5262
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 6:23 am: || |
Do you have a link to larger versions of your pictures? That last one is eerily awesome.
Man, I remember where I saw when it happened. I was driving down busy Saginaw Highway coming into Lansing, and all of the lights were out, my radio went dead. I had to navigate about 6 miles of light-less highway intersections to get back home.
Post Number: 370
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 6:40 am: || |
About the satellite pic....
Post Number: 8608
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 9:40 am: || |
I love that pic, Ramcharger, looks like God was playing hand-shadows on North America.
That is EXACTLY my 'alligator', the only one I can consistently form. Don't worry, he won't bite.
I printed that out the first time I saw it, and it is posted on my inspiration white board four feet behind my head when I'm sitting at my desk, like NOW.
As for the blackout cause, one thing is for CERTAIN...it wasn't terrorism. No way. No how.
How do I know? Well, they said so. Within 45 minutes after the disaster happened...even though the powers-that-be admitted they wouldn't be able to figure out the cause for two to three weeks.
That wasn't MY catch, it was an astute reporter from National Public Radio who almost caused the official spokesperson to swallow his own tongue when she asked him a followup to his bold 2-3 week statement, "Well, how exactly COULD you rule out terrorism in 45 minutes, then?!"
Post Number: 1052
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:16 am: || |
sorry, my power was out. i didn't record any news stories. ;)
Post Number: 695
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:33 am: || |
This is the official released government document on the blackout: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/a rchives/documents/Blackout_Sum mary.pdf
Someone posted it on a thread a few weeks ago.
Post Number: 3201
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:37 am: || |
Sitlet, the Power Systems Engineering Research Center contains a multitude of information about the blackout. They had an email subscription list which provided daily archives of media articles about the blackout, but they just shut it down about two weeks ago. I can dig through my archives to see what I have saved. Are you interested only in Detroit-area media reports?
(Message edited by MikeM on March 20, 2007)
Post Number: 3202
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:40 am: || |
CharlottePaul, here's the official report:
Post Number: 56
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:53 am: || |
We were having a Garage sale,at my daughters in Dearborn Hts., that day, it started just as we were shutting down for the day...
Started a Texas Hold Em game in the garage/back yard and brought out the Beer and ice coolers....turned out to be a very long night most all of the neighbors showed up and we played cards and drank most of the night.
One to remember...
Post Number: 6208
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:57 am: || |
I was getting ready to head to Pine Knob to see Iggy & the Stooges.
Post Number: 8621
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:07 am: || |
My sister was getting married that Saturday.
Aunt in Corktown got her power on first, we joked that one of Kwame's concubines must live nearby.
Sister got her power on next. Stress relieved.
The hall oddly got the power on next! They were prepared with a full generator...but strange the way things happened.
We think her marriage is blessed because of it...after a few years around her husband, I'm SURE of it.
Post Number: 1194
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:11 am: || |
I was getting ready to head to Pine Knob to see Iggy & the Stooges.
Me too! Drove a few miles to the friend I was going with's house but turned back when I heard on the radio how widespread the blackout was.
Post Number: 1545
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:14 am: || |
i was on my way home from work when it happened.
a friend had a kickass pool party in corktown that first night, so much fun. and it definitely beat watching the pickup being burnt down in front of the building next door to my apartment in midtown
(Message edited by gravitymachine on March 20, 2007)
Post Number: 49
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:17 am: || |
Our street got power back on Saturday night, everyone around us got it back Friday evening. On Saturday we went out to the Dream Cruise. My husbands car club usually grills hamburgers and hot dogs. There were no grocery stores open so they brought no food. I dropped my kids off at my parents in St. Clair Shores and the Farmer Jack was open and had meat. I bought some hamburger, chicken breast, and italian sausage with peppers and onions. I cooked all afternoon on a little tabletop propane grill. It was the best time and now every Dream Cruise I have to bring the sausage, peppers, and onions.
Post Number: 256
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:21 am: || |
That blackout was a mess. There was no food at the house. All we had was Spring Water and NO BATTERIES. Now were stocked up on $200 of groceries, Aquafina Water (frozen) and batteries nearly year round.
