TITLE

HEART OF DARKNESS

AUTHOR(S)
Hirsh, Michael; Klaidman, Daniel
PUB. DATE
August 2003
SOURCE
Newsweek (Atlantic Edition);8/25/2003-9/1/2003 (Atlantic Edition), Vol. 142 Issue 8/9, p12
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
It was a blip on the screen that turned into a monster, leaving 50 million Americans powerless in the summer of 2003. The inside story of a sleepless night. Thursday, August 14, began as a typical late-summer day: hot, lazy and inconsequential. Up near Albany, Steve Swan was working as shift supervisor at the New York Independent System Operator, the nerve center of the state's power grid. At 4:06 p.m., ET, something caught Swan's eye on the big screen at the front of the room. He noticed a large amount of power flowing from New York toward Ontario through the transmission lines--underground and overhead cables. Faster than most humans could respond, power grids across the region began "islanding" themselves, disconnecting automatically from the overloaded system. Generators clicked off in a cascade of shutdowns that darkened New York, Pennsylvania, the Midwest rust belt and much of Ontario. In seconds, North America had suffered the worst blackout in its history.
ACCESSION #
10653676

 

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