At about 4:10 p.m., on August 14, 2003, New York City lost power and fell into a 30-hour blackout, thanks to an overgrown tree branch in Cleveland.

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Grand Central Terminal on August 14, 2003(Getty Images)

The blackout heavily impacted eight states and Ontario, and in the Big Apple, New Yorkers took matters into their own hands. After many trudged down the stairwells of their office skyscrapers, they helped direct traffic because the lights were out and piled into buses to get home. If they had a way of getting home, that is.

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People without hotel rooms in Midtown (Getty Images)

Or they just had a really great day, getting cheap or free food and drinks because many restaurants decided to have impromptu parties rather than let food rot in non-working refrigerators, and otherwise just enjoying being literally off the grid:

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Times Square on August 14, 2003 (Getty Images)

You can read a timeline of the events from The Plain Dealer, which describes the events thus: "A circuit breaker severs the last link between Ohio and Pennsylvania. Seeking the path of least resistance, power surges east through Pennsylvania and New York, across Niagara Falls and into Ontario, trying to reach Detroit." And on April 5, 2004, "the investigation cited a software glitch, inadequate operator training and trees too close to power lines."

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Piled into a bus on August 14, 2003 (Getty Images)

And did you know that during the 2003 blackout, that 30 million gallons of sewage went into our waterways because the backup power wasn't working at some wastewater treatment plants?