I’m in the CES media room right now, hotspotting to a stranger’s roaming phone to bring you this news:
For the last hour, the Las Vegas Convention Centre has been experiencing a major blackout. All those gadgets, gizmos, high-tech new products relying on electricity – yeah, they’ve gone dark, too.
While I’m holed up in a safe space away from the chaos of the show floor, I’m tracking the progress of this event the same way you are: social media.
There is an isolated power outage at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We are working hard to resolve this and appreciate your patience.— CES (@CES) January 10, 2018
While we work through this isolated power outage feel free to visit our exhibitors in South Hall and North Hall. Also get outside on this beautiful Las Vegas day and check out Central and South Plaza. #CES2018— CES (@CES) January 10, 2018
People who were charging their phones outside Central Hall don't have a way of getting them back. The screens are out, and there's no way to input the passcode #CESblackout #CES2018 pic.twitter.com/5txrTfoQWR— Roadshow (@roadshow) January 10, 2018
This is all we know for now:
We've been informed by Nevada Power that the outage has been addressed and they are in the process of restoring power. We will continue to restrict access until full power has been restored. Thank you for your continued patience. We encourage you to visit other open show areas— CES (@CES) January 10, 2018
But what could have possibly caused this? There’s no official explanation as yet, but Las Vegas is currently experiencing record rainfalls for January. It hasn’t rained here for 180 days, and yesterday the city was slammed with enough rain to cause flash flooding, road closures, and the Convention Centre roof to leak, constantly.
How much rain, you ask? 12mm.
That’s not a typo. Twelve millimetres – half an inch – of rain has plunged Las Vegas, and CES, into chaos. It’s been A Time.
I’ll keep you updated on how we go with the power situation here at the main hall as the day goes on.
Update on: #CES2018 blackout: lights are back on in the media room, but power and wi-fi isn't.— Rae Johnston @ #CES2018 (@raejohnston) January 10, 2018
#CES2018 blackout update: no one is being allowed into the North Hall.— Rae Johnston @ #CES2018 (@raejohnston) January 10, 2018
Okay, it looks like we are coming back online now – slowly
Power has been restored and is being rolled out slowly through Central Hall at the LVCC. We thank you again for your patience.— CES (@CES) January 10, 2018
The aircon is now blasting, so it looks like power is being rolled out – but the outlet charging my laptop still isn't working #CES2018— Rae Johnston @ #CES2018 (@raejohnston) January 10, 2018
Update: Aaaand, we’re back!
LAPTOP CHARGING HELLO #CES2018 LET'S DO THIS— Rae Johnston @ #CES2018 (@raejohnston) January 10, 2018
Where was Elon when we needed him, huh? Sounds like Las Vegas needs the South Australia treatment.
Power has been fully restored. We are opening Central Hall. Again, thank you for your patience during this time.— CES (@CES) January 10, 2018
Update: And we finally have a statement from the Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, NV Energy and Consumer Technology Association (CTA), “regarding the limited power outage in the Las Vegas Convention Center”:
Today at approximately 11:15 AM, the Central Hall and South Hall bridge meeting rooms at the Las Vegas Convention Center lost power. Power in the South Hall was restored within minutes, and power has now been fully restored to all areas. A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility’s transformers. We are grateful to NV Energy for their swift assistance, to our customers and their clients for their patience and to the staff for ensuring the safety and security of all attendees and exhibitors.
It’s official. 12mm of rain brought down CES.
We are not prepared for the apocalypse.