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Candlestick Outage Highlights Vulnerability Of US Electrical System

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The power goes for a second time causing a 16-minute delay before play is resumed at the 12:13 mark in the second quarter between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco.  (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The power goes for a second time causing a 16-minute delay before play is resumed at the 12:13 mark in the second quarter between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

AnnaDuckworth20100909_KCBS_0483r Anna Duckworth
Anna started her broadcasting career at KCBS in 1994, a few mont...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Monday’s Candlestick Park power outage during the San Francisco 49ers football game highlighted the vulnerability of the country’s electrical system according to a University of California, Berkeley professor of civil engineering.

At 51-years-old Candlestick Park is among the nation’s oldest football stadiums. UC Berkeley professor Dr. William Ibbs said that handling large electrical loads needed for games subjects it to wear and tear, but that’s not the only source of strain.

“These stadiums are part of a larger system, so when you’re providing power to a stadium the electrical system is also trying to provide power to other adjacent communities,” said Ibbs.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

He said there are over 150,000 miles of electrical transmission lines nationwide, and because of the economy, governments haven’t kept up financially with the maintenance needed over the decades. Ibbs said that means even a new Niners’ stadium would be reliant on the older grid that encompasses the old system.

“There are still vulnerabilities in any event,” said Ibbs.

Ibbs expects more private investment in infrastructure because of government shortfalls.

The American Society of Civil Engineers grades of the country’s electrical transmission lines are mostly C or lower.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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