NY power outage affects 72,000 people

Times Square Power Out

Manhattan power outages are crippling subway service

Utility company Con Edison said in a statement that the last of the customers who lost electricity - more than 72,000 customers along 30 blocks from Times Square to the Upper West Side lost power - saw their power restored just before midnight after blackouts that began at 6:47 p.m. Saturday. The lights of nearby Radio City Music Hall were dark. "It is chaotic now on the West Side, certainly".

The cast of "Waitress: A New Musical" also kept an audience's attention, singing to passersby outside.

"When you're talking about a city like NY, with a significant piece of the city basically suffering a blackout, that could be a very chaotic situation".

Multiple civilians stepped into always-busy intersections to help direct traffic snarled by the lack of traffic lights.

Less than a month after a similar episode although at a larger scale happened in nearly the entire southern cone, a power cut hit NY for about four hours Saturday, affecting some 72,000 customers, in the city's western area and landmarks such as Times Square, causing havoc and unrest when metro lines and theatres came to a standstill. Memories of rioting, looting and violence during the 1977 blackout spooked some tourists visiting the city.

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Thousands of people crowded into the streets using mobile phones to light their way, and trying to stay cool in the humid July weather, as police directed traffic using sirens and horns.

The outage stymied subway service throughout the city, affecting almost every line.

At Madison Square Garden, the blackout put a sudden stop to a Jennifer Lopez concert, plunging the arena into darkness. At a news conference Sunday, De Blasio defended himself against criticism for not being in NY when the blackout hit.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was on his presidential campaign in Iowa at the time of the blackout, but from there he spoke of a "mechanical problem" in the power supply system.

Con Ed president Timothy Cawley said that even though it has been hot in New York City, "in terms of the peak demands that Manhattan exhibits on those hottest weekdays, the demand was very low".

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ConEd is continuing to investigate the root cause of the event.

"You have to take charge wherever you are, and I did that", he said. "So, for whatever reason, we're going to get into exactly why".

Mr De Blasio, meanwhile, called on city agencies to "get to the bottom of what happened".

"I guess this is what they call a NY moment", she wrote on Twitter with a video of a choir singing at sunset. In July 2018, it was the subject of a probe after an asbestos-lined steam pipe ruptured in Manhattan's Flatiron district.

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