|Top 5 Blackouts of All Time | Thanks Super Bowl!
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Posted: February 4, 2013
by Ted Greenberg
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Death, taxes and the Super Bowl. There are certain things you expect to work like clockwork. The United States’ largest telecast of the biggest game is one of them. Over-the-top commercials, lots of pizza, cheerleaders, a fierce halftime show (thanks Beyonce for living up to that) and men on the gridiron. But, you never expect that the lights will go out. In honor of last night’s very unexpected blackout, I take a look at some of the New York’s biggest blackouts ever.
5) Hurricane Sandy — Much of lower Manhattan (including my apartment) were plunged into darkness in late October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy rattled my beloved city. See New York Magazine cover. For nearly a week, the lights were out below 26th Street. No heat. No running water. No restaurants open. No subway service. Nothing. Nada. Did I mention the city had a cold spell then too? The city that never sleeps was suddenly forced to. It was not fun or funny. And, some parts of our battered subway system are still not back up to speed.
4) August 14, 2003 — On a very hot day, due to an overtaxed electric grid, the lights go out across the Eastern seaboard for 24 hours plus. This blackout — once everyone realized that it was not terrorist-related — was a lot more fun than Hurricane Sandy. Neighbors sat on stoops, played cards and lit their streets with flashlights. And, some people took advantage of the forced mood lighting and got busy. If we’re forced to stay home, New Yorkers will find a way to par-tay.
3) November 9, 1965 — This blackout was a doozy. 30 million people across seven states and Canada lost power. Not all parts of New York were in darkness, but most parts of the city were. There were some interesting theories about this blackout. UFOs. That’s right some conspiracy theorists felt that aliens had caused it. Perhaps that rumor spread because half of the FM radio stations and the TV stations went off the air during the blackout.
2) July 13 -14, 1977 — This was the grand daddy of blackouts in terms of the scars it left across the five boroughs. This one only affected New York City, but in a big way. In fact, the Wikipedia page about this blackout claims that the major looting during this lights out period led to a greater dissemination of hip hop. That’s right, according to the page, record and electronic stores were supposedly severely looted, and the equipment stolen was used to proliferate the fledgling genre. I’m not making this up.
1) Super Bowl 2013 — OK, this one didn’t take place in New York, where next year’s Super Bowl will be held, but still its ramifications could be felt all the way from New Orleans to the Big Apple. How the hell does the Super Bowl go dark for a little bit? This is unacceptable. And where were those glow in the dark Black Eyed Peas outfits from a few years back? They could certainly have lighted half of the stadium. C’mon. We can do better than this America. For the big game? God bless Beyonce.
Tags: blackout, super bowl