Thursday and Friday, August 14 and 15, will be known as the Big Blackout of 2003. A massive power outage that began about 4:00 PM on August 14 knocked out power for over 50 million people from New England south to New Jersey and as far west as Toledo, Ohio. All of New York city was without power. The government claims that no terrorism was involved, but the conspiracy theorists among us find that hard to believe.
As it happens, I missed the whole thing in Cleveland. My boss and two of my colleagues and I drove to Blacksburg, Virginia, for business meetings. We left at 6:30 AM on Thursday and didn’t return until almost 7:00 PM on Friday. Had I not heard about the outage on the TV, when I came home, I would not have been the wiser about it. It was lovely and cool in the house when I got home, and Mitsou the cat was happy to see me.
Most people in Cleveland have to boil their drinking water, because pumps that feed the water system are powered by electricity. Fortunately, I live north of Euclid Avenue, and the water here is fed by gravity, so we never lost water pressure. That means we don’t have to boil. As a precaution, I’m not going out of my way to drink the water, but I’ll use bottled water to drink for a couple of days.