Most newspapers that reported this event considered the spectacular aurora to be the most newsworthy aspect of the storm. Seen as far south as Florida and Cuba, the vast majority of people in the Northern Hemisphere had never seen such a spectacle in recent memory. Electrical ground currents created by the magnetic storm found their way into the power grid of the Hydro-Quebec Power Authority and the entire Quebec power grid collapsed. Six million people were affected as they woke to find no electricity to see them through a cold Quebec wintry night. This storm could easily have been a $6 billion catastrophe affecting most US East Coast cities.
Below are a few of the many articles to be found on this storm:
“Large solar flares erupt anew” [New York Times, March 13, 1989 p. B5]
“Space Shuttle problem could cut flight short – [New York Times, March 15, 1989 p. A16]