Posted by Will Brinson
DALLAS -- As if the sheets of ice covering Dallas roads weren't odd enough, the DFW metro area in Texas is being hit with rolling blackouts Wednesday morning.
The local CBS 11 stations -- we currently have power in downtown Dallas hotels -- reports that ERCOT (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas) is calling this a "power emergency," and there's good reason. After all, it's 14 degrees in Dallas with a high of 22 degrees expected throughout the day, and a city dealing with that temperature, icy roads, flickering power lights and sporadic indoor heating is not precisely safe.
I first noticed the situation when various gadgets (phone, computer, tv) all reset themselves twice this morning, about 20 minutes before my alarm clock was scheduled to start ringing, sending me into a panicked flurry of activity. But the blackouts began rolling through Fort Worth, Dallas, Garland, etc., about 5:30 AM CST.
Dallas authorities, according to CBS 11, are instructing people to "turn off all unnecessary lights and "please minimize the use of electric lighting as much as possible" -- it'll be interesting to see just how efficient the media workroom and Radio Row in downtown Dallas become early this morning.
Obviously the Super Bowl is "important" in that it brings in revenue for the city, and the city of Dallas doesn't want to deal with thousands of media members complaining about the electricity even working.
It's probably not, however, as important as maintaining the safety of citizens across the several-mile wide swath of cities that are incorporated in the metroplex.
But the raw energy consumption required to run the 5,082-plus cameras, computers, and all the other equipment needed for the press is pretty substantial. Which may explain why the blackouts swept through downtown early.
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