Power Returns to Millions in Fla.

Authorities rule out terrorism but disagree on cause
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 4:40 PM CST
University of Miami Police Officer Eddie Somarriba directs traffic in Coral Gables, Fla., Tuesaday, Feb. 26, 2008 after sporadic power outages affected more than 3 million people across the southern end...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A blackout that cut off millions of Florida residents today is ending, authorities say, but they disagree on the cause. Florida Power & Light blames a substation west of Miami for sparking the outage, and a state emergency office says a station south of Miami suffered a mechanical failure that triggered two nuclear plants to go offline, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

"There are no safety concerns," one official said. "The reactors shut down as designed." The blackout affected 4.4 million Floridians in a variety of ways, forcing hospitals to use backup power, trapping people in elevators, nixing cell phone service, and delaying flights at Miami International Airport, the Miami Herald reports. A spate of car accidents kept Miami police busy until traffic lights started coming back on.