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Electrified Birch
Birch pieces

Origin

Northeast Blackout of 2003

Type

Branch

Effects

High capacitance potential

Downsides

Transient cascade failure

Activation

Electrical current

Collected by

Warehouse 13

Section

Socotra-86V

Aisle

210578-8258

Date of Collection

July 30, 2007

[Source]


OriginEdit

Approximately 10 million customers were out of power in the northeast and Midwest corridors of the United States starting August 14. Outages ranged in duration from two days to two weeks. Cell service was interrupted and railways were stalled, but most essential systems like water mains still worked to some degree. A little software bug outside an Ohio plant coupled with extremely high AC usage on a sweltering summer day overloaded the system with current.

During intensive usage, power lines heat the conductive wiring enough to cause sagging. The extra current can discharge when near objects and the system would immediately cut power to that junction. Any remaining current is split between the other nodes, but they can also fail if the current is still too much – systemwide shutdown.

EffectsEdit

The centuries old behemoth was tangled in transmission wires, lying haphazard over a blown Connecticut substation generator. It began to absorb and release high amounts of electrical energy on approach by utility orkers. It acts more like a rechargeable battery than organic tissue, storing all forms of energy and outputting it back for later usage.

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