Where were you when the lights went out?

For those who were caught in yesterday’s “Great Blackout of '03” (assuming you’ve got your power back by now), where were you at 4:14 P.M EST when the lights went out? What did you think was happening? How did you cope?


I was sitting here, wondering why my dartboard reset itself. We just had a power blip here, so I figured the county was screwing with the traffic light outside of my apartment again. For some reason, that messes up my power.

Well, I wasn’t caught “in” the blackout - but I was on in a phone conference with folks from New York, Cleveland, and Chicago.

Boy, for a few minutes when first Cleveland dropped out, then New York, then both teams came on via cell phones saying that the power went, then both had to evacuate the office building, all this before anything was on the internet - that was an interesting 5 minutes.

I was ready to run to the car and hide in the woods.

All the best to those who are stranded and/or had to stay outside over the night


I was at work, in Newark. The lights blinked. A couple of minutes later they went off for real. They sent us home early. It’s too bad it didn’t happen at about 11AM.

In my Manhattan office, checking out my new laptop, which is still out on my desk in the dark.

Home after a bout of mild food poisoning. Frankly I thought a fuse had blown. When I realized that wasn’t the case, I tuned in to the radio and got the word about the blackout.

At home with the kids. We’d just come back from the public wadingpool and I was going to let them nap by the TV when it went black. I figured it was local until my wife called and told me it was Province wide. Then I grabbed the flashlights and Radio and made sure they would be working come nightfall.

I had just finished work, and was driving home and the radio stations went out. I just assumed it was my car, until I finally found a country and western station that was still broadcasting. Their news guy had no clue what was going on.

I was floating on a raft in my pool . The filter hum was making me doze off when I heard it shut off. I thought I blew a breaker but when I went into the house nothing was working. I checked the fuse box and it was fine. Turned on a portable radio and heard about the scope of the failure that way.
We got our power back about 11:30 pm.
As of now the local NYC Fox and UPN TV stations are still off the air.

Outside shooting hoops. The CD played stopped all of a sudden and wouldn’t go back on. A minute or two later, my brother yelled from inside that everything had gone off. I thought maybe a fuse had blown too, then I saw people from the neighboring houses sticking their heads out and wondering what was up. Our power here came on around 1 pm.

At work.

Had just come OUT of Manhatten through the Lincoln Tunnel.

No one was sent home. The Boss is just not that way. We sat here in the dark, then in the light, then the dark again until 5:00 on the dot. Not a second sooner.

I’d like to send an F U out to my boss.

I had an interesting experience, attending a wedding that was scheduled to start at 5 o’clock out on Long Island. The catering hall lost all power, but they couldn’t just cancel the wedding, could they?

It turns out those places (or at least this one) keep a huge supply of candles for just this situation. Enough to - almost - keep the place brightly lit. It certainly added atmosphere. The food was all cooked on grills, and the band had some equipment that ran on battery power. Sure, the wedding had to be delayed a bit, but on the whole it was quite nice.

I was sitting here, reading the SDMB!

The light started to dim and I thought “that’s odd” and then the computer screen faded out, and it took a few seconds for everything to turn off. Then the oven made some horrible rattling/humming (insert U2 joke) sound and I thought it was going to explode but then it stopped. Mom called on her way home from work, about 15 mins away, and said “is the power out?” because down the road where she was, the street lights had gone out. She gets home, calls the police station and the man on the phone tells us “it’s all of Nassau County and the city.”

Poor dad was stuck in the city. :frowning: Luckily he managed to get a room at the Holiday Inn in Herald Square after waiting for 4 hours, and they had no running water. Boy was he happy to take a shower when he got home today at noon!

Our office has had its share of electrical problems. Not two weeks ago, the power went out for 5 minutes building-wide and because the budget people had scrimped on UPS expenditures all the servers went down hard. I had to stay late scavenging/rebuilding FileMaker databases.

So my first thought was “Oh shit, that stupid electrician did it again” and I ran downstairs to the server floor. Coworkers said “It’s everywhere, power out as far away as Detroit”.

I go: :rolleyes:

“Yeah right”

I was in bed, which is where I’ve been for the last couple of weeks. Bedrest has its up side – I wasn’t out on the streets on my way home from work, which is where I would’ve been at 4:15 on a typical Thursday.

Thanks to the UPS powering our broadband modem, I was able to stay online long enough to see CNN.com reporting that the problem was widespread, then I powered down to save my laptop battery. That enabled me to dial up to check news a few times before our power came back.

So no harm no foul for us. The only problem I had was that my washing machine stopped midway through a load of Babytlw’s diapers. I had to redo the load today, I apologize for that extra use of power everyone, but mildewy diapers just ain’t my bag. :smiley:

I was at work in Detroit. The lights flickered for about three seconds, and then everything went out. The hospital’s emergency generators kicked in, so there was still a little bit of illumination.

Fortunately I got a lot of my chart notes already typed up before the power went out. Left the hospital around 4:30, and it took me nearly two hours to get home, thanks to all the traffic lights no longer working.

I will never complain about traffic lights again.

I was at work, typing something up on the computer.

There was a shorter blackout about 15 minutes before the final one. Some woman started walking around yelling about how she lost a bunch of stuff she was working on, and trying to get other people to say how much stuff they had lost. Everyone was looking at her like “don’t you know to save your stuff as you’re working on it, moron?”

I stayed at work until about 5:15 because I some stuff to do that didn’t require the computer and I had plenty of light. It only took about twice the normal time to get home. Power came back on at about 9pm at my home.

At work. On the top floor of a midtown high rise.

At work talking to my husband on the phone. Work is in Hicksville, Long Island and home is in Brooklyn.

On one of the 4 (hot, stinky, overcrowded) buses I took (and still ended up walking about 5 miles) I mentioned that it looked like a 3 day weekend for me. Everybody on the bus agreed with a smile.

I was working in the emergency department. I ended up spending the next 21 hours there.