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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fragile

I spent a big part of my Monday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.  Delta had a power problem at its headquarters.  That led to computer issues.  Delta operations came to a halt.  It began getting limited flights in the air at mid morning.  By then, it was too late.  Flights were missed.  Thousands of people were stranded at airports around the country.

Delta isn't the first airline to have computer problems.  According to the Associated Press, Southwest had a meltdown last month.  United had computer issues when it tried combining its system with Continental.

It's only a small part of the problem.

Look at what happens when part of an interstate highway is closed for construction or a crash.  Chaos.

The great Ted Koppel recently wrote a book at how the U.S. electricity grid is vulnerable to hacking.

So many systems we depend upon, especially when it comes to transportation and energy, are just so fragile.  It doesn't take much to create an issue, and the dominoes start to tumble.

Of course, the answer is to build redundancies.  But, that costs time, money, and the willing ness to invest.  I remember Rep. Paul Kanjorski trying to push "Wall Street West" after 9/11.   He wanted major financial firms to establish operations in the Poconos, off the New York metropolitan area power grid, in case of another catastrophe.  How did that work out?

We're leaving ourselves open to many more Delta days in the future.