Who Turned out the Lights? On this date in 1965, the lights went out in the Northeast. Biggest power outage in US history. It’s cause was found to be from a relay station at Niagara Falls, the Sir Adam Beck Station Number 2 in Ontario, Canada. Here is number of sources regarding the history of the 1965 blackout that was particularly difficult since it began during rush hour in New York. I remember my father being stuck in the RCA building in New York and the lights being out at home. The moon was huge and we sent my sister out to investigate what that large object was…we weren’t so sure it was a moon. The whole episode could be traced back to the 1950’s when post-war America expanded rapidly and power requirements soared for public and commercial use as well as for private homes as new electric devices became available and affordable.
Power companies developed a “grid” which was a system in which power stations in one utlity’s area was connected with power stations in another utility’s area via high voltage power lines. The idea was to be able to control the balance between power generation and service demand over a large area. When the relay station near Niagara Falls failed and disconnect a transmission line, it was a relatively minor failure on its own. But, since it was part of the interconnected grid, the result was an escalating sequence of line overloads. The line overloads raced down the main trunklines and that in turn separated main power sources with major sources of major demand. Around New York City, power plants automatically shut down to prevent an overload of their turbines. It took just 15 minutes for the entire Canadian-United States Interconnection area to go down. The lights went out at 5:27 pm on November 9, 1965 and power was restored to all of New York City by 6:58 am on November 10. It took six days to pinpoint the cause….or was that just a cover story?
Maybe it was a UFO because, according to some conspiracy theorists, the big power outage in 1965 was caused by a UFO. Here is the UFO angle and it’s relation to the Johnson White House. Never mind that it happened again in 2003 and never mind that it is acknowledged that our electric grid is antiquated and susceptable to catastrophic, large scale failure. No…it was an UFO. Here is a summary of the whole caper. Look at these UFO reports from the late summer and fall of 1965 and analyze these UFO reports from Nov 9, 1965 yourself! Truth or Fiction? Apparently one demonstrated part of fiction from the Great Northeast Blackout was that the birthrate in the region skyrocketed 9 months later. This story was spread by a series of three stories in the New York Times in August 1966. But, that storyline was debunked by J. Richard Udry in a study the demographer from the University of North Carolina published in 1970. That’s no fun though…when myth collides with fact, go with the myth!
Weather Bottom Line: Perhaps it is what is left of Ida cutting off the moisture, but our front coming through does not appear to be interested in bringing much rain. The NAM has nothing and the GFS throws out .01″. So, look for cloudy skies on Tuesday and then cooler and mostly sunny conditions for the rest of the week.