Multiple power outages hit the U.S. power grid which affected San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. The outage caused interruption of business, traffic and day-to-day life in San Francisco. Reports indicate that the San Francisco outage was the worst of the three major cities that experienced outages.
San Francisco officials reported that a fire at a substation was the cause of the outage. However, the power companies in the other regions did not elaborate on the cause. Commuters were left stranded and traffic backed up on Friday morning due to the series of subsequent power outages in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City.
Surprisingly, the outages occurred around the same time. However, there is no evidence that they were connected by anything more than coincidence. New York experienced the first outage which occurred around 7:20 a.m. after power went down at the 7th Avenue and 53rd Street subway station. The outage sent a shockwave of significant delays out from the hub and into the rest of the subway system. At around 11:30 a.m. the city’s MTA confirmed that generators were running again in the station.
Power outages were also reported later in the morning in Los Angeles International Airport, as well as in several other areas around the city. In San Francisco, the Fire Department was responding to more than 100 calls for service in the Financial District and beyond, including 20 elevators with people stuck inside. However, no immediate injuries were reported. Sirens were heard blaring everywhere as engines maneuvered along streets jammed with traffic.
The incident caused traffic lights to be out at scores of intersections, as cars were backing up on downtown streets as drivers grew frustrated and honked at each other.
The cause of the outage is yet to be determined. However, given the current geo-political climate it is not out of the question to suggest that a cyber-attack could have caused the outage. It has also been suggested that the current outages could be the result of a secretive nuclear/EMP drill by the federal government.
The entire national power grid has been mapped by adversaries of the United States and it is believed that sleep trojans or malware may exist within the computer systems that maintain the grid. A report that was revealed in 2016 indicated that the entire way of life has been left vulnerable to saboteurs who could cause cascading blackouts across the United States for days or weeks at a time.
The report emphasized that there is the potential for attacks on individual power substations in the vast network of decentralized and largely unguarded power grid chain. EMPs and natural disasters also pose a threat to the grid. A study by the U.S. government found that there would be major and extended blackouts if more than three key substations were destroyed.
Shockingly, it would take very little to bring down the present system. Currently, there is very little the system can do to protect against this wide-open threat. The lack of continuous flow of energy would drastically affect our lives in a significant way.
Americans are encouraged to prepare for this potentially devastating scenario by considering emergency food reserves, clean water reserves and even home defense strategies in the event of a widespread outage.