City wide electricity outage this morning in Amsterdam - 360,000 homes without power (including ours)

3 months ago
70 in til


Kind of a rough night with our baby boy's new corner teeth saying 'Hello' to the world, having him crying every other hour and due to daddy duties having me up sitting next to him. Around 06:15 AM our son, Viggo, woke up again. Actually, at first I didn't know what time it was because the alarm clock did not shine it's familiar light.

So I went to the hallway and flicked the bathroom lights on. Nothing. Then I came to the conclusion somehow the power must have stopped working, maybe due to Viggo's new air moisturiser, I remember thinking. As I entered the living room with view on the canal and sidestreets I noticed it was almost pitch dark. Whoopsie! The whole neighbourhood was out of power. A surreal sight, also with the slightly freezing fog :)

My girlfriend had also woken up to feed Viggo and we tried our cellphones: they were still connected to the network but the 4G / internet was not working. No way to find information on what we are looking at. Luckily the phones where still kind of charged up to 50% so we had some flashlights. I fired up some candles and then I started looking for a radio. After searching for quite a while we came to the conclusion we didn't have a good old transistor radio anymore.

I knew that, as a last resort I could walk up to my car and turn on that radio, search for a , however I decided to turn of 4G / Mobile data on my phone and only use the GSM network: I could call my parents in the south of Netherlands and asked them for some info.

My parents told me the news: Apparently due to a failure in a main power divider in the backbone of the Amsterdam Metropole area almost all of Amsterdam and surrounding villages were without electricity since 4 AM. It seemed quite a big failure to me and as it was still kind of early and we were out of more info I suggested to my GF to drive up north to her parents. Truly following the "better safe than sorry"-mantra here, because, who knows what happened when the rest of the city decided to find power elsewhere and since it seemed a big outage, who knows how long it would take to fix it. Also my girlfriend works for the editorial office at the newspaper's website which was out of power, so she needed to be online too.

We packed the car and drove via some small side roads to the highway entry furthest away from the city ring road. We only had a 5 minute traffic jam on the ramp because we were heading north to the lower dense area, while the other side of the motorway was filled with traffic jammed cars, as all the highway electronic signals around the ring road of Amsterdam had stopped working as well including the 'peak hour lane' indicators.

Then we heard the news of 8 AM on the car radio: Halfway our ride half of the city had gotten their power back again and not long thereafter also our neighbourhood (approx. when we arrived at my GF's parents' place). The smaller villages are still to be connected. So this afternoon we'll be heading back :)

TIL: We are complete electricity junks and our modern world depends on it.

I already new that of course, but this really confronted me... There is a dutch song, which lyrics actually deal about a woman but also apply on this matter: "Man only knows what he misses whenever it's lacking". And yes, I know power outages are more common in other parts of the world, but I had actually never had experienced it in such a severe way. All public transport had stopped in and going to and from Amsterdam. We couldn't access the internet to lookup what was going on or get any information and we were really taken by surprise.

Therefore the first thing I did was ordering this hand crank solar powered radio and powerbank and flashlight depicted above. It will take another month before it arrives in Netherlands from China, so let's hope no power outings until then :D

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66
  ·  3 months ago

I am sure the cannabis growers of the city were scared because their air-filter systems didn't work anymore. I upvoted you after 3 minutes like a kamikaze pilot, I don't need reward, I want roelandp wohoo!

74
  ·  3 months ago

Oh man, that would be tough with a baby! It is scary how reliant we are on the grid. Once here in Minnesota we were without power for almost four full days. Luckily it wasn't during winter because it would've been disastrous here without heat. The solar radio is a great idea. I also keep an external battery charged for my iPhone. I can get about 4 charges out of it, this is also handy while traveling. Going through this kind of thing really causes you to think about what you'd do in the event of a more prolonged outage. I'm glad everything is okay and the power is back!

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70
  ·  3 months ago

True and useful! In this case no 4G either. Only a distant good old GSM antenna :). Four days is a whole dofferent ballgame!

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74
  ·  3 months ago

Wow! Yes, four days without power really readjusts your mindset. It was actually very peaceful and we ended up getting to know neighbors that we probably never would have taken the time to socialize with. Glad all is well!

66
  ·  3 months ago

That's a nice and radio. Could you please write a little unboxing report once you get it? I would buy a handful and sell them for steem dollars. Just in case :D

It is true that a power shortage can be scary and light is just one problem. Another big problem is that without electricity, no cash register is working anymore. You cannot buy groceries, drinks, gas, or anything else. Especially in the Netherlands where cash almost disappeared already.

It is about time that we combine mesh net technologies with blockchain so that you can send money to people as long as you are in wifi range with each other. So that you can exchange digital money at any moment in your life. Even in the apocalypse.

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70
  ·  3 months ago

Yes a mesh of RAspberry pi's or something on the lorawan / battery powered.

67
  ·  3 months ago

Good reminder. Always be prepared. Thanks for sharing :-)

69
  ·  3 months ago

42
  ·  3 months ago

blackout is a big problem today for modern tech society so you need one of these http://gdstechnologies.ca/GDS5000.html

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70
  ·  3 months ago

Nice one :) but in this case also all communications / highway signage and metro / subways / trains and trams stopped :)

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42
  ·  3 months ago

sure, but it's for essential refrigerator food and other home primary machines... electric car are coming soon for transport... we must think for electric energy decentralization as a little peers generators in the grid

64
  ·  3 months ago

This is EXACTLY what I am preparing for and everybody mocks me for it, @RoelandP. I am preparing for extended power outage to the fullest. I also order my supplies from China. Either buy a cable from China for 79 cents or pay 5 dollars for it at Walmart. :)

62
  ·  3 months ago

Sterkte!

74
  ·  3 months ago

I had a few questions for you... are you in steemit.chat?

It's bedtime now, but I'll try to check in with you soon, thanks!

68
  ·  3 months ago

Roelandp my heart went out to you as I read your story and I can relate. In South Africa we experience something called load-shedding especially during the winter months, areas can be without electricity for hours at least once a week. In 2016 we experienced less outages but a week ago we had no electricity again for 19 hours. This has taught me to be prepared for all things at all times.

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70
  ·  3 months ago

Wow yes. Do you have tips on what you have prepared for / ingredients? I mean having some water on a shelf we didnt even have (water was still running but in another case when it wouldnt...)

68
  ·  3 months ago

I just need macbook air and internet never running!

66
  ·  3 months ago

Scary how dependent on technology we really are. When I was young we all knew where we have candles, matches, spare batteries and torchlights stored. We could find them going around blindly.

Yes, it is very prudent to make some provisions ... just in case ...

By the way, will you consider putting this website of mine - announced few minutes ago - on the steemittools.com?

http://steemgnome.com/

Thanks a lot in advance!

70
  ·  3 months ago

@roelandp verhuizen hier!
kom dan hier in de bitcoin stad - arnhem :D
nog niet gebeurt
bij Ede wel maar dan alleen gas
wauw - niet normaal toch?
gellukig is het weer oke - anders is het te koud!

66
  ·  3 months ago

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70
  ·  3 months ago

I had a hand cranked USB phone charger but never really try how long i need to get it up 1%. maybe, need to get a radio+LED light powered by power bank and get a solar charged power bank. together.

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70
  ·  3 months ago

Yeah this one is a powerbank so u can precharge the bank with micro usb and then you can recharge the device via solar or cranking. Both will be very slow i think :)