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The Past | The Previous

Black Night

"The largest power blackout in U.S. history rolled across a vast swath of the northern United States as well as southern Canada on Thursday, driving millions of people outdoors into stifling rush hour streets then darkness.

New Yorkers escaped silenced subways. Nuclear power plants in four states were forced to shut down because of the outage.





But the question remained: What to do? Where to go?

The answer: the pub.

The power outage had left even Times Square eerily dark, so New York City's faithful headed out of their hot apartments and stuffy office cubicles and into their local bars to grab a few cold ones.



"People were stuck and couldn't get home so they thought, 'why not gather at the local watering hole?'" said Joey Murphy, bartender at Ned Kelly's, on Manhattan's West Side. "It's the best place to go when there's no transportation."

Like hundreds of New York bars, Kelly's was packed, hot, sticky, and lighted by candlelight. The crowd spilled onto the sidewalk, resigned to make the best of an otherwise miserable situation.

But there was a dark side to this drinking:

"I'm trying to keep calm," said Aaron David, 27, who works at the United Nations. "But I was here for 9-11. This doesn't happen every day. I mean, fuck, it happened and then the next thing I knew, there were all these fucking people with guns outside! Was this an orange alert? Red? The power was fucking off! How was I suppose to know how to react?"

But it was not a terrorist attack. Instead, the blackout set off security precautions developed after the World Trade Center attack, which resulted in heavily armed teams of counterterror officers deploying at New York City landmarks and other sensitive locations.

Officials swiftly realized the outage was not an act of terror and then used teams to make sure no one took advantage of the blackout to strike at a terror target, officials said.

But this incident might give New Yorkers, as well as others in the U.S. and around the world, some insight on what it is like to be in a city that has been invaded, and become the victim of a Terrorist Network.

The image below is of two Iraqi girls in Bazra, where the power has also failed.



Meanwhile, back In Times Square, Giovanna Leonardo, 26, is waiting in a line of 200 people for a bus to her to Staten Island.

"I'm scared," she said, looking out into the darkness. "It's that unknown `what's going to happen' feeling I've got. The city's shutting down. Everyone's panicking--this isn't meant to happen here."