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Super Bowl Blackout, Entergy Tweets Divert Blame

Updated 12 a.m.

New Orleanians are good with power outages, but our out of state friends might be less patient. At 7:37pm, with 13:22 minutes left in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, half of the lights, including the scoreboard and press box, went out in the Superdome. The Ravens were ahead 28 to 6 when the stadium lost power. 



Former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver and current CBS announcer Shannon Sharpe was looking for someone to blame. “I wanna know who’s in charge of paying the power bill for the Super Dome,” he said.


Locals' minds immediately turned to our favorite power provider, Entergy New Orleans. The company seems to be on the defensive a few months after receiving criticism for their Hurricane Isaac power restoration.


“Power issue at the Super Dome appears to be in the customer’s side. Entergy is providing power to the Dome," they tweeted, less than ten minutes after the outage occurred.


Momentum was dwindling after an hour of half time with only a few plays - including Jacoby Jones' kickoff return for a touchdown - in the middle.


City officials assured concerned viewers that the blackout was not due to any foul play.“ATTN: Power outage in @MBSuperdome is NOT terrorist incident. This is a power issue. ETA for full power recovery: less than 10min.,” said a tweet from New Orleans' emergency alert center NOLAReady. 


The total outage lasted a little longer than expected, finally returning at 8:12pm after 35 minutes. 


Update 11:30 p.m: About an hour after their first statement, Entergy restated that the outage wasn't their fault.


"At all times, our distribution & transmission feeders were serving Superdome," the company tweeted. We continue working w/ Superdome to address any issues."


A pair of statements on the outage were issued after the game resumed. But, there's still no word whether Beyonce's halftime show has anything to do with the incident.


"Power has been restored," said Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan. "We sincerely apologize for the statement.


The NFL also issued a statement indicating the cause of the event was still under investigation.


CBS Sports also chimed in to explain that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms stopped talking on our TVs because of the outage.


"Immediately after the power failure in the Superdome, we lost numerous cameras and some audio powered by sources in the Superdome," said CBS sports Vice President for Communications Jennfer Sabatelle. "We utilized CBS's back-up power and at no time did we leave the air."


Mayor Mtich called the temporary darkness "an unfortunate moment" in an otherwise successful week for the City.


"In the coming days, I expect a full after action report from all parties involved," he said.


Update 12 a.m. The Superdome and Entergy issued a joint statement on the sequence of events that led to the outage.


A monitoring device picked up an "abnormality" in the amount of electricity flowing through the system. By design, the device's reading then opened a breaker, and cut power to half of the Dome, according to the statement.

"Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and (Superdome officials) subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome."


The explanation doesn't resolve who bares the blame for the outage, however. The sensor sits at the point where Entergy's feeder line ends and Superdome equipment starts.  

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