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Blackout in Toronto 3
18/08/2003

David Artemiw's blog included a good record of the experience of a downtown worker stranded by the blackout. Rantissimo has photos of the same.

Unlike these writers, I never worried it was terrorism. I just wasn't surprised by a blackout on a hot summer's day. I didn't realize how rare this really was until I had already read that it wasn't terrorism.

What was strange to me, though, were Mel's frequent requests for us to avoid candles. "Use flashlights" he implored us. Candles are too dangerous, he said, because we can't always watch them to make sure the dog or the kids don't knock them over.

Funny, it seems to me people have been using candles for centuries. Not completely safe, but a decent option. Besides, we couldn't use flashlights. Batteries were sold out everywhere. Not a single store on my part of Yonge Street had any D-cell batteries left by 7pm on Thursday. Who uses them, anyway? Only people with wind-up flashlights from Grassroots were in the clear.

Meanwhile, the adults in charge of this city were also urging us to avoid strenuous activity and drink lots of water. Why? Were we in the midst of a 50-degree heat wave? Nope, just a lack of A/C. Take it from me, if you go for a run on a summer's day and return to a home without air conditioning, you will not die.

Anyway, we mostly made it through. With the exception of a very few tragedies, we came out of this unscathed.


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