NYC Power Outage Knocks Out Subways, Businesses, Elevators

NEW YORK (AP) -
Fire trucks respond during a widespread power outage in the Manhattan borough of New York, July 13, 2019, (AP Photo/Michael Owens)

Authorities were scrambling to restore electricity to Manhattan following a power outage that knocked out Times Square’s towering electronic screens, darkened marquees in the theater district and left businesses without electricity, elevators stuck and subway cars stalled.

The New York City Fire Department said a transformer fire Saturday evening at West 64th Street and West End Avenue affected more than 44,000 customers along a 30-block stretch from Times Square to about 72nd Street and Broadway.

Officials with Con Edison later tweeted that they were working to restore electricity to customers and businesses primarily on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The temperature was warm, above 80 even as the sun set, but not as steaming as Manhattan can get in July.

Power reportedly went out early Saturday evening at much of Rockefeller Center and reached the Upper West Side.

At Rockefeller Center, traffic lights were out. Some buildings in Rockefeller Plaza had lights on, others were dark.

The outage comes on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power.

When the lights went out early Saturday evening, thousands of people streamed out of darkened Manhattan buildings, crowding Broadway next to bumper-to-bumper traffic.

People began directing traffic themselves as stoplights and walking signs went dark.

Ginger Tidwell, a dance teacher and Upper West Side resident, was about to order at the West Side diner on Broadway and West 69th Street just before 7 p.m.

“When the lights started flickering, and then were out,” she said. “We got up and left, walking up Broadway with all the traffic lights out and businesses dark.”

But once they got to West 72nd Street, they found another diner that was open and had power.

“It was still sunny and everyone just came out to the street because they lost power and air conditioning; it was super-crowded,” she said. “Everyone was hanging out on the street on a nice night. All you could hear was fire trucks up and down Broadway. All of Broadway was without traffic lights.”

An area leading to the C and E trains at the 50th Street Subway Station is dimly lit during a power outage, July 13, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)
New York City police officers stand guard at a closed subway station during a power outage July 13, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)
The Upper West Side of the Manhattan is dark after a transformer fire caused a power outage and left businesses without electricity, elevators stuck and subway cars stalled. (Alan Reeves via AP)

 


Updated Sunday, July 14, 2019 at 4:43 am added pictures