On August 14, 2003, the simple fact of a power line falling against a few nearby trees in Northern Ohio caused a massive power failure that affected eight Northeastern states, Canada, and 50 million people. Within two hours, a total of four downed power lines overburdened the other functioning power lines, resulting in a domino effect leading to what would be the largest blackout in North American history—one that contributed to 11 deaths, and up to $6 billion in damages.

During the course of the two-day blackout, several government officials began speculating as to the cause of the blackout, with Canada and the U.S. blaming one another for the incident. Regardless, the blackout's effects were not only fatal, but damaging financially and on an infrastructural level. The following gallery is a glimpse into what Canadians and Northeastern Americans had to endure over those two days.