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Major Blackouts In Southwest

September 12, 2011 by  

Major Blackouts In Southwest

A major power outage in the Southwest on Thursday left nearly 6 million people in Arizona and California in the dark, causing travel delays and offering an example of what major metropolitan blackouts look like in the U.S.

Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), Arizona’s largest power producer, blamed the blackout on the error of a single employee which led to the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. A press release from the company explained, however, that other problems developed causing the widespread outage.

“The outage appears to be related to a procedure an APS employee was carrying out in the North Gila substation, which is located northeast of Yuma. Operating and protection protocols typically would have isolated the resulting outage to the Yuma area. The reason that did not occur in this case will be the focal point of the investigation into the event, which already is under way.”

According to a Daily Mail story, FBI officials ruled out terrorism while power plant authorities struggled to find the cause of the outage that started around 4 p.m. local time. Mike Niggli, chief operating officer of San Diego Gas & Electric Co., said a transmitter line between Arizona and California was severed, causing the larger outage. Extreme heat in some areas also may have caused some problems with power lines.

The power outage also caused problems along the U.S./Mexican border as lights went out as far as Tijuana, Mexico. The largest similar example of a large scale blackout took place in the Northeast in 2003, when 50 million people were left without power in areas like New York City. The event led to 11 deaths.

Large scale blackouts in major metropolitan centers should be considered disasters, because they can lead to panic and mass confusion. Dealing with them is aided by survival preparation.

To prepare for these situations, individuals should consider things like having non-perishable food stores because refrigeration units will shut off as will most retail payment systems.

It is also necessary to have ample amounts of water stored in the event that water works grids are rendered unusable. It is also prudent to have extra required medication.

The best defense against outages is a backup generator, but flashlights and radios are also very important. In large blackouts, communication networks may collapse along with the grid. Landline and cellular networks may fail, but short text messages should still get through.

Blackouts may lead to a major spike in criminal activities like looting and robbery, so staying in the home and having weapons for protection is also important.

 

 

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Sam I am

    1 person should not be able to shut down a third of a state.

  • eddie47d

    Growing populations that expand outward,more demand for air conditioning,older grid systems,less money to fix or build new infrastructures. Nothing surprising in what occasionally happens.Folks should keep less frozen foods and more non-perishables even with short term outages.

    • granny mae

      Amen.

      Time to make sure you are well stocked, you never know when you will need it.!

  • AJ

    Wonder what got smuggeled into the country over the U.S./Mexican border while the lights were conviently out?

    • Thomas

      What BORDER? We just have Check-Points for LEGALS. Makes you wander how much the Cartels paid that one worker. ” I WANT KILL ALL OF YOUR FAMILY AMIGO”. It might have been ATFs’ FAST and FURIOUS though.

    • Christin

      AJ,

      Good point.

      Looks like their were two major problems… some nincompoop shut down a whole nuclear rector without others in the know… and someone cut a huge transmitter line between the two states… on the same night, hhhmmmmm…why?

      • Christin

        nuclear reactor… nuclear power plant

      • granny mae

        Hmmm, do you think this could have been a trial run??? My son says they are moving a lot of heavy millitary vehicles and weapons in the dirrection of the east coast ! Wonder why? When asked where they were headed they said we can’t tell you that, and yet they are moving in the open durring the daylight hours and if someone asks where they are headed they say they can’t tell you ! Hmmm ! Is there a threat toward us coming from the Atlantic ocean ? I wonder !

    • granny mae

      Any thing and everything possible !

  • John Vossler

    If this is what one person can do accidentally. Imagine what a small group of focused individuals (terrorists) could do with the right information. Our countries infrastructure is old, exposed and over loaded. It doesn’t take much to cause an outage.

  • 45caliber

    Sounds as if some company wants a pay increase agreement.

  • Thomas

    Feel sorry for AZ. residents, but Ca. and the al gores that HATE power plants because they are such an EVIL polluter to the enviroment, got what they deserve for relying on the Mexicans’ to support them with enery. Is Ca. going to put a BAN on wildfires any time soon, they Ban everything else don’t they? AZ. needs to biuld their own power plants and tell the MEXICAN operated, U.S. owned power companies to KISS THEIR GRITS!!!!!!

