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Pat Shingleton: "Josephine's Hurricane and the Big Blackout..."

2 months 1 week 10 hours ago Wednesday, August 14 2019 Aug 14, 2019 August 14, 2019 9:00 AM August 14, 2019 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton:

We are monitoring the tropics with 108 days remaining in Hurricane Season 2019. On August 13, 1766, a powerful hurricane leveled the village of Trois-Islets on the island of Martinique.  Joseph-Gaspard Tascher was one of the island's wealthy planters and suffered total financial ruin from the devastating storm.  In dire straits, he did what many attempted in those days; and married their offspring into money.  After the storm, his young daughter, Marie Josephine Rose, returned to France and married an army officer, the Vicomte de Beauharnais, who was guillotined in 1794.  Two years later she married an officer with a better “head on his shoulders” who crowned himself in 1804 and she became Empress Josephine of France, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. On another anniversary, experts believe that lightning or electrical storms contributed to the "Blackout of '03" that occurred on this date. The shutdown of the forty-year-old power grid could have started in the Midwest or at a Canadian power plant. Some compared it to New York's "Perfect Storm" of years ago, as officials encouraged the public to take a "snow" day. In nine seconds a hundred power plants domino-ed, putting fifty million people in the dark, canceling 500 flights, locking up railroads, subways and ferries. Those left powerless had to suffer through more than a day without electricity. Hurricane Andrew left us without power for a week. Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 also knocked out power for a week and Hurricane Lili kept the Lafayette area powerless for almost three weeks. There's a huge difference between power grids and downed power poles.

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