August 14, 2003 was a typical hot summer day. Across the eastern U.S. air conditioners were humming keeping people cool as they went about their daily activities at home and work. In the afternoon, without warning, a series of power line failures in northern Ohio triggered a cascading set of events that led to the collapse of the grid in eight states and two Canadian provinces. The ?Northeast Blackout of 2003? ultimately affected 55 million people, cost billions of dollars, contributed to six deaths in New York City, and led to four million people in Detroit being under a ?boil water? alert for four days.