The the most popular question asked in New York: "Where were you when the power went out?"
To answer this question, lets list our location, time of blackout, time when we got power back, and a little story of what happened.
Location: Roslyn, New York (North Shore, Long Island, New York)
Time of Blackout: 4:15 PM on 8/14/2003
Time Power Was Recovered: 11:35 AM on 8/15/2003
Story: Well, I was sitting at my PC in my basement, working on code for a new website, and installing Corel WordPerfect 11 Productivity Pack (Dell OEM) on a Centrino Laptop for a client. All the lights in the room started to dim, and they were at a dim for about 5 minutes. At this point, all 6 of my UPS's (uninteruptable power supplies; aka battery backups) were beeping like crazy (to notify me that there was a problem with the power current). I thought it was a simple blown fuse, and proceded to the circut breaker to check it. Since all of the fuses were in the "on" position, I realized that this power interuption was not our problem. I proceded to shut down the two servers, six workstations, two laser printers, all of the network appliances, and then the UPSs. At the time, I didn't know this was an eastern seaboard problem, and I figured it was limited to my block. I found the LIPA bill (Long Island Power Authority) and was about to call them; when I realized I had no working phones! My phones all operate on electricty! I called my mother on my cell phone (who was working in Lower Manhatten) and she told me that she had lost power too. Next, a neighbor knocked on my door, and notified me that that her family in New England had also lost power. I abandoned calling LIPA at that point; I think they were aware of the problem. I just sat by the radio all night until around 1:30AM, and then I went back to sleep.