Chicago Blackout - "Welcome to our Y2K preparedness party," : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This was posted on Bardou's thread but I though it deserved one of it's own...for you Bardou.

Electrical Blackout Darkens Downtown Chicago

Updated 5:00 PM ET August 12, 1999By Susan Nadeau

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Power outages hit two areas in and near downtown Chicago Thursday, sending workers streaming from buildings and forcing one big hotel to dip into its 2000 emergency supplies to fight the darkness.

Power was restored after more than an hour in the most densely populated area affected and no injuries were reported.

But during the height of the problems buses bulged with people trying to get home and police directed crawling traffic through intersections without traffic signals.

"Welcome to our Y2K preparedness party," said Robert Allegrini, spokesman for the 1,543-room Chicago Hilton and Towers as he helped hand chemically activated "glow sticks" to guests. He said the hotel gave out 6,000 of the sticks which it had on hand for possible power outages linked to turn-of-the-century computer problems this coming New Year's Eve.

He said one guest was stuck briefly in an elevator but the rest were led from their rooms, down pitch-black hallways, to safety.

Power was later restored to the hotel and the rest of an area covering 30 square blocks from the center of the downtown "Loop" southward, and which had less than an hour's notice that power would be cut off. But other parts of the city remained dark and officials said they hoped to restore power everywhere by Thursday evening.

Banks and exchanges in the city's financial center were blacked out for a time and the city's police headquarters operated on emergency generators.

The Chicago Board of Trade, the largest U.S. futures market, stopped trading early after warnings of the second blackout were issued. Roosevelt University canceled nearly 100 classes.

"I came back (from lunch) and there were all these people. The lobby was mobbed," said Theodore Gross, president of the school. He said he had to walk up eight flights of stairs to his office to retrieve belongings.

Demand problems caused by weather, which was cool and rainy, apparently played no part in the disruptions which were caused by transformer problems.

"I sent out an order asking everyone to leave the courts including several with juries, and we're doing it," said Marvin Aspen, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois. He had just walked down 25 floors to the street.

"Our computers are down, our elevators are down and hopefully we'll be back to work tomorrow," he said.

The first blackout west of downtown involved a multi-block area where Commonwealth Edison said 2,300 customers lost power.

The problems arose after three of four transformers at a substation on the city's near North Side went off-line.

One of the transformers had been undergoing repairs for the past week and two other transformers shut down, leaving one working. A high-voltage cable also failed, a spokesman for the utility said. Firefighters helped some handicapped people out of darkened high-rise buildings, but there were no life-threatening emergencies, a fire department spokesman said.

The local utility recently came under fire for an extended blackout affecting North Side customers that began at the end of a deadly Midwestern heat wave. Residents and businesses were asked to file for compensation for food and other perishables that spoiled during the blackout.

Commonwealth Edison is a wholly owned subsidiary of Unicom Corp.


-- Forum Regular (for, August 12, 1999


4 months ago:

polly: "come on!, what the hell do we need glow sticks for? the power aint goin out for y2k!"

doomer: "but it CAN, and what if it DOES for an extended period of time?"

Polly: "you silly doomer. I can't explain why i don't want you to be prepared in the event of an emergency, but you're just dumb."

Today: Doomer: "ummm hmm!" Polly : "..........."

-- Super (, August 12, 1999.

-- Super:

Please point out one post in the last year where a rational human being (aka Polly) said that you should " not prepare". And yes, that is the Jeopardy music you hear in the background...

People who want to survive Y2K should be prepared to kill.

-- (its@coming.soon), July 27, 1999.

-- (, August 12, 1999.

Thanks Forum Regular, I didn't realize how many people would post to the thread, I just thought it was significant enough to mention it. P.S. My husband's cell phone and his co-workers are still not working....

-- bardou (, August 12, 1999.

Its only 75 or 80 degrees I'm glad this didn't happen when it was 100.

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), August 12, 1999.

You're right, i admit it. i don't have an example.

but-- if i Started a thread called "All hotels should buy glow sticks for y2k", you're telling me you wouldn't have called me a silly doomer?

Jeopardy music is playing for You now...

-- Super (, August 12, 1999.

This will be SO much more fun when it's 20 below outside, with three feet of snow on the ground & more coming ("lake effect weather").

Can't hardly wait.

-- praise the lord (pass@the.glowsticks), August 12, 1999.

-------silence, just like i said.

-- Super (, August 12, 1999.

chicago radio station WMAQ reported that a spokeswoman for the power company said they had been doing y2k tests, but that she could not verify that the testing was the cause of the outage. i wonder if other news outlets besides WMAQ got that.

-- jocelyne slough (, August 12, 1999.

Just watched WGN News on cable about the power outage in my old stomping grounds.

VERY interesting.

Heard some REAL KEY phrases that kept coming up in their 15 minute coverage of this story.

Having been plagued with problems as ComEd has apparently ignored REMEDIATION and REPAIRs to it's ailing INFRASTRUCTURE in favor of producing juice created by nuclear power plant generation. The city is FURIOUS at ComEd for LYING about the status of their REMEDIATION and COMPLIANCE.

"They assured us that their INFRASTRUCTURE and CRITICAL SYSTEMS were COMPLIANT, and that we could expect NO MAJOR PROBLEMS since the disasters of the past two summers." said an official with the city.

"This is outrageous! They said they were ready to handle the city's needs!" cried an Alderman.

Ahhhhhhhh, the sounds of the wailings and gnashings of teeth.

BWAHahahahahahahahahahahaaaaahhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaahhhaaaahhhahhaaaahhaha!! !!!!!!!!!!


Oh, sorry (wiping tear from eye corner), don't mean to laugh.....


Oh this is rich. Not only does it now all call into question their cries of "100% Y2K Ready", it wakes folks up to the reality that their blind faith in an ailing interconnected infrastructure is just that,....blind.

It's all been an illusion. Faith in false gods.

Well, *sigh* get used to hearing this song and dance in the coming weeks and months. I'm sure this is nothing compared to the real fun that will begin later this year.

Got a call from the sis tonight from NW 'Chicago 'burbs - who is scared to death I was right all along about the utilities' and banks' claims of "being Y2K ready" as bogus.

Because until now, she said "It's not going to be as bad as you say".

Now she's really worried they've all been duped, and they could be in REAL trouble shortly.

She's planning on stocking up tomorrow.

I just wonder if most are going to just wait to do that until the power goes off in their 'hoods....when the stores are all "closed due to power failure", or if this moves the herd to be ready "just-in- case".

As I told the sis....better late than never, "but wouldn't you be sleeping easier if you had been doing stuff over this last year and a half instead of waiting last minute?"

Except, unlike Christmas shopping, this type of procrastination can kill you if you're not prepared.

Just ask the folks at ComEd.


-- INVAR (, August 12, 1999.

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