didn't see this one coming

Nuclear Reactor Failure Rains Darkness And Sewage On Southwest

Nuclear reactors serving Southern California, Arizona and northwestern Mexico raptured themselves last night, leaving 6 million people to boil to death in the 104-degree darkness. Honest-to-god details from the AP report of the blackout: flights leaving San Diego airport halted, everybody was told to stay inside, mayhem engulfed the highways as cars swerved into oncoming traffic to break free of the gridlock, and, for good measure, 3.2 million gallons of sewage spilled out onto San Diego’s beaches. HAS THE CHINESE INVASION BEGUN??

No, America’s own citizens are the number one warlord when it comes to bringing America to its knees, thank you very much.

The outage occurred after an electrical worker removed a piece of monitoring equipment at a power substation in southwest Arizona, officials at Phoenix-based Arizona Public Service Co. said.

It was unclear why that mishap, which normally would have been isolated, sparked such a widespread outage. The company said that would be the focus of an investigation.

“This was not a deliberate act. The employee was just switching out a piece of equipment that was problematic,” said Daniel Froetscher, an APS vice president.

GAH, ARIZONA. THAT WAS OUR NEXT GUESS. “Some guy from Arizona” is always a good guess for “who started the Apocalypse this time?” [AP]

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  1. baconzgood

    That dude rulz!!! Well played Arizona electric tech type person. I'll even look beyond you being from AZ for that little joke.

  2. Fare la Volpe

    3.2 million gallons of sewage spilled out onto San Diego’s beaches

    The used needles needed some company.

    1. V572 T-Blow

      That's what we call a "light outfall day" here in San Diego, where fighting with the EPA to avoid upgrading the sewage treatment plant is the second most important local government activity, after devising additional schemes to pad pensions.

      1. ChessieNefercat

        So nothing has changed in the (yikes!) 19 years since I moved away? I lived there from the 70s through early 90s. The sewage spills were always blamed on Tijuana sewage wandering up the beach a ways, except when they had to close touristy Mission Bay because it was coming from, you know, San Diego's broken down system (infrastructure!). Then uh, well, uh, hmm. Squirrel!

        Ah, yes, fecal counts. Don't scare the tourists.

    2. caitifty

      That's what happens when you only have one tiny little needle exchange open one day a week and the cops arrest people for even holding a needle – everyone gets them from LA and throws them away as soon as they've used them rather than keeping them to return to the exchange.

    3. flamingpdog

      3.2 million gallons of sewage spilled out onto San Diego’s beaches

      I don't know much about So Cal geography. Is San Diego anywhere near the Reagan Library?

      1. BerkeleyBear

        Only in the minds and hearts (well really the voids hearts would normally occupy) of conservatives.

  3. Mumbletypeg

    I would've rather been one of those stuck in the traffic, I guess, since I could at least enjoy my vehicle's sweet, sweet A/C relief.

    OT: can anyone help me identify the movie source of KBJ's accompanying photo, above. Please?

    1. ChessieNefercat

      "I would've rather been one of those stuck in the traffic, I guess, since I could at least enjoy my vehicle's sweet, sweet A/C relief."

      That would be my thought too, if I could afford to keep more than a gallon or two of gas in my car. (Juuust enough to keep the gas warning light off.) I would probably end up just careening into the clown with the $10,000 bass system in his stupid looking pickup.

    2. BerkeleyBear

      Yeah, but it would quickly smell like your neighbor's exhaust. And as noted elsewhere, a lot of folks in those cars may not have enough fuel to afford to wait.

  4. EatsBabyDingos

    It was probably mean old Mr. Henderson trying to scare people away from the old amusement park. Thank goodness for the Mystery Machine and the pot head dog, Scooby Doobie.

    1. elviouslyqueer

      Also, the electrical worker was probably a member of *GASP* a union. SUCK THAT, pro-collective bargaining yahoos.

  5. SorosBot

    With a hundred degree heat and no air conditioning, the Arizonans who voted in such famous racists as Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio will soon have a literal stench to mach that of their souls.

