Blackout '03: Trouble All Down The Line

In just a few minutes, a glitch in the Midwest rippled through about 100 electric plants, plunging millions into darkness

A WIRED WORLD North America is crisscrossed by thousands of power-transmission lines linking generators and cities in a complex web designed to send power where it is needed

THE LAKE ERIE LOOP Investigators now think the crisis started with the failure of several transmission lines near Lake Erie. The clockwise flow of power around the lake was very suddenly sucked backward, destabilizing the flow of electricity

HOW ELECTRICITY IS SUPPOSED TO FLOW ...

1 --Power plant --Generator

Electricity starts at the power plant, produced by a spinning generator driven by various means: a hydroelectric dam, a large diesel engine, a gas...

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