Cities: Truth or Consequences

After the great blackout in the north eastern U.S. (TIME cover, Nov. 19), El Paso Electric Co. President Ray Lockhart, whose outfit serves a 13,200-sq.-mi. area of southwest Texas, southern New Mexico and the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, bragged that nothing like that could ever happen to his customers. Last week it did.

Blacked out for two hours were some 50 cities and towns, including El Paso, Ciudad Juárez, Truth or Consequences, Las Cruces and Alamogordo, New Mex.

The power failure also hit four military bases— Fort Bliss and Biggs Air Force Base in Texas, White Sands Missile Range and...

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