Post Number: 59
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:23 am: || |
I was flying in from Key West, Florida on Friday. I remember watching the news the morning of thinking oh man am I in for a ride. Took 13 hours to reach Detroit. I was routed through Miami, then Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia and finally Chicago. i am glad they served cocktails on each flight. Left Key West at 6:00 a.m. and arrived in Detroit @ 7:00 p.m. Very impressed to get my baggage on time in Detroit especially with all the detours. Found it a very odd to be driving through downtown with no street lights on, nor any stop lights working. Had a "welcome home - drink all the beer before it goes warm" party. One of the most memorable neighborhood get togethers in a long time!!!
Post Number: 8
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 11:28 am: || |
I drove to work the next morning while it was still dark, as I worked at a hospital which had full generator power. I drove from Sterling Heights down to Monroe. Frankly, because that meant I got to go back into the AC, I was more than happy to get to go to work.
Driving down 16 Mile (Metro Parkway, Big Beaver), all of the north south roads were closed at the intersections. You had to turn right, turn around at the intersection, and turn right at the road you were on. This also was the case for travelling through Mound and Van Dyke.
While driving down Mound, there was one random stretch between 14 and 13 Mile (the Village area of Warren) that had gotten power restored and it was like driving through the sun, when you contrasted the pitch black everywhere else. All of the traffic signals through the area were blinking all three lights.
Driving around the expressways was eerie. With no streetlights or any lights from anything off the freeway, it was like driving through a fog. Navigating interchanges was certainly interesting as well.
The day the power went out, a bunch of us in my condo complex started trading batteries because most people found that the batteries they had didn't match the devices that they wanted to power (transistor radios, flashlights, etc.) A couple of us were going to go to the pool but they'd closed it because of the inability to filter and chlorinate the water properly. Bummer.
Post Number: 8624
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:00 pm: || |
Anyone want to do a blackout party this year?!
Bring back that spirit, drink it before it goes warm...have all the neighbors turn off their outside lights, hopefully the city light department will co-operate and turn off the grid in that space in their regular rotation.
Post Number: 1150
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:02 pm: || |
Gannon, Way to be environmentally friendly "livin' off the grid"
Post Number: 12
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:04 pm: || |
The strangest thing I remember from that day was riding with a co-worker to find gas about 8:00pm that night. There were cars littered everywhere on the sides of the road, and one gas station with a generator running in Rochester Hills, at the top of the hill north of downtown. People whose cars had stalled while waiting in line were standing behind their cars, waiting to push them up the hill. Very surreal, end-of-the-worldish.
Post Number: 201
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:32 pm: || |
As requested, here's the links to the straight out of the camera versions of my couple of pics above:
Post Number: 8629
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:33 pm: || |
You are on the short list of invite for that party...I still owe you for standing you up on that alarm stuff.
See my depression thread...ugh...for at least a lame explanation, not dredging for an excuse.
At least I CAN get the landlord to kill the lights on our smokestack and courtyard for that time...h-m-m-n-n.
Post Number: 1151
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:36 pm: || |
Gannon, If you have a party, I will be there ;)
Post Number: 147
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 12:54 pm: || |
I had just come home from work at around 4:00 P.M. and turned on the radio to listen to the press conference that was to announce that the 2005 Major League All-Star Game was going to be held in Detroit. This was considered a “very big deal” as the All-Star Game had not been held in Detroit for over 30 years. The Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig, was in attendance. They got about two words into the press conference and the power went out. Since the press conference was never held, baseball fans everywhere including those right here in Detroit were later shocked to learn that the 2005 game was to be held at Comerica Park.
Post Number: 1261
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:18 pm: || |
http://www.newcolonist.com/bla ckout.html I was just about to get in the shower for the Iggy and the Stooges show. Instead we took a drive on Gratiot to Downtown
Post Number: 106
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:27 pm: || |
The Blackout of 2003 affected other sorts of traffic in the area. A friend who’s a pilot on ocean-going vessels in the Great Lakes was upbound in the Detroit River that night on the M/V Helena Oldendorff. In a news report on Boatnerd.com, he reported the following:
Before reaching South East Shoal at 1710 the “Great Blackout of 2003” had occurred an hour earlier. This of course, as we are all painfully aware affected millions in the north east portion of both nations. Helena Oldendorff continued up river to Port Huron in virtual darkness with the exception of sporadic generator powered lighting ashore. Thankfully, floating aids to navigation remained lit. Passing up river without the aid of familiar lit landmarks was a unique experience. It can best be described as navigating in fog except with clear visibility.
Most striking was passing downtown Detroit and seeing only silhouettes and shadows of the impressive skyline. Finally, passing the Black River at Port Huron with the blackness of Lake Huron in the background made for an eerie and lonely sight. It certainly put a whole new meaning to the name Black River!
This supposedly routine trip will always be remembered for turning into anything but routine. It will be filed away as another sea story to tell sometime in the future.
Photos of the vessel (but none of the blackout) are included in the full story as reported in the following link: http://www.boatnerd.com/news/a rchive/8-03.htm. Scroll about halfway down to a piece dated 8/17, entitled, “Frequent Sailor Helena Oldendorff Already on Third Trip.”
Post Number: 15
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 1:55 pm: || |
I was at work when it went out at quarter after 4 or so. To go from 13 and Gratiot to M59 and Hayes took almost 2 hours. On Saturday, I went over to 18 mile and Romeo Plank because I heard that the area had power, so I wanted to get gas. I ended up directing traffic for 3 hours until the police decided to show up. Never did get that gas.
Post Number: 76
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 2:54 pm: || |
I got lucky (although I wish it was in THAT sort of way). I was going camping way up north the next day, so at lunch, I went to the back, took out a couple hundred in cash and filled up my tank. I had that Friday off and heading home the day of the blackout (Thursday), it had not yet hit. AIW, like you, I had tickets to the Stooges show that night. Power went out at my place about 4, I think. I hung out that night with friends and then hit the road, cash in pocket and tank full o'gas, the next morning. Barely slept, it was brutal hot. By the time I got to Flint, everyone seemed to have power and the gas stations were working. Like I said, I got lucky.
Post Number: 4160
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 3:02 pm: || |
It's all Bush's fault! It's a vast right-wing conspiracy!!!
Post Number: 176
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 3:17 pm: || |
I heard there was a black out in Birmingham.
They made him take the bus home.
Post Number: 882
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 3:19 pm: || |
I love summer blackouts. About 5 minutes after the power goes out, it's like all of humanity gives up on it coming back on, and goes outside. You can sit there and watch it happen. Especially if you're in the city, there's hundreds in the street within 30 minutes (if it's not during work hours).
With this one though, I was in Kalamazoo at the time. The chain of destruction was actually stopped by our power company. Kalamazoo had a brownout, then about a 30 second blackout, and then the power came back on and never went out. A few minutes later, CNN was showing images of New Yorkers streaming out of Manhattan on the bridges and we all wondered what had happened.
My parents live a few miles from DTE's Marysville power plant and got their power back on late that night.
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 3:29 pm: || |
thanks for the links and stories! i was mainly interested in hearing your stories and seeing any pics you may have taken of the city that night.
i agree with most of you, that night was very fun. i drove to a few friends houses and had bonfires and ate everything in the freezers. they should have another blackout so i can get out of work the next day!
Post Number: 618
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 3:40 pm: || |
I just remember it was hot as hell that night so I slept in the car.
Post Number: 713
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 4:10 pm: || |
I remember setting on my front porch at around 10 PM that first night, enjoying the rare ability to see all of the additional stars that light pollution normally obscures. However, the good stargazing didn't last very long because at 11 PM, a nearly full moon rose in the eastern sky.
Post Number: 371
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 4:54 pm: || |
I got home around 5 and immediately powered up my generator so I could see the news on TV. A friend called me on my cell and said he heard that my area had power. I told him he was crazy. I then went out to my shed to get my gas can, thinking I better get gas for my generator from somewhere. When I went outside, I heard my neighbor's AC units. I went back in, turned off the generator and flipped the main breaker back on. Sure enough! I had power by 6PM and never lost it again. I was luckily in a small pocket in the Washington/Romeo area that had power. I went without AC for the first day or so, trying to conserve. It got too hot and I finally turned on the AC. I have interruptable service on the AC and I figured if DTE didn't want me using it, they would turn it off. Never happened. I spent most of the weekend driving to friends/family with my generator in tow, trying to keep their refrigerators cold and their basements dry.
Post Number: 271
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 5:03 pm: || |
I don't know if you guys noticed, but there was somewhat of a prejudice to me when it came to getting power on, as they got New York and Boston and them on first, then I think Detroit was one of the last ones. This may just be my perspective though.
