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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Power Outage may be due to Niagara Mohawk Power Grid Being Overloaded

Aired August 14, 2003 - 16:50   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Actually, we got a bit of information coming from the New York state official, telling us that the Niagara Mowhawk Power Grid has been overloaded, most likely a natural occurrence we are told, not an act of terrorism, according to a New York state official.
Talking about the Niagara Mohawk Power Grid being overloaded. Taking us back to 1965, Richard, and looking at the Great Northeast Blackout that happened at that point, causing electrical engineers to reexamine the power of the grid system. What do you know -- do you know anything about this Niagara Mohawk power grid?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Kyra, this is Wolf Blitzer in New York. Can you hear me?

PHILLIPS: OK. Yes, I can hear you now, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, let me tell you about the Niagara Mowhawk Power Grid. I'm very familiar with this grid having grown up in Buffalo, New York, along the Niagara River and Niagara Falls which is the source for a lot of the electricity not only in the northeastern part of the United States but also in Canada as well, all the way up to Ottawa, Toronto.

We are hearing reports from friends up in Toronto, Ottawa that there's power shortages all the way up there. Not only in the northeastern part of the United States but also up in Canada.

As far as Detroit, we're hearing there is some shortages as well, which is understandable, given the fact that this Niagara Mohawk Power Grid which comes from the enormous power that's generated by Niagara Falls does service so much of the northeastern part of the United States, the northeastern corridor as well as Ontario, up in Canada and elsewhere in Canada as well.

We have heard from officials with the Office of Emergency Management here in New York City, Kyra, that there has been a problem with this Niagara Mohawk power grid. We have no -- absolutely no idea what this is. This is a direct quote from a source of the OEM, the Office of Emergency Management. Let me repeat it. We have absolutely no idea what this is. Obviously people are working feverishly right now to deal with this problem.

I can tell you here in Manhattan the situation is obviously very, very serious. If you look out the building where I am right now -- and I'm on the 21st floor of a building not far from Madison Square Garden here in our CNN bureau, you literally...

PHILLIPS: Wolf, Wolf, I'm going to have you hold that thought.

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