Toronto Mike

The Lights Went Out Six Years Ago Today


One of the cool things about having a blog that's almost 8 years old is that you can go back and read how things seemed at the time they were happening.  For example, six years ago today was The Blackout.  Six years ago tomorrow, I wrote all about it.

24 hours and 12 minutes.  That's how long the power was off at my humble abode.
Of course, the worst black out in North American history had to strike just when our food supply was at its lowest.  Already due for a trip to the grocery store, it was quite the challenge putting together enough sustenance to satisfy a growing 18 month old and his two hungry parents.  Barbecued fish sticks anyone? The bright side is we had very little to throw away when the power finally returned at 4:23 this afternoon.
I did learn a valuable lessen throughout this ordeal.  I learned that we're entirely too dependent on electricity for our day to day lives.  Heck, my phone wouldn't even work because it's a cordless.  No air conditioning, no stove, no microwave, no street lights, no gas station, no lights, no refrigerator, no tv and no computer.  How did we survive over 24 hours?  Gotta jet...The Simpsons is starting.

I remember initial reports after the blackout was pinning the blame on us.  In actuality, the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force placed the main cause of the blackout on FirstEnergy Corporation's failure to trim trees in part of its Ohio service area. The report said that a generating plant in Eastlake, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland) went offline amid high electrical demand, and that strained high-voltage power lines (located in a distant rural setting), which later went out of service when they came in contact with "overgrown trees". The cascading effect that resulted ultimately forced the shutdown of more than 100 power plants.

Damn overgrown trees.

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