The Great Northeast Blackout of 1965
The Great Northeast Blackout (November 9, 1965 at 5:27 pm)
By Dave Lucier
On a fall afternoon in November 1965, I was arduously studying kinematics in the library of the University of Massachusetts where I went to engineering school.
Author's note: I was more likely flirting with some busty co-ed in the study hall.
It was late in the afternoon, as I recall. The lights flickered once or twice. A few seconds later, there was nothing but pure darkness as the power went off.
I heard a deep voice in the cavernous room say:
"This is God speaking."
There was a silent pause as a few people snickered. Then the voice continued:
"Due to lack of interest, today has been cancelled!"
The power was out for approximately 12 hours, extending into the next morning.
It was the largest power outage in US history.
By Dave Lucier
In the late 1980s, I was troubleshooting a MS5001D gas turbine package power plant. This plant was installed in 1962 by Long Island Lighting Company in the township of Southampton, NY. The site is near the tip of Long Island, just down the road from some of the most expensive homes and property in the United States. The area is known as The Hamptons. Movie stars and socialites have summer homes out there. During his reelection bid, Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, attended a fund raiser in the home of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. You get the idea.
Anyway, according to one of the plant operators (call him Doc), this turbine/generator is credited for bringing back the Island and eventually NY City during The Great Northeast Blackout of November 1965. It had a feature called Black Start capability.
As far as I know, the plant still operates after over forty-three years of service, making it one of only a handful of package power plants of this vintage still in service. There is a "sister" unit (MS5001D) at the FEDC donated by Delmarva Power & Light for Dover, DE.
Last modified Sunday, Mar-13-2005 11:58 AM