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No more electric grid in the USA, hey! Boston Blackout 2012

After 28 hours and 45minutes, my apartment building in the Back Bay section of Boston has electricity again.  A transformer near the Sheraton Boston hotel exploded and caught fire, which caused a domino effect on the next transformer and then a substation in Chinatown. This happened at 6pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 and my immediate neighborhood lost power around 6:20pm. I ventured out on Wednesday afternoon because I needed to juice up my cell phone and laptop.  I went to the South End of Boston to visit someone and saw all the buildings along Mass Ave closed and in the dark.  Green line Prudential and Symphony stations were closed.  From there I went to back of Chinatown and they had power, then I took the Orange line to Back Bay subway and Amtrak station.  There was a Caterpiller generator truck out front supplying them power.  The Boston Public Library in Copley Square was closed, which surprised me because they are a city building on its own square block and I would have thought they had a back up generator.  Only the hotels in the area affected did.  I had to cross the bridge and go to the Cambridge Public Library for power and internet.

Even though NSTAR claims that were paying technicians double and triple overtime Tuesday evening to get power restored, that is not the truth at all.  I believe they sent salaried managers to check out the damage and draft a plan of action for the regular pay hours of Wednesday, March 14, 2012. The press also down played how many people were without power, they say 12,000, I say at least triple that.  The Back Bay neighborhood is locals, students and hotel visitors.

The area blacked out is huge.  From the bottom of Beacon Hill, all along the Charles River to top of Boston University, to over I-90 behind Fenway Park, to the border of the South End at St. Botolph street and Northeastern University. The Sheraton Boston’s tower that borders the Hynes Convention Center and the Prudential Center was also in the dark.  In MBTA language, the area blacked out is everywhere within and around Charles, Boylston, Arlington, Copley, Hynes, Kenmore, Symphony, Prudential, Back Bay, NE Medical Center and Chinatown.

The MBTA was running fine, other than Prudential and Symphony, because they are not on the residential/business NSTAR grid.  I read about a restaurant owner down the street from the Sheraton Boston, claimed he lost about $5K due to the power outage because he could not accept credit cards.

This is why all buildings at an address need to generate their own power.  I and everyone else who does not live right next door to the transformer fire, should not have been without power for over 24 hours!  And the police only cared about catching looters in the dark.  They weren’t concerned about people who need medication refrigerated or babies who need formula and food heated up.  USA; money first, people second.

*4:50pm, March 15, 2012-people are still without power in the Back Bay section of Boston.

*Everyone in the Back Bay got all power restored by Saturday night, March 17, 2012.  There was a planned power outage at 4am on March 17, 2012.  Nstar held a customer service center at the Boston Public Library in Copley square that was closed because of the blackout.  It was Monday to Wednesday, 4 to 8pm, 3/19 to 3/21/2012.

Filed under blackout electricity grid nstar boston transformer generator 2012 back bay massachusetts cash register

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