A CME is not an EMP event.
CME are dangerous because the stream of charged particles interacts with Earth's magnetosphere. The interaction causes the magnetic field to vary, and the changing magnetic field as everyone knows results in induced currents. Earth's magnetic field is weak, but the charged particles cause it to vary, and because of the variance, long lines (like power transmission lines) are the ones most affected.
Or telegraph lines, where the operators suddenly get shocked when the induced currents cause a large potential difference to build up (voltages of 50+V during the Carrington event).
Now, the problem is that the grid has enough circuit breakers to actually handle this - they're sensitive enough that disruptions will cause them to open. The issue is that once you start having grids, loads and generators islanding themselves, it causes further disruption down the line. Like the blackout of 2003 where one power generating plant caused the whole east coast to lose power for 3 days.
Having the grid shut down - it might actually be difficult to restart it since it's never happened before.