Blackout

A crazy thing happened this morning.

At 8:30am the lights flickered a couple of times. Then they went out. And stayed out. We lost all power to our building. Actually, to our city.

It is pretty stormy today and apparently an earthing wire on one of the high tension power pylons was blown across the lines and blew them out. We lost all power from Hamilton up (the top half of the North Island).

At first it was funny. Then weird. Then just plain boring. The majority of the building was in darkness, which meant we were confined to our offices. We weren't sure how long it was going to last so we didn't know whether to stay or go. Going was also an issue though, because all the traffic lights in the city were out. We heard rumours that things were getting chaotic.

We had no radio (the stations were out of power), no internet and no phones (everyone in the city was trying to call out so congestion meant that no calls were being connected). Everything we heard was rumour. Some people were saying the power would be back on in 2 hours, others were saying 5 hours to 2 days.

HR came around and told us that if we wanted to go home for the day we could do so and only claim half a day's leave. Bugger that. We decided to sit around at work and get paid to do nothing, rather than not get paid to do nothing at home. We moved some furniture around. We played hang man. I had a sleep at my desk.

After 3 hours we decided to leave. We went to my work friend's flat and played Trivial Pursuit and drank beer. Well, I drank beer.

The power came back after 5 1/2 hours so we've come back to work to see what has happened to the servers.

It has shown us how much we rely on electricity. It's a bit of a worry really.

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One thought on “Blackout

  1. Yeah we’d be pretty much screwed without it. Which is worth a worry, because there are hundreds of earthly natural disasters and cosmological events which could easily distrupt electricity on a global scale for long periods of time.

    I’ve always enjoyed brief blackouts, though. They’re a little boring if you do nothing with them, but they bring a little change to your routine.

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