I Survived The Southwest Blackout Of 2011

san diego arizona san clemente power outage

Most of you are aware of what went down yesterday… either because you watched the news on TV, or weren’t able to watch your TV at all ;).

A little after 3pm, while I was in the bathroom, our power went out.  My folks had actually been running the AC for the past couple of days (a rarity here), so I took it as a result of everyone in the area doing the same.  I used my phone to check the SDGE (San Diego Gas and Electric) site, because as I’d discovered during other power outages, they list the issues on their site.


So, I went for a walk.  It’s always pleasant and entertaining to wander around during a blackout, because you’ll actually see people coming out of their houses.  Neighbors talking, people riding bikes… it’s kinda nice :).  The elderly gal who lives next to us was outside with her dog when I got home, and asked if I knew what was up.  I told her the whole neighborhood was down, at least, and I checked my phone again.  This time, the list of outages was enormous.  I looked at the map, and there were dots all over the place… the whole world had lost its power, apparently.

Checking up on Twitter throughout the day, I was able to find things out.. which was nice, not being left in the dark.  Well… informationally, at least.  It started with some sort of error in Arizona and spread into San Diego, tripping off power plants and sub-stations like an evil Rube Goldberg device.  One announcement mentioned that 1.4 million folks were without power.

That’s a lot of nuts!

There were things I could have done around the house before it got dark, but since it was so stinkin’ warm out, I didn’t think laborious cleaning was a very wise idea.  So, I took the opportunity to go up to the attic and pull out my big ol’ box of LEGO stuff.  It was amazing :).

As the sun set, I took my camera outside, because this was more than just a planned local outage, this was a massive area.  If the moon hadn’t been so bright, I could only imagine what the stars would’ve looked like.  I was out there for a few hours, taking all kinds of shots, and checking Twitter for updates now and again.  When I was out in the front yard, you could hear neighbors all out in their backyards together.  By 10pm, I was inside and ready to sleep.  Obviously, we’re not set up to live well here without electricity, but it’s always a nice reminder of what life was like without it.  I’ve grown up with light switches, TV, movies, computers, etc., so I have plenty of reasons to WANT power in my house, but there is certainly an appeal to the alternative, and that’s in the fact that it brings folks together… and simplifies the sleep-schedule.

SDGE did a bang-up job getting things back to normal – which makes sense, considering how much money they must’ve lost yesterday.  As I lay on the ground, on my way to sleep, I heard the power come back on around 10:30pm.  By now, power’s been restored everywhere else, and things (on our end) seem to be back to normal.

Below are a few of the shots I took last night.  Bear in mind, most of these are long-exposure shots, with minimal exposure enhancement, so the light you’re seeing is what was actually there.  The moon was so bright, that some of my shots look like day-for-night trickery, but I promise… these were all taken hours after the sun had gone down :).

san diego arizona san clemente power outage neighborhood street

san diego arizona san clemente power outage candle our kitchen

san diego arizona san clemente power outage tree silhouette

san diego arizona san clemente power outage large moon

san diego arizona san clemente power outage very bright moon


About Mark Mushakian

Just a man who loves God, women, kids, dogs, movies, and every other lovely thing in life :)
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One Response to I Survived The Southwest Blackout Of 2011

  1. Briggity Brak says:

    There's not a whole lot better in life than a Kung Pow quote…


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