Joint U.S.-Canadian Task Force issues blackout timeline

Oct. 10, 2003 -- The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) is working closely with the Joint U.S.-Canadian Task Force and all affected entities to investigate the causes of the August 14, 2003, blackout.

In September, the task force issued a Timeline of Events that occurred before and during the cascade that led to the blackout.

That timeline is available in PDF format at the following link:

The outline reviews events beginning at about noon on August 14 and provides a picture of the sequence of events and how the grid situation evolved during the day. The timeline focuses chiefly on events that occurred on major transmission facilities (230 kilovolts and greater) and at large power plants.

The outline does not attempt to present or explain the linkages between the sequences of events that are described. Determining those linkages will require additional intensive analysis over the weeks and months to come.

The task force is continuing to investigate what happened and why. For the latest information on the task force investigating the blackout, please visit the DOE web site at

NERC will continue to post significant news about the blackout investigation on its web site and issue news updates via email to the NERC Roster and to NERC's press release list. For more information, visit

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