Our power came back on about 20 minutes ago, at about 6:30 AM. The fishtank began making an annoying noise and I checked the time on my cell phone which I'd left next to my bed. After 5 or ten minutes, I got up and poured water in the fish filter and staggered back to bed. But my curiousity got the best of me. A web connection. Now I can find out what the hell happened, I thought. Well no. Not really. What did I expect?
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The cause of a blackout that affected all of New York City and much of the Northeast on a sweltering August day remained uncertain Friday morning as power began to trickle back to a few, even as more than 15 million from Detroit to Ottawa remained without electricity.
As of 4:30 a.m. EDT Friday, some lights were beginning to flicker back on in parts of Manhattan. Not far from Times Square -- where many people had camped out for the night -- some streetlights began to glow. But most other areas of the city remained in the dark.
So far, there had been no reports of major injuries or deaths related to the blackout, New York Gov. George Pataki said.
"People are responding the way they should," Pataki said. "We can look at each other with tremendous pride."
But he added: "The questions I'm asking are: 'Why did this happen? And why did the steps that were supposed to have been taken to make sure this did not happen again not happen?'"
Last night I was getting news by calling my mother in Seattle on my cell phone and having her watch TV and websurf for me.
Now here's something interesting from the NYT:
The problem of preventing such power failures has been that, for the most part, no one has an incentive to invest billions of dollars in new wires, new towers and new transformers. The old utilities have sold off their power plants but still hold a highly regulated monopoly on the network of lines, and they would only invest in new transmission if state regulators would guarantee them rate increases to pay for it.
That is the last thing the regulators, who deregulated much of the industry in hopes of lowering rates, would be willing to do. The entrepreneurial power companies that have bought up power plants have decided against building new transmission lines that would compete with existing ones, possibly driving down transmission charges, and would, at most times, be nothing more than "excess capacity."
More later. I've got some reading to do.