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Aug. 15, 2003: Major Blackout Hits Northeast United States

August 15, 2003
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DETROIT — A huge power blackout shut down a major portion of the northeastern United States and part of Canada late Thursday afternoon, Aug. 14, 2003, at approximately 4:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Power was slowly being restored on Friday. Officials stated that it might take the entire weekend before power could be fully restored to all affected areas.

The blackout impacted eight states from Connecticut to southeastern Michigan (including the headquarters of The News). The states affected include Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. A portion of the province of Ontario in Canada also lost power.

At least three states declared a state of emergency, including Michigan, New Jersey, and New York.

The cause of the blackout is still unknown. The initial theory offered by Canadian authorities had the cause centered in the Niagara Falls area in New York. Another theory said it started in Lansing, Mich., and moved eastward. Still another said it was centered in Ohio. An investigation is underway and officials said it could be days or even weeks before the trigger point is determined.

Publication date: 08/11/2003

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