North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: Power Outage in Chicago Loop

  • From: Kevin Day
  • Date: Sun Oct 08 22:19:38 2000

> I asked the "top" four ISP's, and none reported any problems nor
> any other affects due to the power outage.  None reported any power
> loss at all.
> The Internet performance graphs at Matrix shows the world-wide
> packet loss for the Internet and WWW sites doubled at the time
> of the Chicago Loop lost power.  The packet loss increased from
> about 3.9% to 7.9%.
> The power anomaly (aka blackout) began at 12:45 CDT when a circuit
> breaker exploded at the 828 S Jefferson Street Commonwealth Edison
> power station, the resulting fire also damaged other breakers in the
> station.  Power was interrupted between 24th and Chicago Ave; and
> Lake Shore Drive and Ashland Ave. Power was fully restored shortly
> after 6pm CDT. I believe this is the same substation which had problems
> last year.  The Associated Press reported 12,000 direct customers
> were affected.
> The Chicago Tribune has a picture of the substation and fire on their
> web site.

FYI, it wasn't the same substation.... The one last year that was causing
the problems was at California and Addison. At the time, I worked at a
company that was also at California and Addison, which had their north
parking lot seperated from the substation by a fence. For weeks after the
big event, fire trucks were there 24 hours a day spraying water on the
overheated transformers, to prevent the remaining transformers from dying.

For today's outage, ComEd is blaming some automatic fallover system that's
made by General Electric for not being able to cut off the failed
transformer automatically.

I'm currently about 30 miles north of the loop... at 12:46 the voltage
coming into the building here was 140-160 volts for several minutes(according to
our UPS). I'm wondering if the power was just going nuts everywhere else,
causing ameritech equipment to go nuts. Possible explaination for packet

I know TCI/AT&T had problems with cable service in the downtown area today.
I don't know if their @Home service was affected.

-- Kevin