The Northeast Blackout of 2003
“How did the worst blackout of the Northeastern United States unfold?”
On August 14th, 2003, a power line in Ohio under the dominion of the utility First Energy’s control struck a tree and faulted, causing power to redistribute throughout the rest of the network. The alarm system used by the company had a bug and did not not alert the authorities. This caused other lines to sag out and fault with trees, creating a cascading power failure by around 4:05 pm Eastern US time. This spread throughout the rest of the Northeastern grid, causing 50 million people in the U.S and Canada to lose power for up to two days. Not only did this result in 11 deaths and approximately 6 billion USD in damage. The Northeast Blackout of 2003 was one of the costliest to date and resulted in the U.S setting much stricter standards for reliability and maintenance of power lines.
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