Power Restored to Manhattan After Major Blackout

By Jeremy Del Nero on 14 July 2019
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The lights are back on on the Great White Way

The lights are back on on the Great White Way

The blackout that plunged a wide swath of Manhattan into darkness Saturday evening ended a little over five hours after it had begun, with people cheering in the streets.

The power failure had left people trapped in subway cars and elevators, darkened most Broadway and off-Broadway stages, and briefly dimmed the bright lights of Times Square, impacting approximately 73,000 Con Edison electricity customers and many more tourists and New Yorkers who typically swarm to Midtown West and the Theater District on a Saturday night.

Con Edison said that power began to be restored to the area affected by the blackout, roughly from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River and from 72nd Street to the West 40s, around 10 p.m. local time. All power had been restored by midnight.

“All customers are back in service, we will focus on investigating the cause of the equipment failures and on getting the electricity-delivery system back to its normal levels of reliability,” the utility said in a tweet.

The power failure came on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 power failure that led to widespread looting and arson.

While the city’s airports were outside the area affected by the outage, dozens of hotels were inside the affected area as were hundreds of restaurants, bars, and cafés for which Saturday is the busiest night of the week.  Some travelers and airline employees had difficulty getting to and from John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports because the blackout had impacted the entire subway system, with limited service on multiple lines throughout the occurrence.

Broadway theaters – with four notable exceptions, all shows beginning with the letter “B” – cancelled their performances although in some cases cast members put on impromptu shows in front of the closed theaters.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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