Power outage during Super Bowl revives Katrina memories

A power outage left the Superdome in total darkness in the third quarter of the Super Bowl last night, in New Orleas, Florida, a scary experience for many in a stadium that had been the refuge of last resort for many when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

According to a spokesman for the utility supplying power to the Superdome, the 34-minute outage was due to failure of equipment maintained by stadium staff.

Philip Allison, a spokesman for Entergy New Orleans, said power was flowing into the stadium before the lights failed and all of the company's distribution and transmission feeds going into the Superdome were operating as expected.

Many banks of arena lights went out and the CBS broadcast audio fell silent with the power going out  in the telecasters' booth.

Thanks to auxiliary power, the playing field did not go totally dark, though escalators came to a halt and the concourses were lit only by small banks of lights tied to emergency service.

The spectators in the stadium, though were left in the dark, literally, as announcements repeated that play would resume.

According to power officials with Entergy and the Superdome's management company, which issued a joint statement, equipment designed to monitor electrical load sensed an "abnormality" in the system and caused power to be partially cut to isolate the issue. Investigations on what led to the issue are ongoing.

Eric Eagen, Superdome spokesman, apologised for  the outage, and inconvenience to spectators.