NJ - Fireworks Smoke Blamed for 4th of July Outage

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

[Fair Use: For Educational and Research Purposes Only]

Smoke from Fireworks Blamed for Brief Blackout

Published in the Asbury Park Press 7/04/00


LAVALLETTE -- When the bombs went bursting in air here Sunday night as part of the Independence Day fireworks display, the lights went out for about 20,000 Ocean County homes.

"It appears that the smoke from the grand finale fireworks led to the development of an arc that caused the lines to trip off," said Kerry McGuinness, a spokeswoman for GPU Energy. "The power outage lasted between a few seconds and seven minutes."

Smoke from fireworks contains particles of carbon, McGuinness said.

"If the cloud rises between two transmission lines, the carbon acts as a conductor," she said.

So at about 10 p.m., when the final display was let free on the bayside off Philadelphia Avenue, the smoke slowly began to rise, the arc formed, the line tripped off and lights all the way from Bay Head to the Bayville section of Berkeley went out.

"We had the power lines patrolled three different times just to make sure there was no tree down on a line or anything. We couldn't find anything like that. We're pretty sure it's the smoke that caused it all," McGuinness said, adding that to her knowledge, this hadn't happened before.

According to police on the peninsula, the blackout didn't cause any problems even though traffic and street lights were affected. There were no major traffic accidents reported by police.

The circuits tripped themselves back on when the smoke cleared, McGuinness said.


-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), July 11, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