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The National University System Institute for Policy Research estimates that the power outage of September 8 and 9 conservatively sucked $97 million to $118 million out of the local economy.

The calculation is based on these estimates: length of disruption 13 hours; average length of disruption 9 hours, and number of customers impacted 2 million.

The institute estimates that perishable food losses were $12 million to $18 million; government overtime $10 million to $20 million, and lost productivity about $70 million.

However, many of the productivity losses will be recouped in the future, says the institute.

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Gail Powell Sept. 9, 2011 @ 5:03 p.m.

I want some kind of restitution from the power companies who screwed around and caused this disaster! We should get a credit on our next utility bill for the inconvenience and headaches that this idiot who fiddled around at the Yuma power plant caused us all!


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 8:09 a.m.

The California Public Utilities Commission, as now constituted, seems to care only for utility profits. It cares not for consumers. Best, Don Bauder


paul Sept. 10, 2011 @ 8:49 a.m.

Your restitution will be small, the lawyers will get the lions share of it, and you will pay for the settlement through a rate increase.

What is the point?


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 12:15 p.m.

Unfortunately, Paul, you may be right, given the pro-utility bias of the PUC. Best, Don Bauder


nostalgic Sept. 9, 2011 @ 5:24 p.m.

The power company convenient blamed one guy in Yuma. Shouldn't the fail-safe work a little better than that? These people are in charge of Nuclear Power too, aren't they? He is a convenient scape-goat. But then, maybe he'll get on Reality TV and we'll all get to know him.


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 12:17 p.m.

Pointing the finger at one person is an admission of utility incompetence. No system should go down because of one human's error. Best, Don Bauder


David Dodd Sept. 10, 2011 @ 2:58 a.m.

Cost is more than that. All of Baja was affected. NUSI doesn't include the local economy on the other side of that big metal fence.


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 8:12 a.m.

The Mexican economy should be considered, too. Best, Don Bauder


paul Sept. 10, 2011 @ 8:58 a.m.

I went to the store last night naively thinking I could get some milk. Most of the refrigerator shelves were bare, the food all thrown away.

I wonder if the food losses include stores, because I have a hard time believing the loss is only $8.50 per customer ($12 million / 1.4 million SDG&E customers). We were well over that just in our house, even before you take into account what the stores lost.


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 12:19 p.m.

The estimated food losses did include stores. Best, Don Bauder


nan shartel Sept. 10, 2011 @ 11:38 a.m.

i looked 4 u pooh...but i couldn't fine u in the dark ;-D


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 12:20 p.m.

The lights are back on. Look again. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 10, 2011 @ 1:34 p.m.

I'm gonna try to pierce the READER veil once again here, having failed numerous times to read the GOTCHA! code correctly. Thank you, Don, for passing on my concerns to the REEEKS.

I do this because the irony of the juxtaposition is so hilarious.

I was in the hospital when SDG&E fired its warning shot to illustrate who really has the power. The hospital's four backup generators kicked in immediately, to feed the priority circuits, and the lower-level (that's to say CRITICAL) staff cooly handled the various emergencies, and the OR and ER went on functioning without the SDG&E, grid, "thank you very much."

There was no AC, of course, and the sealed building full of electrically-powered marvels of modern technology turned the place into a warming oven in short order. I had a pitcher of icewater, and soaked some towels, washed my stinking body down, and placed them on my head and other hot parts, dozing off without being able to watch the Jerry-Springer Show (was the President speaking?). The beautiful young nurse who pushed my wheelchair to checkout said she and her family quite enjoyed the lack of power, being able to actually SOCIALIZE for a change, forcing us to try cooperating socially for a change, and what a reduction in pace might be like. And the noise reduction was . . . well, PLEASANT.

And here I thought it was just one more Republican dirty trick! As usual, I was wrong; it was a COMMUNIST PLOT to give us a sample of what it would be like to be without power for a while.

"THE SOLUTION," of course, would be to add more technology to run the technology that runs the technology. Think of the stimulus to the economy! The government can give the Utilities billions to invest in said redundancy-on-steroids and all our problems will be solved. Jerry-Springer shall rise again, and we can get back to normal!

For a continuation, watch my blog; I'll try to post something more interesting tomorrow . . . or maybe Monday . . .


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 6:22 p.m.