    1. Jukesgrrl

      I'm in Tucson and my A/C's working fine. No problems in America's sixth-largest pretend-city either. It's just Yuma, basically a military installation stuck between the California border and tribal reservation desert. IT'S CALIFORNIA'S FAULT!!!1!! All those movie stars air conditioning their six-car garages.

      Unfortunately, Joe and Jan are untouched (by thoughts as well as stench). Anyway, dontcha know, it's dry heat.

  6. Oblios_Cap

    3.2 million gallons of sewage spilled out onto San Diego’s beaches.

    Seems it never rains in Southern California
    Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before
    It never rains in California
    But girl, don't they warn ya
    Sewage pours, man it pours,


  7. Rosie_Scenario

    Isn't this what the teabaggers would like to do to the entire nation? I bet they'll give the guy a free Glock for his contribution to the cause.

        1. DashboardBuddha

          You mock…but the aroma is reminiscent of late season lilacs with overtones of sulfur and earth and a lingering asparagus finish (although that might be from last nights supper).

    1. Jukesgrrl

      Actually, it's four phases. Gunz-illegalz-moar gunz-pig meat tacos. (We hate Messicans, but we love their food.)

      Perry/Bachmann 2012: Hair's for a better Amurrica.

    1. ChessieNefercat

      "Throw some tax cuts at 'em. Particularly the power company. That'll solve everything."

      You are absolutely correct, from the management perspective. The execs will all move somewhere and have their own private electricity system and backup generators and slaves to maintain them. A small, exclusive grid. No brownouts allowed.

  8. EatsBabyDingos

    3.2 million gallons of sewage? What happened, did they release the collective wit and wisdom of Newt Gingrich in liquid form? Or did his Port-a-Potty fall over?

  9. proudgrampa

    HAL: I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours.

    HAL: It can only be attributable to human error.

    1. horsedreamer_1

      More likely, Will2K non-compliant. The Fresh Prince has had enough of the gay Scientologist rumors. He will have his revenge.

  10. GregComlish

    "It was unclear why that mishap, which normally would have been isolated, sparked such a widespread outage."

    Actually it's perfectly clear: Our power grid, like the rest of our decaying infrastructure, is turning to liquid shit after years of deliberate neglect.

    1. Sparky_McGruff

      Do you mean to tell me that the billions of dollars in jacked up electric bills during the Enron days didn't get re-invested in the power grid?

    1. caitifty

      McCain picking Palin probably saved us from President McCain. Inadvertent good decision (probably the only kind of good decision that comes out of Arizona politics)?

  11. Pragmatist2

    This isn't news. "Darkness and Sewage" are the stuff of daily life in the American Southwest. It's "Shock and Awe" so to speak. It's "Sturm und Drang."

    1. Fare la Volpe

      I know kids love sticky, greasy, poo-stain-encrusted gunk, but can't their parents just take them to McDonald's?

    2. ChessieNefercat

      Um. Goodness. I want video footage of the guy from Facilities pitching this at a city council meeting, and the hungover council voting shit, yeah, what the hell.

  12. V572 T-Blow

    Power went out as I was walking home on 6th Avenue in downtown 92101. Got through the first traffic signal fine; almost died at the second one, which went out at the exact moment I was crossing. Luckily a case of Cabernet had just arrived and I was okay until it got too dark to "read." Power came back on at midnight, and a mere few hours later our wonderful, reliable cable company, Koch's Cable, woke somebody up to go turn on the Internet.

    1. SorosBot

      "downtown 92101"

      Is referring to areas by zip code like this a thing in California? I had thought that Beverly Hills 90210 was just a cutesy title, but from this maybe people there actually talk like that.

        1. poncho_pilot

          i hope my grandparents in 92592 are ok. i miss 92101. i liked it better than 92123 where i lived. 92027 and 92126 were even worse.

          1. V572 T-Blow

            Every single customer of our beloved San Diego Gas & Electric Co's 1.4 million customers lost power, plus some in AZ, the OC and Me-hee-koh. No one lives in Temecula anymore, and Ken-Layniacs are salvaging the ruins for copper pipe and wiring

          2. ChessieNefercat

            I loved my little beachfront apartment in 92032 in the 70s. 92077 was hot with crappy zoning, even after it changed to 92177.

