August 15, 2003
Bush Reinforces Message to Americans: "I'm Keeping You In The Dark So You're Utterly Powerless"
Homeland Security Department Says Massive, Crippling Blackout Went Exactly As Planned
Tom Ridge excitedly praised Northeast America, including Cleveland, Detroit, New York, all of Connecticut, and many other areas affecting millions upon millions of Americans, for taking part in a complete loss of the Northeastern power grid that went "exactly as we'd scheduled it."
In New York, for instance, gas pumps failed to operate because they could not be operated manually, taxis and buses ran out of gasoline, countless numbers of people were completely stranded, and police officers told pedestrians that "they had no clue what was going on." Officers asked whether buses were running or what routes were best to take said they knew nothing.
President Bush praised the "excellent communication" he had set up to handle emergencies. "These agencies communicate as well as I do," he beamed.
New York Governor George Pataki took an admirable stance as a leader, saying it was all Canada's fault -- "Blame them, we had nothing to do with it," he said at a press conference, unaware that no one else was in the room with him.
Hours after the power outage, fire marshals in a Brooklyn building told workers to "stand by" until they "tracked down" the problem. Everybody had already left.
"I think our people did superbly," said Mayor Bloomberg. "It's like one big party up here. Of course, the fact that this happened after we promised we would insure it would never happen again after 1977 is a cause for some concern."
Tom Ridge was proud of the failure and the response of state, federal and local authorities. "It's nice to know that we don't need terrorists to create a crisis," he said. "We're quite capable of creating our own."
Blogging By Candlelight
I walked home from my office. It took me hours to get home. There was no emergency evacuation plan in my building. A woman with a walker waited and waited, talked to her husband by phone, and chanced the elevators. Our fire marshall was on vacation.
Taxicabs were parked all over, because the outage came at the end of their shifts and they could not fill up on gas.
The only reason things went so well is New Yorkers are really cool people.
Still, I have my laptop (for a little while yet), a phone connection and I can post.
The kids are asleep, New York is quieter than ever . . . except for the sound of a clicking keyboard. . . .
Posted by Tom Burka at 12:19 AM