Power Gridlock In Baghdad

War-torn Baghdad faces up to 2 years without full electrical power.
July 30, 2003, 6am PDT | Connie Chung
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Energy experts are telling residents of Baghdad not to expect consistent electrical power over the next two years. "A new power schedule--three hours on and three hours off--is being imposed in residential areas, and critical institutions such as hospitals have 24-hour power....Baghdad's electrical system was sapped by poor maintenance by the past regime, extensive looting and sabotage in postwar Iraq, and new democratic sensibilities taking hold across the country. Although combat damage was relatively light, looters ripped copper wiring and piping from more than 180 miles of transmission lines across the country, according to updated coalition estimates....In addition to the power plants, other public utilities have been crippled by the war....Raw sewage from this city of 5.7 million people pours into the Tigris River every day." In response, the Army recently announced a new campaign, Operation Power Crude, "to stop the looting of power and sewage-treatment plants."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Monday, October 3, 2005 in The Chicago Tribune
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