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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Power Blackout in NYC: Overview

Aired August 15, 2003 - 19:54   ET

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

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the old paradox about the glass of water being half empty or half full certainly applies to the big blackout. We've spent a lot of time talking about what went wrong yesterday. But you know what? A lot of more -- or a lot more things did go right.
Here's Anderson Cooper.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): At Bellevue Hospital, the generators kicked in, and doctors finished four operations that were under way when the lights went out. Ten thousand police officers hit the streets. And while 911 lines were down briefly, police answered emergency calls on their radios.

The stock market was up and running today.

And perhaps what worked best of all, New Yorkers themselves. With stop lights and walk signs out, everyday Joes stepped in to direct traffic. Drivers called out news updates from their car radios to pedestrians, and the boom boxes that are sometimes seen as noise pollution, attracted huddles in the streets for the information they offered.

Stores slashed prices on ice cream. Some just gave it away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Free ice cream.

COOPER: And looting was minor. In fact, the mood in many neighborhoods was downright festive, block parties with beer and battery-powered radios and candlelit barbecues.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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