The Quebec Blackout Storm

The Quebec Blackout Storm

Category:

Location:

Description:

Astronomers were busily tracking “Active Region 5395″ on the Sun when suddenly it disgorged a massive cloud of superheated gas on March 10, 1989. Three days later, and seemingly unrelated to the solar paroxicism, people around the world saw a spectacular Northern Lights display. Most newspapers that reported this event considered the spectacular aurora to be the most newsworthy aspect of the storm. Seen as far south as Florida and Cuba, the vast majority of people in the Northern Hemisphere had never seen such a spectacle in recent memory. At 2:45 AM on March 13, electrical ground currents created by the magnetic storm found their way into the power grid of the Hydro-Quebec Power Authority. Giant capacitors tried to regulate these currents but failed within a few seconds as automatic protective systems took them off-line one by one. Suddenly, the entire 9,500 megawatt output from Hydro-Quebec’s La Grande Hydroelectric Complex found itself without proper regulation. Power swings tripped the supply lines from the 2000 megawatt Churchill Falls generation complex, and 18 seconds later, the entire Quebec power grid collapsed. Six million people were affected as they woke to find no electricity to see them through a cold Quebec wintry night. People were trapped in darkened office buildings and elevators, stumbling around to find their way out. Traffic lights stopped working, Engineers from the major North American power companies were worried too. Some would later conclude that this could easily have been a $6 billion catastrophe affecting most US East Coast cities. All that prevented the cascade from affecting the United States were a few dozen capacitors on the Allegheny Network. [Newspaper Archive]

Leave a reply

Get Started Now &

Get a 14 day free trial
1

Are you ready for solar storms?

2

Enter your email address:

We'll send you a FREE Solar Weather Forecast each week

3

Check all that describe you:

4

Based on your needs, we recommend:

  • Affiliate

  • What's this? Click here to find out
  • $0/month

  • Plus

  • What's this? Click here to find out
  • Set it and forget it, you get only the severe solar alerts
  • $4/month

  • All Severe Solar Alerts including
  • Severe CMEs
  • Severe Geomagnetic Storms
  • X Solar Flares
  • Free Weekly Forecast Email
  • Health Plus

  • What's this? Click here to find out
  • Get alerts to Health and life affecting Geomagnetic disturbances along with all Plns plan alerts
  • $10/month

  • All Alerts from the Plus Plan
  • Health effecting weather alerts
  • Ideal for people who suffer from:
  • Heart Disease, Stroke Risk
  • Depression, Sleep Disoders
  • And More
  • Premium

  • What's this? Click here to find out
  • You get all alerts; know whats happening when!
  • $15/month

  • All Solar Alerts including
  • Earth Directed CMEs
  • Geomagnetic Storms
  • Solar Radiation Storms
  • Radio Blackouts
  • M & X Solar Flares
  • Free Weekly Forecast Email

Want to know more about our plans?Click Here

By clicking Countinue, I agree to the Terms of Service & Privacy Statement