Power restored in Manhattan after blackout left over 70,000 Con Edison customers in the dark

A blackout affects buildings in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S, July 13, 2019.

Maria Caspani | Maria Caspani

Power was largely restored in sections of Manhattan hit by a major blackout that had left more than 70,000 Con Edison customers and much of Times Square in the dark for hours on Saturday. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said power had been restored to remaining customers and thanked the city’s first responders. 

No injuries occurred as a result of the blackout, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The power outage was apparently caused by a transformer fire at 54th Street and West End Avenue, a senior city official with direct knowledge of the matter told NBC News.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he spoke with the CEO of Con Edison and there was a “major disturbance” at the West 49th Street substation. A full emergency response was mobilized, Johnson said.

Mayor de Blasio said the power failures were due to a manhole fire earlier Saturday evening. He said NYC Emergency Management, NYPD and the FDNY were all responding to the outages.

Governor Cuomo said he has directed the Department of Public Service to investigate and “identify the exact cause of the outages.”

The New York City Fire Department had units on the scene and was handling calls to assist people stuck in elevators.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority said it had received reports of outages in subway station complexes throughout Manhattan and was working to keep trains moving.

Due to the outages, subway service was limited into Manhattan from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The A,C,D,F and M lines were disrupted. The MTA was encouraging customers to avoid below-ground stations.

Four stations were without power and closed to the public: 59-St. Columbus Circle, 47-50 Sts.-Rockefeller Center, 34 St.-Hudson Yards and 5 Avenue/53 St. The MTA, however, emphasized that the entire subway system was affected by the outage and encouraged people in Manhattan to take the bus.

Times Square was hit by the blackout. Due to the outage, Saturday’s performance of the hit musical Hamilton was cancelled.

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