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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Niagara Falls Power Plant not Source of Power Outage

Aired August 15, 2003 - 08:13   ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Our coverage continues not only throughout the U.S., but into Canada as well. We want to go to Niagara Falls now. There were a lot of fingers, a lot of suspicious warnings that perhaps that this could have been the start of the problem -- a power plant in Niagara Falls.
Our Josie Burke is standing by there to clarify what could have taken place and what they know now -- Josie.

JOSIE BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Daryn.

Yes, they're trying to get the word out here at the Niagara power plant that not only were they not the problem, they were actually part of the solution. That's because yesterday, there was a widely- circulated rumor that a lightning strike right here caused the entire blackout. But we learned very quickly that that was not the case.

A spokeswoman says here, No. 1, you could have looked outside yesterday and you would have seen there was no chance of lightning. And, No. 2, very technically, they would have seen something like that on their computers, and that just never showed up. So, there was no lightning strike.

And, in fact, right here at the Niagara power plant, they did experience a brief dip, but they never actually lost power. So, again, one of the things they are emphasizing this morning is that while they were, unfortunately, part of the rumor mill yesterday, they certainly are denying it. They say they are actually part of the solution.

And, in fact, yesterday at one point even though there was obviously very limited electricity, almost 60 percent of it was coming from this power plant. And this is really the flagship power plant of the New York State Power Authority. But what they're used to doing is handling about 10 percent of the state's electricity needs -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Josie Burke, thank you very much for that.

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