Major power outage plunges Manhattan into darkness
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - An underground transformer fire caused a large power outage that turned off the lights in parts of the Upper West Side and Midtown Manhattan for several hours on a very warm Saturday evening.
The Con Ed outage map showed more than 73,000 customers out of service at the height of the outage. It had most of the power restored by midnight.
Con Edison CEO John McAvoy said a problem at a substation caused the 6:47 p.m. power failure
In the moments after the outage, there were reports of people trapped in elevators in some highrise buildings. The sounds of fire trucks and police cars filled the streets as the sun was going down. Power went out at much of Rockefeller Center and reached the Upper West Side.
Police had streets blocked off in Midtown. The outage area affected 5th Ave. to the Hudson River and around 40th St. to 72nd St. Much of Times Square was affected.
Governor Cuomo said he had called up the National Guard and sent state troopers to Manhattan to help with traffic control and to help with any law enforcement needs. Mayor de Blasio was in Iowa campaigning for president during the crisis and was not at a news conference city leaders held late Saturday night to update the situation.
People poured out of stores, restaurants, and theaters that were plunged into darkness. Some Broadway performances, including "Hamilton", were canceled for the night. A Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison Square Garden was also evacuated and canceled.
The FDNY said it relocated crews to Manhattan from other boroughs to help answer the high volume of calls.
Much of the subway service in Manhattan was affected for several hours.
All lanes of West 42nd Street to West 71st Street between the Hudson River to 5th Avenue in Manhattan were also closed in both directions
Saturday was very warm and humid in the city. At 8 p.m. it was still 84 degrees in the city with the real-teel temperature near 90 degrees.
The outage comes 42 years to the day from the infamous 1977 blackout in the city.