God love email, which brought me this piece that I'd seen in the Los Angeles Times.
I thought what happened was MAJOR -- much more important than the
report would have you believe -- in the category of a picture being
worth a thousand words!
Thanks to this occurrence at City Hall, we could be saved from needing to
campaign to wake up the L.A. Y2K czars, who were so reassuring at the meeting I attended. Suzanne Taylor
FROM: Jan Nickerson, Y2KConnections
This morning I spoke with Rick Tobin, an emergency management professional,
who passed along this news clip about the impact of an unexpected power
outage on L.A.'s Y2K drill.
He queries, if L.A., one of the most prepared cities in the country for
disaster, was thrown by a power outage, what does that suggest for the rest
of the country?
Rick shares my concern that despite the unpreparedness for power outage,
local officials continue the happy talk: "I feel very confident that there
won't be any major problems."
I join Rick in urging there should be a wake up call echoing across the
Power Outage Makes City Hall Y2K Drill a Little Too Realistic
Emergencies: Workers are trapped in elevators.
Council passes motion asking that further tests be held in off-hours.
By PATRICK MCGREEVY, MONTE MORIN, Special to The L.A. Times
Preparing for millennial chaos, hundreds of city
workers participated in Los Angeles' first Year
2000 Disaster Drill, Tuesday at City Hall.
The one thing they were not prepared for: a real
Elevators churned to a halt and lights went out about
9 a.m., when a power surge knocked out a third of the
The outage forced Mayor Richard Riordan and his
large entourage to trudge up nine floors of stairs to his
office and descend 12 floors to attend the Y2K drill.
Others were stuck in elevators, while it took an hour
and 20 minutes to restore power.
Riordan was visibly upset when he finally emerged
from the basement stairwell and walked into the
Emergency Operation Center.
"That bothers me," Riordan told reporters. "If we
can't take care of the elevators, what can we take care
of in this city?"
When he had calmed down, Riordan said he was
assured that the power shutdown had nothing to do with
the drill to determine whether the city will continue
operating smoothly as the 20th century comes to an end
January 1. The outage was later blamed on a short in a
"We're very proud of the preparations of the city for
any Y2K problems," Riordan said. "I feel very confident
that there won't be any major problems."
Hundreds of government workers participated in
Tuesday's drill, designed to help them cope with a
potential Y2K computer meltdown that threatens to
disrupt communications and services.
Workers responded to a variety of mock
emergencies, such as power outages, fires and
out-of-control New Year's Eve parties.
"The purpose of exercises are to be prepared for
anything, which is why we create events that in real life
almost certainly will not occur," said Ellis M. Stanley,
assistant city administrative officer.
But the question in City Hall wasn't so much
whether Los Angeles is prepared for 2000, but whether
it is prepared to deal with 1999.
City Council members were outraged by the power
outage and shutdown of elevators, and some were not
convinced that the outage and the Y2K drill were not
The council approved a motion asking the General
Services Department to take immediate steps to address
concerns about the shutdown.
Councilman Mike Feuer said public safety workers
and city leaders found they could not move around City
Hall during the outage because stairwell doors on some
floors were bolted.
The motion asks that future Y2K drills take place,
whenever possible, on non-workdays.
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