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AP: New Orleans Braces For Fallout From Blackout

From the Associated Press:

New Orleans braces for fallout from blackout

By PAUL NEWBERRY | February 4, 2013

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Super Bowl week that had gone so smoothly for the Big Easy suddenly turned bizarre when everyone was watching.

The lights went out on the biggest game of the year. Just imagine the uproar if Baltimore had lost.

The outage, blamed on an unspecified "abnormality" in the Superdome’s power system, was an embarrassment for New Orleans, which was hosting its first Super Bowl since 2002 and was eager to show off how it has been rebuilt since Hurricane Katrina.

Is that something like a ‘wardrobe malfunction’? Still, look at the bright side. Maybe New Orleans can parlay this into another federal bailout.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu called Sunday night’s outage "an unfortunate moment in what has been an otherwise shining Super Bowl week for the city of New Orleans."

He said he expected to receive "a full after-action report from all parties involved" in the coming days…

If Landrieu were a Republican his party affiliation would have been reported.

The Ravens had been cruising along with a 28-6 lead in the game when, without warning, the power to the Superdome suddenly shut down early in the third quarter, plunging parts of the 38-year-old stadium into darkness and leaving TV viewers with no football and no explanation why.

For 34 minutes, the players tried to stay loose, the fans milled about in darkened corridors, and stadium officials scrambled to figure out what went wrong. The Ravens barely hung on for a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, needing a goal-line stand in the closing minutes to preserve the championship.

"It really hurt us," Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach said. "We had lot of momentum."

There is sure to be some fallout for the city and the Superdome — especially since New Orleans plans to bid for the title game in 2018, in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of its founding.

Escalators stopped working and credit-card machines shut down, though auxiliary power kept the playing field and concourses from going totally dark…

We’re just amazed there was no looting. (Or cannibalism.)

The problem occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects…

Perhaps her lip synching machine takes too much juice.

A joint statement from Entergy New Orleans, which provides power to the stadium, and Superdome operator SMG shed some light on the chain of events, although they weren’t sure about the source of the problem. It apparently started at the spot where Entergy feeds power into the stadium’s lines.

"A piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system," the statement said. "Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue. … Entergy and SMG will continue to investigate the root cause of the abnormality."

You would think that finding the root cause of the abnormality would take years of psycho-analysis.

The FBI quickly ruled out terrorism, and the New Orleans Fire Department dismissed reports that a fire might have been the cause…

Notice that the AP never mention the stadium’s new eco-friendly lighting system, which you would think could have been a factor.

No one could remember anything like this happening in the title game, but it wasn’t unprecedented.

Just last season, the Niners endured two power outages during a Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park…

Uh huh. Maybe it’s someone on the 49-ers has figured out a way to kill the other team’s momentum.

New Orleans was once a regular in the Super Bowl rotation and hopes to regain that status. The Superdome has undergone $336 million in renovations since Katrina ripped its roof in 2005…

Just like the millions that get spent every year renovating levees.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, February 4th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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