Post Number: 8644
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 5:36 pm: || |
I lived west of Ann Arbor, in Dexter, at the time...I lost power, but Heather Newman of the Free Press...who lived only a few miles west of me never lost hers.
Seems I was on the western end of it!
Post Number: 714
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 5:39 pm: || |
Urbanize, restoring the power was the responsibility of each individual utility company and it was not necessary to coordinate the restart process between all electric utility companies on the grid. Once the brownout on the grid reached Michigan, all of DTE's power generating plants were automatically shut down to prevent serious damage to their generating units. Getting those generating units started again takes electricity and there was none to be had except what the power plant's emergency generators could provide and that makes for a slow "cold restart". The "cold restart" protocol requires that each DTE generating plant bring up a few generators at a time and then feed that power to the closest areas without power. They repeat the process until the last (and farthest) areas are supplied again. DTE also had some delays in getting the last of their generators back up and running because they did not have enough spare sacrificial couplings which are designed to break away and prevent expensive damage when the generators were automatically shut down.
Post Number: 59
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 5:49 pm: || |
I was at work in angiography at Harper Hospital, with a 13 year old child on my procedure table. We had a catheter up in the arteries of his brain trying to cut off blood supply to his brain tumor when the power went out. The neurosurgeon casually said, "What the f---?" and managed to hold his position for the 45 seconds or so it took the generators to kick in. Let me tell you, it's REALLY dark in the hospital basement with no lights at all. Of course, generators are inadequate to power our imaging equipment, so we had to terminate the procedure and reschedule the kid for the next week.
Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to leave, even though we could no longer work, because utility failures are considered disasters and medical staff must remain on site. So we made a euchre deck out of the physicians' business cards and played for bottled water until they finally let us go around midnight. Good thing, too. There was no water, hence no functional toilets.
We were one of the only houses on our street in Warren with a generator, so we lucked out on that. We now have our electric rigged so we can plug the generator right into the main box. Live and learn.......
Post Number: 8652
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 6:29 pm: || |
Was it a bias that those cities went DOWN first, too?!
Great story, Gargoyle, glad everyone was OK.
I hope EVERYONE learned...to be at least more ready and NOT rely on the status quo or those we assume are taking care of our comfort.
I think the rush of people into the streets when the power goes down is a strong indicator of how anti-neighborly television truly is.
Post Number: 697
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 6:55 pm: || |
It was definitely the one afternoon rush hour when the freeways were faster than the surface streets. Probably will never happen again.
Post Number: 46
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 7:47 pm: || |
I bought a generator and the transfer switch/ouside outlet back in 1999. Used it the weekend that we had a hellish T-Storm on a Friday night (part of the facia of the Tiger Stadium Rooftop Press Boxes fell off into the stands in front of our seats. They closed off part of our section because of the busted seats and bent iron pipe railings.)
I've used it in 2003 and several other times. Either storms or accidents that take out power poles or transformers.
A good generator and a supply of gasoline (add Sta-bil, and rotate it frequently) is simply peace of mind.
Better yet, a natural gas generator!
Post Number: 8663
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 7:57 pm: || |
I've had a few dozen gerbils in training for my generator...oh wait.
Post Number: 635
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 8:12 pm: || |
I was up at Blue Lake (near Muskegon in case you dont know) and missed the whole thing. Damn music camps!
Post Number: 3203
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 8:13 pm: || |
Urbanize, Boston didn't suffer from the blackout. New York state had several areas which did not suffer from the blackout, and a host of generators which were shut down by operators before automatic relays forced them offline, both circumstances eventually providing a source of power to reconstitute their grid.
Post Number: 8665
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 8:14 pm: || |
"Last summer at band camp..."
Post Number: 636
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 8:15 pm: || |
To many lines from American Pie that relate to Blue Lake.
"This one time, at band camp..."
Post Number: 8671
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 8:23 pm: || |
That's what I was attempting, lamely.
Post Number: 638
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 8:27 pm: || |
Still sounds good. And thats usually the topic that comes up amongst us who went. "Last summer, we did X"
Post Number: 8674
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 9:09 pm: || |
Always thought O was more sexy.
Post Number: 641
|Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 9:13 pm: || |
LOL. Not going there.