Don't like the map, and there should be WAY more 'wastelands' (i.e. death/plague zones). Basically anywhere there was a major population center, should be gone. Large portion of the east coast should be a dead zone. What do you do when you have millions of people in one area, that can't grow food, they don't have transportation out of there, and they are armed?
Almost all of them would die, and most of the rest would have horrible diseases that would spread around. California, New York, Chicago, Atlanta - gone. Midwest might do better, just by being able to get to less population density, and better farming conditions in short order. In the big cities, though, anyone left would be left because they ate the others. Not really tv-friendly, though...
A blackout like the one they had would be bad. Possibly even worse than the one in the Dies the Fire series that Revolution ripped off...uh, is inspired by. The people in the Revolution blackout still have guns to make the killfest killier.
But, and I'm not the first to say this, it has been 15 years. Even if everyone in the East Coast cities has died, I can see many reasons why people would want to move back in:
- Much of Pennsylvania and some of upstate New York would make for reasonable farmland once they have been fertilized by the Yuppies.
- Without people and, more importantly, industrial fishing, the fishing grounds in the North Atlantic and the Long Island Sound would make for good living
- Think of the raw materials that could be salvaged. In the Stirling series, the characters stated that it is far easier to mine for metals in a dead city than in the ground.
Most of the original population would be gone, but I would find it unbelievable if the area wasn't colonized.