Broadway went dark along with much of Midtown and the Upper West Side on Saturday night when a Con Ed equipment failure cut power to hundreds of thousands of people in Manhattan.
Straphangers were led out of subway tunnels, firefighters responded to numerous reports of people trapped in elevators, and nearly a dozen Broadway shows shut down for the night after the outage hit at around 6:55 p.m.
Electricity started to come back at around 10 p.m.. Con Edison said all power was back on at around 11:40 p.m.
The blackout hit 42 years to the day after the massive 1977 power outage that wiped out electricity across nearly all of the city.
At its peak, the blackout cut power to more than 73,000 Con Ed customers, said John McAvoy, the company’s CEO.
Exactly how many people were affected was unclear, but the figure was certainly in the hundreds of thousands. A single Con Ed customer in the blackout area could include hundreds of apartments.
McAvoy told reporters the blackout resulted from a “significant disturbance on the west side of Manhattan at one of our electric transmission stations.”
Subway service was stalled in Manhattan and Queens on all the lines designated by letters, which the MTA calls its “B Division.”
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 Saturday evening.
The Con Ed outage map showed more than 73,000 customers out of service at the height of the outage. It said that it hoped to have most of the power restored by midnight.
NEW YORK (AP) — A power outage crippled the tourist-filled heart of Manhattan just as Saturday night Broadway shows were set to go on, sending theater-goers spilling into siren-filled streets, knocking out Times Square’s towering electronic screens and bringing subway lines to a near halt.
Electricity was restored to customers and businesses in midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side by about midnight.
Con Edison CEO John McAvoy said a problem at a substation caused the power failure at 6:47 p.m., affecting 73,000 customers for more than three hours along a 30-block stretch from Times Square to 72nd Street and Broadway, and spreading to Rockefeller Center.
McAvoy said the exact cause of the blackout would not be known until an investigation is completed.
The temperature was in the low 80s as the sun set, but not as steaming as Manhattan can get in July, challenging the city’s power grid.