Blackouts have happen in other places.
Date: 25-Sep 
Incident: Air traffic controllers were forced to use their personal cell phones
to reroute hundreds of flights Tuesday after the Federal Aviation
Administration's Memphis Center lost radar and telephone service for more than
two hours, snarling air traffic in the middle of the nation. Air traffic was
halted at 12:35 p.m. ET when a major communication line that feeds all the
telephones at the FAA's Memphis Center failed. The malfunction, occurred inside
a telephone company's switching office, making it impossible for air controllers
at FAA's Memphis Center to communicate normally with adjoining centers to hand
off control of flights. Service was restored at 3 p.m. Doug Church, a spokesman
for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, called the failure "a
major safety problem."
A power failure knocked out radar controlling high-altitude commercial air traffic from the Texas panhandle to Southern California for 40 minutes last week, according to a report published today.
A separate power failure knocked out another radar facility near Phoenix, Ariz., leaving air traffic controllers without radar for 2 days as they guided flights over western Arizona - a smaller region, but the busiest air route for Southern California.