NWR: San Diego Blackout

Posted by: Brad Harrington

NWR: San Diego Blackout - 09-09-2011 16:55:08

That was strange.
I was heading off for the first day of an HTML5 class I want to take.

On the way I stopped at a new Costco Business Center to see what it is about. Right after walking in, the power goes off and they start scrambling to get things going. They said it was the second time it has happened there this year and at the moment they thought it was just them. I left and had to go past a Target which is at the other end of the complex where the Costco is located. Same building, same block. I noticed they had locked their doors and were dark inside. At this point, I was figuring it was the building itself and drove off for school. On the way I stopped to get a sandwich to take to school with me. Pull into the sandwich shop a couple blocks away and they are dark and closed. Hmmmm, now I realize that this thing could be covering a few blocks. I head off for school, another mile away. On the way, I notice all the traffic lights are out. Amazing how intelligently everyone is handling the intersections. Just like polite human beings!! WOW, I was impressed. I figure it's time to check my radio for news, 90% of the radio stations are off the air. ??????? Huh??? I get to school and everything is black, walk in and a few classes are full of people getting ready to leave and trying to figure out what is going on. The front office staff comes out and say they have a radio and have been informed that all of San Diego is off the power grid!! Wow!!!

So class is cancelled and I have to turn around and drive home. It is now 4 pm. The drive is usually about 15 minutes. But today, people are leaving work early because they can't get any work done. The rush hour traffic was insane, everyone hits the road at the same time with no traffic lights. It took me 1 hr and 45 minutes to get home. Frigging insane.

I call Maureen on my cell, which is only working on occasion because most of the antennas are out. Finally get her and tell her about the traffic and that she should wait to drive home. She says her car needs gas to get home, she is on empty. She heads off to the closest station, which is closed. She goes back to work. She has to stay there over night or risk running out of gas on the way home. In the meantime, I was trying to get home and I was running on empty too!! I got home with under an eight of a tank, can't go get her.

Power turned on sometime between 1 and 3 am. Thankfully!

All because some yahoo in Arizona did something he wasn't supposed to do! They aren't talking yet but that appears to be the case.

At least it only went 12 hours, good eye opener. Luckily I had everything I needed at home. Lots of light, I had actually just loaded up on batteries and and flashlights, so I was in good shape. I was able to spend my evening reading, so that worked out.
Posted by: Fred Berry

Re: NWR: San Diego Blackout - 09-09-2011 23:32:15

Look on the bright side...your power bill next month will be a tad smaller
Posted by: JimClarke

Re: NWR: San Diego Blackout - 09-11-2011 20:23:28

Sounds like a plot from 24.
Posted by: TomHill

Well..... - 09-11-2011 22:51:20

Originally Posted By: Brad Harrington


All because some yahoo in Arizona did something he wasn't supposed to do! They aren't talking yet but that appears to be the case.



Well...from what I've read, MerlotBoy....he was doing what he was supposed to be doing!!! Just swapping out a simple capacitor.
Tom
Posted by: Brad Harrington

Re: Well..... - 09-12-2011 00:53:58

Originally Posted By: TomHill
Originally Posted By: Brad Harrington


All because some yahoo in Arizona did something he wasn't supposed to do! They aren't talking yet but that appears to be the case.



Well...from what I've read, MerlotBoy....he was doing what he was supposed to be doing!!! Just swapping out a simple capacitor.
Tom


Not how it was being portrayed on news reports out here, they were saying he made a mistake while performing regular maintenance. ?? Who knows?? Truth is, even if he totally messed up, seems like there should be very little that could be done to cause this scale of a blackout.
Posted by: Paul Nelson

it is going to take time to figure out... - 09-12-2011 05:04:07

As someone who works in the power industry, the blackout of entire SDG&E load should probably not have happened. The failure of one transmission line should not have caused this to happen.

The engineers are going to have to go through the logs to figure out the sequence of events. Then they can determine if this was equipment failure, process failure, or operational error.

I am supposed to say this is my opinion and not those of my employer.