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Energy Officials Finally Shed Light On Super Bowl Blackout

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(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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NEW ORLEANS (WJZ) — Until now, everyone was still in the dark, trying to figure out what caused a power outage during Sunday’s Super Bowl game in New Orleans.

Jessica Kartalija explains energy officials are taking the blame.

Seconds into the third quarter of the Super Bowl, power cut out to half the stadium. The Superdome’s power company, Entergy, is taking the blame–saying a device known as a relay in the company’s switch gear malfunctioned, cutting power to one of two feeder lines supplying power to the dome.

“It’s very important to find the root cause and it’s now been traced back to the relay, the switch device that Entergy owns and I think that can be fixed,” said Charles Rice, Entergy CEO.

The Superdome was dimly lit for 34 minutes while crews worked to restore power. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh–appearing on David Letterman Thursday–jokes about the outage.

Letterman: “I believe we have video here, I believe of you during the blackout. Who are you talking to there?”

Harbaugh: “That’s Mike Kensil with the NFL.”

Letterman: “And what was the issue?”

Harbaugh: “Well, there was a concern about the restaurants after the game. New Orleans has a lot of great restaurants, Dave.”

The FBI has ruled out cyber-terrorism as a cause.

The defective system is part of a $4 million electrical upgrade made before the game.

“The device has since been removed from service and new and replacement equipment is being evaluated. Rest assured, the Superdome is fully functional,” said Superdome V.P. Doug Thornton.

The New Orleans City Council still says it wants the Superdome to hire an independent engineer to investigate.

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