Power Outage Reportedly Started In Cleveland Suburb

Connection Made To Lake Erie Loop Initially

CLEVELAND - Officials believe that a history-making power outage began at the General Motors plant in Parma, NewsChannel5 reported.

In an exclusive report, ABC said First Energy failed to separate from the national electric grid as it was supposed to, sending the problem onto New York.

The problem was caused by a sustained deep undervoltage, according to electric logs obtained by ABC.
First Energy officals said they followed procedures and would not speculate on the ABC report at this time.

A GM spokesperson says, "We believe no incidents at our factory led to power outages."

9 Seconds

On Thursday, it was a chain-reaction event. In nine seconds, 50 million people lost power and even all the built-in safeguards could not stop it.

"It's one of those events that being such a complex system ... that could not have been prevented," said Professor Iqbal Husain of the University of Akron of Blackout 2003.

Husain said because of reliability and economics, the country is broken into three grids for electric distribution. They are eastern, western and Texas.

He said there are faults in all the systems every day, but most are caught and isolated quickly.

Experts are focused on what is referred to as the Lake Erie Loop that connects transmission lines in Ohio and Michigan and circling through Canada to New York.

Some said the data points to faults on transmission lines in Ohio, starting a chain reaction.
Investigators said they're focusing on a massive electrical grid that encircles Lake Erie, moving power from New York to the Detroit area and then into Canada and back to New York state. They say there's been problems in the past with that transmission loop.

The North American Reliability Council said it's not sure where the problem started other than the Midwest. Ohio officials had dismissed the group's prior claim.

WEWS said the council ruled out terrorism and weather. Officials are investigating whether a utility broke any rules.

NewsNet5.com erroneously reported that GM failed to separate from the national grid instead of First Energy. We regret any problems this may have caused.

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