Friday August 22, 2003

Last week's blackout

[The satellite photo I posted earlier was a hoax :( Sigh. These are real]
Left is approx. 20 hours before the blackout; right is approx 7 hours into the blackout. Click images to enlarge.

I know a couple of people who were within the black-out zone.

Elizabeth lives in Toronto; she wrote this on Saturday night (Aug. 16):

i'm alive and well and staying at my mother's house. she got power back at about noon on friday, and apparently my little corner of toronto didnt get power back til midday today. i had just finished purchasing a bottle of wine when the lights went out, lol, and it came in handy after a somewhat harrowing trip home. one of my co-workers and myself thought we would have to walk because the subway was down, and no buses go from where i work to where i live. i lucked out in asking a cab driver who's light was off if he was free. he was kind enough to work out a deal with us (because between us we only had $20.00). so two hours after leaving work i got home (a trip that usually only takes 45minutes). so i spent the evening eating whatever cold food i had in the fridge, drinking red wine in the candlelight with my cats ! lol.

my brother decided to go to my mother's house as she had power, and we didnt know when we would get power, and pretty well insisted i go, though i didnt really want to...i didnt want to leave the kitties alone. apparently we got our hydro back around 1pm today, so my brother and i will head back to toronto tomorrow. i couldnt get to work on friday as the subway wasnt working, so it will be interesting to see if they have it up and running on monday. apparently they are still having problems with the hydro and not everyone in toronto has it, and they may have rolling blackouts. what fun and games. i didnt realize til thursday/friday how much i rely on tv/internet/radio for my info...i had to call my supervisor on friday and ask her what was happening. lol. sorry for such a long e-mail.

Peg lives in NYC (this was her account from Friday/Saturday)

Hope all didn't have too much hardship. Most New Yorker's were quite laid back about it. After 911 - we take these things in stride.

I left work in lower Manhattan at apx 4:30 & got home (east 70s) apx 9:30. Combo of walking, catching a bus, sitting in traffic, part of a pretty good run up 1st Ave. Then sitting in traffic til someone on the street said the jam went to about 60th street. Bus was about 32nd. S0 - got out & walked.

Along the way, citizens were directing traffic. Drivers were cooperating. You could tell the corners where there were co-op or condo building. Those were REALLY COORDINATED. On one, I think I definitely spotted the co-op president - very much in charge. Then there was the guy selling ice-cream to the drivers stuck in traffic.

Or the little old man on a dim corner warning people about a curb you couldn't see. Lots of building parties - tenants just parked in fron of the building with drinks food & candles. If you stayed on the main Ave - the stuck cars gave light to the sidewalks. You really didn't want to go down the side streets unless you had a flashlight. Some notice people around them without light & swung their flashlight around while they walked to help others around them. Some businesses did a bang up volume if they could stay open -selling lights drinks etc. A few bar/restaurants were open with huge parties spilling out into the street. If I were 20-30 - I would have stopped in. Most restaurants were closed. The local pizza places had lines down the street.

As I got closer to my building, started to worry about actually getting to my apt. Well - several neighbors had set up candles in the lobby. The super & some others were going up the stairs with flashlights to assist people getting to their apts. Someone had extra candles if needed. BOY was I happy to get home. My cats were very happy to see me. Night ended well. A neighbor had some friends in for a blackout get- together.

Saturday was the defrosted food dinner - a few of us brought whatever we could make from the food that was OK but you didn't want to re- freeze it. Quite a good mix actually.

I grew up here & remember the transit strike in the 60's when I walked to/from work over the Brooklyn Bridge. The blackout of 65 - walked with my father up to the park which overlooked Manhattan and the harbor. It was the most beautiful sunset - but eeerie. No lights from Manhattan, but the colors of the sunset (red, orange, purple) reflected off the glass of lower manhattan. I still have a vivid mental image. Beautiful. Blackout of 77 - scary. Lots of looting, arson, riots. My neighbor came down to sleep on my couch. She had a studio. It was the outside of the building but someone still climbed up & tried to get into her apt. She scared them away - but she didn't want to be alone & I was VERY happy for the company.

Last week's blackout ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Fri, 22 Aug, 20:46 Pacific | «e»