Midtown Blackout Knocks Out Power to 73K Customers: Con Ed

What to Know

  • Tens of thousands of customers lost power in a massive midtown blackout, which started just before 7 p.m. Saturday

  • Nearly four hours later, power was restored to five of the six power grid networks that were down, Con Edison said

  • The subway system came to a stop, Broadway shows were halted and police and civilians stepped in to direct traffic in lieu of stoplights

A blackout across much of midtown Manhattan and part of the Upper West Side knocked out power to 73,000 customers on Saturday evening, Con Edison said.

Five of the six power grid networks that were down had been restored by 10:30 p.m., Con Edison said. That restored power to all but 10,000 customers. Officials said they were working to restore the remaining customers by midnight.

The blackout stopped subway service, halted Broadway shows and a concert by Jennifer Lopez at Madison Square Garden, disabled traffic lights and trapped people in elevators. Carnegie Hall was evacuated mid-show and the singers continued their performance outside.

No injuries or fatalities were reported.

Con Edison said the outage, which started at 6:47 p.m., was not related to heavy load and disputed reports from the NYPD and the mayor that a manhole fire caused the fire.

There was nothing to suggest anything deliberate, according to a senior fire official and a senior NYPD official who spoke on a condition of anonymity.

The outage stretched from about 34th Street to 72nd Street and from the far west side to Fifth Avenue, according to the Con Ed power outage map. It included Rockefeller Center.

Firefighters responded to a transformer fire on 64th Street and West End Avenue, the FDNY tweeted. Firefighters were also responding to reports of people trapped in elevators.

See live transit updates on the blackout here.

NYC Power Outage: Photos of the BlackoutNYC Power Outage: Photos of the Blackout

There was limited subway service across New York City, according to the MTA. That included a partial suspension of the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, C, E, D, F, M, L, M, Q, R and S, lines.

At least four subway stations were blackened, the MTA says. Train operators were able to manually change the signals and bring at least one car or door to a subway station, so no one had to get out on the tracks.

Some people were trapped in subway elevators, but they were rescued, the MTA said.

Several people in the Columbus Circle subway station tweeted photos and videos of the darkened platform.

Massive Blackout Hits Midtown ManhattanMassive Blackout Hits Midtown Manhattan

Traffic lights were out and police were directing traffic around Rockefeller Center. In other areas, civilians stepped in to direct traffic, according to photos and videos posted to social media.

All but three Broadway shows were blackened. "Pretty Woman" and "Cher," had audiences standing on the streets. The casts of "Come From Away" and "Hadestown" gave impromptu performances to the crowd on the street.

Come From Away Cast Performs Outside Theatre Amid NYC Blackout

USA Today

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