Jerry Springer Show? Is that still going, or are re-runs on? Best, Don Bauder


nan shartel Sept. 11, 2011 @ 11 a.m.

once again ur erudite and pleasantly personal comment cuts thru the bullpucky to give us a humorous look at the powers on situation when the powers off most everywhere except hospitals

i could hear my voice ringing out in days of old singing..."nurses bag ur babies"

and i remember how hot those places get without A/C

just do me a favor Twister and copy and paste this whole comment of urs into ur blog...it's a doosey!!!


Visduh Sept. 10, 2011 @ 3:19 p.m.

All the news accounts of this blackout describe it as "unprecedented", and that is not the case. About thirty years ago, one weekday afternoon there was a massive power outage that covered most or all of the SDGE service area. In that case, the power was back on by the evening. SDGE said it was caused by some employee servicing a transformer in a vault who didn't properly ground the circuit. And that resulted in a "cascade" of breakers tripping, and the power stations shutting down. Oh, and SDGE "learned" much from that about how to prevent such a spread of outages. (If they learned anything from that, other than dissembling, nobody is still around who remembers the lessons. Or the operation just forgot it all.)

This is just a bigger mess than that one, and points out that humans have created a system that humans cannot fully understand or control. Yet we make ourselves progressively more dependent upon a steady, unfluctuating, and dependable supply of alternating current. It IS scary in the extreme.

When that earlier outage occurred, and when SDGE could or would never adequately explain what went wrong, many critics concluded that it had been, if not intentional, allowed to happen to shake up the populace of the county. SDGE was then VERY unpopular, even more so than now, if that's possible. This time there may be claims that it was staged to show the county that the Sunrise link is a necessity. That seems a bit far-fetched because they are building it now and selling the concept is no longer necessary. But I do not put anything past SDGE/Sempra. This should cost the Sempra investors something, but I'll betcha' it won't result in any financial damages at all. And Arizona Public Service will disavow any liability while SDGE heaps all the blame on them. Then there's the ISO, and they can also be blamed for the interruption in part.

What the ISO should be doing is determining just how vulnerable the power distribution net inside the state and outside the state is to unplanned events. We are told that this sort of thing cannot happen; then it does happen, or is made to happen. But you can relax--it won't happen again in the same way. Next time will be even worse.


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 6:25 p.m.

The PUC as presently constituted delights in taking care of utility shareholders and fleecing utility customers. There is a PUC division called Ratepayers Advocates but nobody in power listens to it anymore. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Sept. 10, 2011 @ 4:39 p.m.

What Visduh alludes to was called a "Punch & Judy" show back then, but most wouldn't know the joke now . . . Anybody have any ideas for a more up-to-date moniker?

CYA rules state that you must always say that every major disaster was "unprecedented" or "totally unexpected." Check out the news conferences from the Cedar and Witch-Creek fires held by the politicos (The Extremenator, Board of Sapervisors, ad nauseam). It's in the standard script.

They know this blowout will blow by the instant the pacifier is back on (which it is). Public blowback will come only after it's too late--a disaster of terminal proportions.


Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2011 @ 6:27 p.m.

The fires are good examples of the mentality of which you speak. The blackout is another. Best, Don Bauder


casandiego1 Sept. 11, 2011 @ 1:17 p.m.

BE GLAD people, that we got a fourteen-hour dry run on what it would be like if the Grid failed us for a big reason. We still had water and natural gas too ! It was a relatively inexpensive tuition for a class in disaster preparedness. Instead of whining and grousing about the power company,we can implement some preparedness with what we've learned. They DID get the power back on in half the estimated time. Sure wish the gas stations had thought of a back up plan for pumping gas. Things we discovered we appreciated that night:

1) glow sticks- four hour light ! 99 cents each 2) our gas grill 3) the natural air conditioning of living close to the beach 4) 266 sunny days a year for solar powered gadgets 5) stores and bars that stayed open, and handled the stampedes efficiently and graciously 6) the bonding effect with our community: impromptu gatherings, cookouts, marshmallow roasts and general hang time on the beach


nan shartel Sept. 11, 2011 @ 2:06 p.m.

love ur list casadiego1....i'll take 3 and raise u a 6 for marshmellos and the beach


Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2011 @ 4:36 p.m.

Sounds like the dry run was a wet one for you. You took advantage of the saloons staying open. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2011 @ 4:38 p.m.

