The whole east coast practically is DARK!

This is a problem for my time-zone striding profession. I have a feeling that we won’t be doing video conferences tomorow.

I’m worried about New York City. I just had a very pleasant blackout at my home in Glendale on Tuesday. I am afraid that NYC is not having such a nice time of it.

NYC has had two other big ol’ blackouts before, one in 1965 and one in 1977. The one in ’65 was a widespread one like the one right now.

“At 5:27 p.m., November 9, 1965, the entire Northeast area of the United States and large parts of Canada went dark. From Buffalo to the eastern border of New Hampshire and from New York City to Ontario, a massive power outage struck without warning. Trains were stuck between subway stops. People were trapped in elevators. Failed traffic signals stopped traffic dead. And, at the height of the Cold War, many thought Armageddon had arrived. One pilot flying over a darkened New York City stated, “I thought, ‘another Pearl Harbor!'” By 5:40 p.m. that evening, 80,000 square miles of the Northeast United States and Ontario, Canada, were without power, leaving 30 million people in the dark.

Despite the confusion and disarray, New Yorkers spent the night in peace. There were no riots or widespread looting. Instead, New Yorkers helped each other. Some directed traffic. Others assisted the New York fire department as they rescued stranded subway passengers. In many cases, New Yorkers just shared extra candles and flashlights with neighbors, reveling in the opportunity to get to know the people who lived across the hall.

By 11 o’clock, the power was restored in 75 percent of Brooklyn, and by 2 a.m., the borough was fully equipped with electric power. By midnight, much if the Bronx and Queens were lit. And, at 6:58 a.m., almost fourteen hours after the massive blackout struck New York, power was restored citywide. “

The one in 1977 was just the city:
“On a hot July night in 1977, the lights went out in New York City. The purr of air conditioners, cooling millions of New Yorkers, was replaced by stultifying silence-and then the sound of breaking glass. Faced with the second blackout in twelve years, New Yorkers responded with resilience as well as violence. Many stories emerged from the night of July 13th that revealed New Yorkers’ divergent feelings about the city in which they lived. In some places, neighbors helped neighbors, and strangers helped strangers. Yet, at the same time, neighborhoods throughout New York exploded into violence. Stores were ransacked, looted and destroyed. Buildings were set ablaze. And the police, for the most part, stood helpless. In these stark contradictions, an unusual yet definitive moment left its mark on New York history-the night the lights went out.

In other parts of the city the experience was starkly different. News broadcasts reported outbreaks of violence, looting, and fires. Areas of Harlem, Brooklyn, and the South Bronx experienced the most damage, where thousands of people took to the streets and smashed store windows looking for TVs, furniture, or clothing. In one report, 50 cars were stolen from a car dealership in the Bronx. The police made 3,776 arrests, although from all accounts, many thousands escaped before being caught. 1,037 fires burned throughout the City, six times the average rate, while the fire department also responded to 1,700 false alarms. Regardless of where you where when the lights went out, New York’s streets teemed-and sometimes burned-with life.

While the lights would not be turned on in some neighborhoods for another twenty-five hours, the blackout led many to question the reliability of New York’s power system. Ironically, this attitude was partly the result of unusually high expectations for power reliability on the part of metro area consumers; Con Edison had (and still has) the least interrupted electrical service of all utilities in the nation. “

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