READER ROBERT CONNOLLY just emailed from the World Financial Center in New York that he’s lost power and that the rest of the city seems down, too. (How did he email? Beats me.)
UPDATE: Connolly responds: “Generator, my man. Generator.” He adds: “Supposedly, the NorthEast has been hit with a massive black-out. My wife is down in Barnegat, NJ – they lost power too.”
I was a little kid during the Great Northeastern Blackout. I remember it clearly.
ANOTHER UPDATE: NPR is reporting outages in Detroit, and in other cities, including Canada. Connolly wondered if terrorism might be involved. Hard not to think about it, of course, and I do recall reports about hack attacks on U.S. power companies, but you don’t need terrorist hackers to get power outages in August.
Andrew Hofer emails: “We’re on generator and backup power. I”m across the street from the WTC site and the power’s mostly out here as well.”
MORE: This is what’s on the New York Times cover: “Power Outages Reported Along East Coast; North to Toronto, South to Maryland and West to Cleveland and Detroit (4:32 PM ET).” This Yahoo! story says that “Power outages were reported in the New York metropolitan area and Detroit, as well as in Toronto and Ottawa, witnesses said.”
STILL MORE: Bill Hobbs emails:
CNN reports a fire at a Con-Ed plant in NY.
Scary if one fire at one plant can knock down that much of the power grid. If it isn’t terrorism, I bet al Qaeda is going to school on it.
It was a relay the size of my fist that caused the Great Northeastern Blackout, I believe.
STILL MORE: Boston.com reports:
A major power outage has hit much of New York City as well as parts of Long Island, Connecticut and the cities of Albany, Cleveland, Toledo, and Detroit, and Toronto and Ottawa in Canada. In Manhattan, thousands of people are trapped in elevators and on subway trains; CNN is reporting that there is some panic and fear among the thousands of people who are pouring out of office buildings onto the street. Power is also out at LaGuardia and JFK airports. CNN is also reporting that the Con Edison power plant in NYC is on fire.
Bill Hobbs sends another email: “CNN reports Niagara Power Grid overloaded and is down; NYC officials say terrorism not likely.”
Boston.com seems to be updating steadily. And Mindles Dreck on Asymmetrical Information is promising firsthand coverage. [LATER: Here's some.] Connolly sends another report:
I’m happy to report that people are staying very cool here – no panic whatsoever. Many are calling it a day and preparing themselves for a long journey home. All I can say is, thank God for NYWaterway. Hoboken never looked so good.
Have a safe trip. Courtesy of reader Paul Dowgewicz, here’s a real time graph of power load in the Connecticut valley. You can see the dropoff. Here’s a link to a map of North American power grids, and there’s more information here. And here’s a link to histories of the big New York blackouts of 1965 and 1977.
LAST UPDATE TO THIS POST: The Command Post is all over this story. And here’s an excellent report from the Washington Post — with video. And Perry DeHavilland finds a small positive development. . . .