World

Power restored in New York after blackout on anniversary of 1977 outage

Bloomberg

A power failure on Saturday left a chunk of New York City in darkness, affecting 62,000 customers on Manhattan’s West Side on the anniversary of a historic 1977 blackout.

The outage affected an area stretching from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River, and from West 42nd through 71st streets, according to the city’s emergency notification system. Power was restored by 10 p.m.

The subway operator said services to as far away as Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were affected as the power failure took a toll on its “entire system.”

The outage was caused by a substation explosion and fire that created a surge, affecting four other substations, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, citing information from Consolidated Edison Inc., the city’s utility.

He sent his “top power team” to look into how this happened. “If they don’t give me an answer quickly, I’m going to go to ConEd headquarters,” he said in an interview with ABC News, referring to an earlier delay in the power restoration. “If I don’t get a firm answer forthwith, I’ll go speak to Mr. ConEd myself.”

The governor said in a statement earlier that no passengers were stranded on trains and there were no reports of injuries so far.

Singer Jennifer Lopez canceled her concert at Madison Square Garden and people were evacuated from the venue. The outage also caused all but three Broadway theaters to close, Times Square Command of New York Police Department said.

It brought a sense of deja vu with the power failure striking on the 42nd anniversary of infamous outage that left most of the city without power. The incident led to widespread looting and arson that cost an estimated $310 million in damage, the New York Times reported.