Entries in Power Outage (3)


Super Bowl Blackout Was Not Caused by Tampering

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- You can put those theories about the Super Bowl power outage being caused by human tampering to rest. Investigators in the outage say the cause for the darkness just after halftime at Sunday's game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was technical.

Entergy New Orleans, the company that powers the Superdome, has finished its investigation, finding that a relay, meant to prevent a failure of electrical cables, had failed, turning down the lights at pro football's biggest game.  

The fans inside the New Orleans stadium might have enjoyed the 34-minute break in the action, but for the NFL, the advertisers and the players, it was anything but enjoyable.   

The faulty device has been taken out and will be replaced.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Electrical Worker Blamed for Black Out in SoCal, Arizona, Mexico

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- A single worker's error led to a massive power outage on Thursday that swept across Arizona, Southern California and Mexico, leaving millions of people in the dark and bringing major West Coast cities to a standstill, according to a local power company.

The North Gila-Hassayampa 500 kV transmission line near Yuma, Arizona was tripped offline when a single APS employee was carrying out a procedure in the North Gila substation, according to Arizona Power Service.

Typically, in such an instance, the outage would be isolated to the Yuma area.  The investigation is now focusing on the reason that did not occur in this case, APS said Thursday.

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. president and CEO Michael Niggli earlier said that 1.4 million affected customers could be without power through the night and into Friday.

A multi-stage restoration plan was started to get power back to everyone, according to the San Diego Gas & Electric Co.

The outage, which started at 4 p.m. PST, appeared to stretch west from Yuma to San Diego, as far north as San Clemente, California, and as far south as the Baja peninsula in Mexico.

The loss of power led to a shutdown of two reactors at the San Onofre nuclear power plant.  Officials from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency said it appeared to have shut down automatically at 3:38 p.m. because of the change in the power grid -- as it is designed to do, kind of like a circuit breaker.  

Grocery stores across San Diego that have back-up generators were filled with people grabbing non-perishable food, water and ice.  Most of the gas stations are closed, as people are being advised to use as little gas and water as possible.  There were people stranded whose gas has run out, and all landline phones aren't working.

Some hospitals that usually provide urgent care were closed, while some were under emergency lock down -- frustrating and frightening many.

Non-functioning traffic lights have caused delays everywhere, making it difficult for ambulances to get to where they needed to go.  And all flights out of San Diego International Airport have been suspended.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Trip From Hell: Passengers Stranded on Train Nearly 10 Hours

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto | Transportation Security Administration(WASHINGTON) -- The passengers on Amtrak Train 188 -- all 408 of them -- endured a travel nightmare after their train was stranded for nearly 10 hours on Thursday night, at times without light or heat.

Train 188 left Washington, D.C. around 7:10 p.m. heading north to Philadelphia, but an unexpected electrical outage halted the train outside Perryville, Md. around 9:00 p.m.

According to Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm, a Delmarva Power line fell onto the Amtrak power lines about 10 miles south of Wilmington, Del., ultimately shorting out the signal system, but not the power line which supplies the trains with electricity and heat.

Eight trains along the Northeast corridor were affected by the power shortage, amounting to 1,700 passengers stuck on trains for hours. Seven of the trains were held at stations. Train 188 was the lone exception.

WJLA reporter Steven Tschida was a passenger on Train 188, tweeting his experiences throughout the night, at one point calling it "the trip from HELL."

Stephanie Benanty, a 21-year-old passenger, said she was frustrated with the lack of information Amtrak officials had about the delay.

"It was very almost impossible to find a conductor and when we were trying to get in touch with them, they were walking by with their hands up saying, 'We know nothing,'' Benanty, a senior psychology major at George Washington University, told ABC News in a Skype interview. "It was clear they didn't know what was going on."

"Why will no one tell us anything? People are cold, hungry, and frightened. I hear yelling in other cars," Tschida tweeted.

Early Friday morning, the lights on Train 188 went out and passengers began to panic.  A group of passengers began to discuss plans about stepping off the train after they discovered on their GPS systems that a station was only a five-minute walk away. They said they spoke to conductors and were told they might be arrested if they walked along the tracks on their own.

Eventually, Amtrak police agreed to escort about a dozen passengers, including a mother with two small children, off the train. They walked five minutes to the closed Perryville station and waited about 30 minutes for taxis to take them to their final destinations.

Passengers remaining on the train reported little heat or light. But Amtrak insisted it was a minor discomfort.

"For the vast majority of the time, the light and heat were on in Train 188," Kulm said.

Train 188 eventually inched its way towards Philadelphia and arrived around 4:30 a.m.

Train passenger Rita Hudetz told ABC News via Twitter that conductors told passengers they would receive a refund because of the delay, but Friday Amtrak refused and instead offered her a voucher.

"We understand the frustration of our passengers went through, particularly on Train 188 and all the trains impacted. We apologize," Kulm said.

But for some, the apology might not be enough.

"In this day and age, again, being in transportation like that and not being told why we're stuck, is very, very concerning," Benanty said. "Amtrak lost me as a customer."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio