Thursday, April 16, 2009

Power outage and Blairgowrie Take 3

This morning I had to man the newsdesk as EarlyMorningNewsEd took off for a long weekend thanks to having worked on Easter Sunday and Monday. His payback time off meant time on the desk for me, and no chance to go back and squirrel about in Blairgowrie to find out if the technical whizzes had managed to work out what the heck was happening in the suburb.
But while I was unable to go out to the news - the news came to me. People started mailing me. Seems things were still berserk. More people were without hot water. Someone reported that the weather service radar wasn't working. Somebody else mentioned that Lanseria Airport - situated out Randburg way - was shut down for half an hour yesterday because of interference that interrupted communications between the control tower and planes, and pondered if this was perhaps linked to the sinister signal jamming problem in Blairgowrie.
I was ready to assign reporters to the story when all of a KLUKS! the power went out. In 40 suburbs around the city. Technicians rushed out to work out the cause and fix it, but got stuck in Joburg's legendary peak hour traffic and ongoing roadwork complications.
Apparently something caused a "substation" to trip. And this particular substation was a power feeder for a few other substations, and so a giant part of Jozi was without electricity for varying amounts of hours as the techies slowly restored order.
In the mayhem, Blairgowrie was a bit forgotten. I still don't know what's happening there. Maybe things are back to normal and everyone is comfortably celebrating in hot bubble baths. Maybe the area is now flooded with scientists in gadget mobiles armed with gizmos and weird equipment...

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