Officials dispute report predicting area failures : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

By Kim Horner / The Dallas Morning News

Dallas and Fort Worth officials on Thursday disputed a Navy report predicting the year 2000 bug would probably cause local water and natural-gas system failures.

The report predicts "probable" partial water system failure in Dallas and "likely" partial natural-gas failure in Fort Worth.

"Our water utilities will be ready for Y2K," Dallas Assistant City Manager Ramon Miguez said. He added that employees are prepared to run the system manually if necessary.

"It's not like if a computer breaks down, Dallas citizens automatically can't get water," he said.

TXU officials said the gas and electric company also is ready for 2000, a spokeswoman said.

"We're very confident that the dollars we have spent to prepare all our systems for Y2K are going to be adequate, and we don't anticipate any big problems," spokeswoman Sandy Smith said.

She said the company could not comment on the Navy report because officials have not seen it.

The study predicted "probable" or "likely" partial failures in electric utilities that serve nearly 60 of roughly 400 Navy and Marine Corps facilities.

The Navy owns bases at the Naval Air Station Dallas and the old Carswell Air Force Base, now known as Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base.

The military report differs from predictions from the White House, which weeks ago said in a report that national electrical and water failures are "highly unlikely."

The U.S. General Accounting Office reported in July that of the largest cities, Dallas and Boston were the only two ready for the year 2000 computer challenge.

President Clinton's top Y2K adviser, John Koskinen, called the Navy's conclusions overly cautious, saying they assumed that major utilities would fail unless proved otherwise.

Mr. Koskinen, who vouched for the authenticity of the Navy report, noted that all its worst-case predictions for failures were marked as "interim" or "partial" assessments.

"It's not nearly as interesting as the world coming to an end," Mr. Koskinen said.

Year 2000 problems could occur because some computer programs, especially older ones, might fail when the date changes to 2000.

Because the programs were written to recognize only the last two digits of a year, such programs could read the digits "00" as 1900 instead of 2000, potentially causing problems with financial transactions, airline schedules and electrical grids.

The Navy report was first summarized on an Internet site run by Jim Lord, a Y2K author, who said he obtained it "from a confidential source of the highest reliability and integrity."

Mr. Koskinen said the Navy wasn't withholding information from anyone, noting that the continually updated report was available until recently on a Web site maintained by the Defense Department.

The report was pulled off the Web site two weeks ago, Mr. Koskinen said. Neither he nor Defense Department officials offered any reason.

-- Mild Mannered Reporter (Clark@super.duper), August 20, 1999


You screwed up, MMR -- this is a DOOMER article, it suggests MAJOR DISAGREEMENT about Y2K among THOSE WHO SHOULD KNOW!

Back to the Flowers & Gardens section with you!!

-- King of Spain (, August 20, 1999.

"Was pulled off the net...offered no reason."

Actually, that was yesterday's Navy spin. Today we have two versions:

(1) It was taken off the net because it was "inaccurately reported". (2) It was taken off the net because it might be inaccurately reported.

Liar, liar, deck on fire!

-- cgbg jr (, August 21, 1999.

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