    • Ric

      “AZ. needs to biuld their own power plants”
      Well I don’t know what happened but I will say that Az does have its own Nuclear plant SW of Phoenix(Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant). APS sells this power to CA. Along with numerous hydro-electric plants along the Colorado River and a few other rivers.San Onofre is between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara so I can’t fiqure that part out, and what that has to do with AZ…. Ric

  • Janice Fortin

    People think the blackouts will result in 3/4 of mexico crossing over since our so called in the white house is removing border patrol.
    What USA NEEDS ON THE SO BORDERS IS ARMED U.S. MILITARY WITH DIRECTIONS TO SHOOT TO KILL ANY CROSSERS. It’s coming tho. uh huh. That’ll be a crises really tooo good to waste.

    • 45caliber

      Most countries in the world do that. I don’t know why we don’t.

      • eddie47d

        Most countries Do Not shoot to kill border crossers. Where do you come up with that malarkey? Watching too many old German movies or hanging around the N. Korea/China border. Rape starvation and internment camps are more likely in other countries.

        • Tim

          In my job as a pilot, I was staying in a Chula Vista hotel when the power went out. I understand about disaster preparedness at one’s home, but this really made me think about what to do as a traveler. Due to space limitations (size of the bag I’m allowed, requirement to have uniforms, etc.) I am very limited as to what I can have with me. Restaurants weren’t preparing food; stores weren’t selling food since they all use computers for cash registers these days. It was concerning.
          I’m open to suggestions what one in my situation might carry.

          • granny mae

            Tim,

            I think if I were in your situation I would carry several MRE’s. Mostly you would only need enough for a couple days. Several granola bars for breakfast and some MRE’s for the rest of the time. They don’t take up much space. Check them out. You could also check out the freeze dried pouches of meals that campers and back packers use. They are less weight than an MRE but you would need water and a way to heat water to fix them. MRE’s can be eaten without heating if necessary ! Also if you can carry a thermos of water you can use it to mix the freeze dried pouch and also a bottle with a couple little tea bags or packets of coffee. Just head for the camping section of Wal-Mart or even an out doors sporting goods store and you will find a lot of things you could take with you. You will know best what you could take and just go from there ! Good Luck ! Do it soon you never know when something will happen again.

  • Dieter

    In Arizona??? With more sunshine than they can handle?
    Give me a break!

    The cheapest insurance, a photovoltaic system on the roof. Even if it doesn’t cover all of the power needs a modest system will safeguard you from disaster.

    Just shows how evoluntionarily retarded Arizonans are.

    Catch up, folks!

    Piranha Rex

    • 45caliber

      Won’t work worth a darn if there is an EMP wave. Keep that in mind too.

      • granny mae

        That is true and they are not as cheap as you think, to buy and install and to maintain . Those battery’s are very expensive and I sure can’t afford them ! Doesn’t matter if you live in Arizona or tim-buck-to .

  • crystal

    The positive side to this blackout is we didn’t have to hear Obama. The negative side is we missed football.

    What most people here are talking about is whether they were ready for a power failure. Most people I spoke with said they were with the exception of a few loose ends.

    I for one thought I was completely ready until I realized my radio wasn’t battery operated. One man on the radio stated that he has a wall battery operated phone and another woman told me she has a flashlight that is also a radio. A lot of people had a small generator so they didn’t have to worry about refrigeration.

    I was a little surprised at all the people on the roadside who ran out of gas. I keep my tank between 3/4 full to full. Traffic was a nightmare.

    • 45caliber

      If an EMP wave hits – from the sun or from a nuke – we will all be in that blackout for weeks if not months. And with no traffic moving, that means no food. No electricity means no water for most. Keep it in mind.

  • Stuntman

    An EMP wave impinging on someone’s home photovoltaic system would only damage the electronics attached to that system, nothing else. If it weren’t strong enough, it would probably only cause a temporary disruption that could be overcome by simply recycling the power of whatever’s attached to it. It takes a lot of power to actually cause permanent damage. Doubt it would hurt the solar panels themselves unless they used IC chips….

  • FreedomFighter

    We need 200 or more new power plants in the next few years. Crushing demand will stress the current system to failure.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

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