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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Security Concerns Over Powergrid Failure

Aired August 14, 2003 - 20:35   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Want to bring back into our discussion CNN security analyst Kelly McCann.
Kelly, post-September 11, the power grid was viewed as a target. The president today saying it should be modernized. You see in this, we're still trying to figure out exactly what happen3ed, but it is not a terrorist attack, a lesson.

KELLY MCCANN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Oh, absolutely, John. I think that you very rarely do you have a chance, anyone, to see what happens when a power grid goes down. I mean, they normally don't happen here domestically anyway, very frequently.

And I think that people who would harm us certainly will take note of this, because you can see here, playing out on the TVs, although, you know, no one's being hurt, there's obvious ramifications that are immediate and vast when a power grid goes down.

As the president said, there is a security concern, maybe not at the hydroelectric plants, where there is a level of security where there's just from a safety standpoint, you have to be careful of access control. But from that point down the line, if you will, to where the grid is, we are very vulnerable.

And I think most security specialists would agree on that.

KING: Kelly McCann will stand by and help us with our coverage.

Again, we are awaiting the videotape of a statement by President Bush made moments ago in California. As we wait for that, some conflicting information about just how this might have happened. The Canadian government saying a fire at a Con Edison plant in New York, New York officials saying, at least as of now, there was no lightning strike as was previously said.

Perhaps not a surprise in such a hectic situation, some conflicting information. We will try to get to the bottom of that.

The big headline, of course, from the federal government perspective, not a terrorist attack. Those words spoken by President Bush just a short time ago as we await that statement from the president of the United States.

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