I'll bet you took advantage of the blackout, Nan. Best, Don Bauder


nan shartel Sept. 11, 2011 @ 4:53 p.m.

is u lookin' at me Don...is u lookin' at me...member i had to conserve ICE...therefore no Margaritas were served

i did however take advantage of the candlelight...hahahahahaha


Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2011 @ 11:31 p.m.

Drink a shot and a warm beer. No ice needed. Best, Don Bauder


Susan B Sept. 12, 2011 @ 8 a.m.

We don't think power outages are "smart". In the wake of this massive, $100 million dollar, uncontrolled power outage, impacting 3 states and Mexico, leading to the unplanned shut-down of a crucial nuclear power plant, citizens are asking, "is the new deployment of the much-touted new "smart" grid the cause?" Visit Underlying Cause of the Southwestern Blackout, Sept. 8, 2011: Failure of the Smart Grid http://lam­­esa.patch­.­com/blog­_p­osts/un­der­lying-­caus­e-of-­the-s­outh­wester­n-b­lackout­-s­ept-8-20­1­1-failure­­-of-the-sm­­art-grid.

In California­­­, the smart grid technology called "smart meters" is sickening the public and exposing everyone to cancer risk. Independen­­­t scientist and physicians say it's dangerous­­­, even the CA Dept of Health, but the bureaucrac­­­y won't budge.

Learn more at Living Nightmare: How SDG&E Smart Meter Led to Headaches, Hearing Loss http://lam­­­esa.patc­h­.­com/bl­og­_p­osts­/li­vin­g-­nigh­tmar­­e-how­-sdg­e­-sma­rt-­met­ers­-l­ed-to­-m­y­-headac­h­­es-sleepi­­­ng-ills-h­e­­aring-l­os­s , for a series of articles about how smart meter health issues are impacting Southern Californians.

The hastily, poorly planned smart grid is not ready to be unleashed, especially with a state and federal government that cares little about public safety.

Susan Brinchman, Director Center for Electrosmog Prevention www.electrosmogprevention.org


Don Bauder Sept. 12, 2011 @ 11:14 a.m.

Many people believe smart meters are harmful. Best, Don Bauder


Psycholizard Sept. 12, 2011 @ 4:09 p.m.

When I took my nightly walk through the heart of PB during the blackout, everyone was in a great mood. Everyone left the computer and television, and met their neighbors for a barbecue. The police were parked at the local shopping center with nothing to do. We should do this more often.


Don Bauder Sept. 12, 2011 @ 11:12 p.m.

I remember a monstrous snow storm in Chicago in which everybody had a great time. They all collected in the saloons and drank the places dry. Best, Don Bauder


Facebook Sept. 13, 2011 @ 9:53 a.m.

Thom H.: Overall the local economy may have suffered, but there's a few mom n' pop grocery/liquor stores I frequent that had a really good night. :)


Don Bauder Sept. 13, 2011 @ 11:25 a.m.

It's one of the oldest sayings around: It's an ill wind that blows nobody good. Best, Don Bauder


Facebook Sept. 13, 2011 @ 9:53 a.m.

Erica F.: Let's do it again! All my neighbors were out checking on each other and making sure to share flashlights, batteries, candles, etc., swimming in the pool, grilling food to share, offering drinks to share, I met tons of new people that live in my complex, I read a book halfway through and didn't work on my computer from home; it was so much fun! Let's all get "unplugged" at least once a week. Thanks Homer! ;)


Don Bauder Sept. 13, 2011 @ 11:26 a.m.

The first class action lawsuit against the utilities involved has been filed. Thanks to Matt Potter for sending it along. Best, Don Bauder


dwbat May 3, 2012 @ 8:51 a.m.

So now SDG&E (San Diego Gouge & Exploit) says today they are NOT going to pay any claims. What a surprise, as whoever thought they would? They owe me money, because my PC got zapped by a power surge when the electricity came on again. The damage was so bad, I had to buy a new one.


Twister May 3, 2012 @ 10:12 a.m.

What we have here is a beautiful example of how the concentration of power works. Literally and figuratively.


Twister May 3, 2012 @ 8:57 p.m.

On the bright side of the blackout issue, one common reaction was a return to being social. A lot of people really enjoyed it and got together. I wonder if there will be a baby-boom nine months down the road?


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