          3. poncho_pilot

            i imagine the 92032 of the 70's is probably much different than the 92032 of today. it's probably more 92143 than 92109. i had a girlfriend who lived in 92077. it was almost a two hour bus ride from 92123!

          4. ChessieNefercat

            Hmm. I just realized that 90277 changed to 91977, not 92177. We moved not long after that. Yes, bus rides in 92077. I took my son by bus every morning from our house to his school 4 1/2 miles away. Two and a half hours round trip. And again in the afternoon. I could have done the trip faster by burro.

          1. V572 T-Blow

            If only you knew. Northern Californians are worried to hear each other referring to freeways as "the 5" or "the 101" as is the custom south of San Luis Obispo.

          2. AJWjr.

            We used to only need the last 2 digits in some cities. Fer instance, I used to live in SF 14 Calif. Then we abbreviated it to Cal. Damn feds made it CA and added 941 in front of the 14. Fuck, I'm old.

        1. proudgrampa

          Oooh. I think you and I could be very good friends. It's always good when you lose count of how many Martinis you've had. Hope the Cab was a good one, worthy of enjoying some chocolate and / or cheese.

          1. V572 T-Blow

            I take a Scalia-like constitutional-originalist approach to the Martini: gin, vermouth, olive or twist. No vodka, ever. If you’re okay with that, it’s on.

    2. archikvetch

      Good news in 92118: Keeping vodka in freezer was a very good idea! Still frosty cold at 7pm when I finally got home from my job in 92037. I had to memorize zipcodes at my first job where I typed out invoices. Yes, I am that old.

  13. hagajim

    It was prolly some Messican walking through the desert that removed the equipment – for meth even. We must build a border moat – with gators and sharks and stuff…

    1. ChessieNefercat

      Your comment sounds funny here, not so much when produced as an actual plan. Look ma, it's got gators!

  14. Goonemeritus

    Thank God Arizona Public Service Company is not a government run enterprise. It’s so reassuring knowing private industry will make this right, as they always do.

  15. jus_wonderin

    I'm not sure. Someone help me out. Did God mention one of the ways our Earthly existence would end is…irradiation???

  16. metamarcisf

    Was the power outage caused by the same undocumented worker that started all those Arizona forest fires?

    1. proudgrampa

      Cogswell: There's only one thing worse than war and that is business, and Spacely has declared business on us.

  17. Steverino247

    It was inconvenient to be without power, but no serious issues. My juice was back on about 2 a.m. Most neighbors got drunk or stoned and the temp broke nicely after about 8 or 9 p.m. so it wasn't bad at all. The sewage leak in SD is a recurring problem and it's never going to get fixed, just another band aid applied and switch her back on.

    America's finest shit from America's finest city. My town fixed their problem years ago and everybody's happy with it. San Diego can't for some reason…

  18. prommie

    Problematic Equipment shall be the new name of my fantasy rock band. Check out our latest fantasy album, Spewing Sewage, with our fantasy hit song, Widespread Outage.

  19. ttommyunger

    "The employee was just switching out a piece of equipment that was problematic,” No, I think a look at the bigger picture is in order. Albert Einstein once remarked: "Nuclear Fission is an expensive and problematic way to boil water."

  20. MinAgain

    It was only a matter of time before some southwestern state became jealous of Texas' monopoly on heat-related disaster coverage.

  21. Jukesgrrl

    3.2 million gallons of sewage = Cindy McCain threw her used make-up into the ocean off Coronado Island.

  22. archikvetch

    Well, on the bright side the sewage will keep the damn Zonies off my beach for a while. Damn Zonies in Dago are cursed daily by testy locals. This simply justifies our contempt for their White Escalade driving asses. Black Escalades are reserved for TJ drug lords and their families. The later of course throw the better parties. I think TJ's power was back on before ours… Gawd Bwess Amerwica!

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