Where Were You When The Lights Went Out In 2003?
14 years ago, the Northeast was hit by a massive blackout that left 50 million Americans from New York to Detroit without power. Do you remember where you were? Were you affected?
Did your power completely go out when the blackout hit? Were you without power for days of just suffer through a few brown-outs?
We want to hear your stories from the blackout of August 14, 2003.
Personally, I happened to be at Darien Lake spending the weekend with some friends and I remember it like yesterday.
We were standing in line for the Viper roller coaster and couldn't figure out what the heck was taking so long. So we decided after a while to just try another coaster and made our way to the Mind Eraser.
That's when things got interesting.
We looked up at the Viper and noticed a car stuck at the very top! 'Wow we got lucky that that wasn't us," we thought aloud.
At this point we managed to be close to the front of the Mind Eraser line and had maybe two people in front of us.
When they loaded up the first group we thought nothing of the Viper being stuck, but soon after this coaster began having problems. They sent two cars through and both got stuck!
"Ok," we thought, "lets just go find another ride or two and then call it a day."
Except none of the other rides were working at this point.
Starting to get a little aggravated now we decided to just pack it in and head home, since it was our last day anyway.
That's when things got even more interesting. You see, this is before Facebook, and almost before texting even existed, so we had no idea there was this massive blackout.
The lines for the gas station right before you get on the Thruway were super long, so we figured we would stop at one of the rest stops and fill up.
We had no idea that all the gas pumps were down from Darien Lake to Ilion until it was almost too late.
We ended up making it home on fumes. That last 30 miles the gas light was on, the fuel gauge was below empty, and we had no idea if we would make it home.
Thankfully we did, barely.
It wasn't until I got home that I found out there was a massive blackout that affected most of the Northeast.
And I was in line for two roller coasters as it was all happening.
14 years later we now know that it all started when a tree branch in Ohio took out part of a power station and created a domino effect that ended with millions in the dark.
Here's NBS News' report on the blackout from 2003: