For those of us who were lucky enough to be stuck in the Blackout of 2003, the Power System Outage task force has released their report with the causes and the resolutions.
If you did not know about the Blackout, here is an excerpt from the report “ … on August 14, 2003, large portions of the Midwest and Northeast United States and Ontario, Canada, experienced an electric power blackout. The outage affected an area with an estimated 50 million people and 61,800 megawatts (MW) of electric load in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and the Canadian province of Ontario. The blackout began a few minutes after 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time and power was not restored for 4 days in some parts of the United States. Parts of Ontario suffered rolling blackouts for more than a week before full power was restored. Estimates of total costs in the United States range between $4 billion and $10 billion (U.S. dollars). In Canada, gross domestic product was down 0.7% in August, there was a net loss of 18.9 million work hours, and manufacturing shipments in Ontario were down $2.3 billion (Canadian dollars)…”
My question is, how the heck do they calculate those numbers?
For the curious lot, I was stuck at JFK Airport for the whole night – sleeping on a chair – or trying to. I had just left work to catch a flight back home to San Francisco. I was on a project in the NY office of the company I work for and was shuttling between good old San Francisco and New York on a weekly basis.