Keepers of the grid ward off the helter-swelter

Friday, July 22, 2011 – Globe and Mail

Squiggly neon lines zag between shifting digits and along X-Y axes, projected onto a triptych of imposing black wall panels. Somewhere in the foreground, a computer emits a faint “whoop-whoop.”

Operators sit or stand in front of banks of monitors. Each computer looks like the PC in your office cubicle, if your PC controlled electricity supplies for the homes and businesses of 13.2 million people.

This, in an undisclosed location just west of Toronto, is the multitasking brain behind the largest energy grid in the country, during the hottest week of the year.

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Horror and relief after storm

Saturday, August 22, 2009 – Globe and Mail
Anna Mehler Paperny

DURHAM, ONT. — For 30 minutes, in the twisted metal wreckage of a flimsy shelter, Rick Coveyduck tried to revive the prostrate 11-year-old-boy.

“It was so devastating, trying to bring that boy back to life,” Mr. Coveyduck, 57, told The Globe and Mail yesterday of his attempts, along with those of the boy’s mother, to perform CPR. “It was horrific. Devastating. Unexplainable.”

The young camper, identified last night by residents as Owen MacPherson, was the only direct casualty of a tornado that snaked a devastating path through Durham, Ont., tossing birds, people and cars like snow-globe confetti and leaving roofs ripped asunder, walls shredded and trees uprooted. It was one of an estimated four tornadoes to touch down across Southwestern Ontario on Thursday, destroying hundreds of homes and buildings and leaving tens of thousands of people without power.

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