Published: Mon, July 15, 2019
Culture | By Margie Dunn

New York City Power Outage: What We Know So Far

New York City Power Outage: What We Know So Far

Power was fully restored to thousands of customers early Sunday after the massive outage plunged a swath of Manhattan's West Side into darkness, eerily happening on the 42nd anniversary of the infamous 1977 blackout that darkened most of the city.

Gregory Reed, a professor of electric power engineering at the University of Pittsburgh who once worked at Con Ed, said the utility had done a good job in restoring power quickly, but said it underscores a need throughout the country to invest more in infrastructure.

"This appears to be something that just went wrong in the way that they transmit power from one part of the city to another", he said. Con Edison CEO John McAvoy said a problem at a substation caused the 6:47 p.m. power failure, which stretched 30 blocks from Times Square to 72nd Street and Broadway and spread to Rockefeller Center.

Utility company Con Edison said that it was responding to power outages across the city and promised more updates on Twitter.

"While fortunately, no injuries occurred as a result of this incident, the fact that it happened at all is unacceptable", said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

People have shared eerie scenes in NY after a major power outage left people stuck in elevators and subways stalled.

The failure came on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 power failure that plunged the NY skyline into darkness, triggering widespread looting and arson.

"We expedited the recovery, performed an initial assessment of what was the most likely cause, isolated that equipment, inspected the other equipment to identify any obvious abnormalities", McAvoy said.

It put street lights and traffic lights out of action and forced the evacuation of buildings across the borough.

Lopez posted online again later in the morning, saying that if all went to plan she could return to the famous NY venue on Monday to perform for the fans left disappointed by the blackout. Lopez said on social media from backstage: "I love you; I am so sorry that this happened in the middle of our moment", she said.

In a statement Sunday, Con Ed said it would be conducting "a diligent and vigorous investigation" to figure out the cause of the blackout.

"You just can't have a power outage of this magnitude in this city" Cuomo said.

Meanwhile, in Midtown west, in a neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen, a man takes it upon himself to direct traffic.

A Reuters witness in the area reported hearing an explosion around 7 p.m. (2300 GMT), and a city Fire Department spokesman said firefighters were on the scene of a transformer fire. Most Broadway musicals and plays cancelled their Saturday evening shows, though some cast members staged impromptu performances in the street.

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