Massoud Amin on Implications of 1977 New York City Blackout

NYC skyline with no lights_blackout 1977
Thursday, September 15, 2016

A short film featuring Dr. Massoud Amin of the U's Technological Leadership Institute is a powerful reminder of the importance of reliable electricity to society (you can view the film here). Its subject is the 25-hour July, 1977 New York City blackout; Dr. Amin was in the city when it occurred and discusses what he witnessed and how it relates to his life's work to improve the US power grid and advocate for robust infrastructure. During the blackout, which was caused by a lightning strike, chaos reigned. According to the New York Times, "1,000 fires were reported, 1,600 stores were damaged in looting and rioting and 3,700 people were arrested. Neighborhoods from East Harlem to Bushwick were devastated. The authorities later estimated that the total cost of the blackout exceeded $300 million."