DC Poweroutage


On Tuesday, April 7th, the DC metropolitan area experienced a widespread power outage. Multiple important buildings, the metro, and even the Department of Energy lost power. As the power flickered throughout the nation’s capital, many residents feared a terrorist attack or intentional invasion. Over 2,000 residents were affected by the power outage, which was caused by a small fire and explosion at a power plant in southern Maryland.

Even the White House experienced power failure and flickering lights. Although multiple important government buildings including the Department of State lost power, no terrorism or malicious activity was suspected. PEPCO, the main energy supplier to D.C, was investigating further working along SMECO.

Many citizens were lucky enough to only be in the dark for a brief period of time thanks to backup generators. Others, however, were not so lucky. Twelve people needed to be freed from six different elevators at the University of Maryland College Park. The campus had to shut down and cancel all afternoon classes due to the power failure.

Another major area affected by the power outage was the Smithsonian. The National Portrait Gallery, Air and Space, American Art, and the National museum of American Indians were all evacuated. Hundred of visitors and tourists had to wait outside the building.

Thirteen metro rail systems were forced to run off backup power, meaning the trains were still commuting but escalators and elevators were not. Before the lights were back on many people were left searching for metro exits in the dark.

Although no terrorism or intentional attack was suspected, it made many people concerned about the fragile infrastructure in thenations capital.

National Portrait Gallery in its not so ordinary lightning.