Putting out the Globe with (almost) no power

I was at work when the power went out August 14, 2003. It took me no more than 5 or 6 seconds to realize that it was a big problem that was going to take a while to sort out, because as soon as my computer shut down and the lights went out, I turned around in my chair and looked out the office windows. Every downtown building in sight had a big puff of black smoke coming out the top -- emergency generators kicking in.

The Globe's emergency generator came on, but you wouldn't know it from where I was. It's designed to provide power to the computer server room and not much more. There were parts of the building that were eerily dark, even at 4:30 in the afternoon. Around 7pm, I went home and got my car and camera, both of which came in handy. Here's what I saw.

[ Stopped streetcars ]

These stopped streetcars were later abandoned, as were all the others across the city. The silent, darkened vehicles stopped in the middle of the street had a freaky apocolyptic air to them in the dead of night. (No pics of that, sorry.)

[ Darkened newsroom ]

When I got back to the office, it was pretty clear that most areas of the building lacked even enough light to navigate by. At least this area has windows. Through the rest of the night, I was fortunate to have an extremely useful
keychain light with me. Special thanks to my sister for the stocking stuffer at Christmas!

[ Candle on a desk ]

The national news desk had broken out candles. They would stay there manning the phones since there weren't any/enough down in the 1st-floor boardrooms that had power, where the makeshift production was being put together.

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