My first thought- California/Enron part deux. Amusingly, Greg Palast thinks the same thing. And he has some experience in the matter. Bush quite accurately blames it on the antiquidated power grid. Of course, it's antiquidated because no one has reinvested money into the power infrastructure since the early sixties, aside from expanding service areas. atomox proposed that it might have been a result of MSBlaster.exe, but I pointed out that the computers running our power systems predated Windows.
On other notes: Kingston's water system predates electricity. The structure that has the highest elevation above sea level is the City Watertower. It's all downhill from there, no pun intended. Beyond that, we have a propane stove, with the tank located directly behind the house. The only sad thing is that our hot water heater is electric. Aside from that though, we can get by electricity free quite well.