NEW YORK (Reuters) – A blackout hit greater than 40,000 prospects in Manhattan on Saturday night, plunging subway stations and outlets into darkness and sending hundreds of individuals into the streets after a transformer explosion on the Higher West Facet, officers mentioned.
A blackout impacts buildings within the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S, July 13, 2019. REUTERS/Maria Caspani
A Reuters witness within the space reported listening to an explosion at about 7 p.m. (2300 GMT), and a New York Metropolis Hearth Division spokesman mentioned firefighters have been on the scene of a transformer hearth.
“Members are responding to experiences of quite a few caught elevators which can be occupied, however there are at the moment no sufferers reported,” the division mentioned on Twitter.
The outage prolonged from Fifth Avenue west to the Hudson River, and from the west 40s north to 72nd Road, authorities mentioned.
Sidewalks in Instances Sq. which can be often crowded with vacationers on a balmy summer season Saturday night time have been overflowing as at the very least some Broadway theaters canceled performances. The lights of Radio Metropolis Music Corridor have been darkish.
In an try to cheer prospects, the solid from the musical “Come From Away” carried out a track in entrance of the stage door. “Hadestown” solid members additionally staged a street-side efficiency.
With site visitors lights out, automobiles and taxis jammed intersections as emergency automobiles and hearth engines with sirens blaring tried to move.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo mentioned he was sending 100 State Police and a few Nationwide Guard personnel to town to assist with site visitors management.
As darkness fell simply earlier than 9 p.m. (0100 GMT), folks on the Higher West Facet had to make use of their cell phone flashlights to barter usually brightly lit streets, whereas there have been experiences of individuals trapped in constructing elevators with out energy.
The Con Edison [CENY.UL] utility mentioned it was working to revive energy to 42,000 prospects and would supply updates because it bought them.
Metropolis Council Speaker Corey Johnson wrote on Twitter that the ConEd substation on the West Facet had a “main disturbance” and that the utility was engaged on fixing it.
Mayor Invoice de Blasio advised CNN mentioned he had spoken with the police commissioner and the deputy commissioner accountable for counterterrorism.
“From what we’re seeing at this second, that is merely a mechanical downside and one, once more, that feels like it’s addressable in an affordable time frame,” de Blasio mentioned.
Blackouts are a part of New York Metropolis historical past, with almost your entire metropolis plunged into darkness for hours in August 2003. Saturday’s outage occurred on the 42nd anniversary of a New York blackout that crippled town throughout a warmth wave on July 13, 1977. Energy was not restored till the following day.
Rising from a subway station subsequent to Central Park, Jeff O’Malley, a marketing consultant who lives in Manhattan, mentioned he was caught in a subway automobile for greater than an hour.
“We have been caught for about 75 minutes,” mentioned O’Malley, 57. “It’s utterly darkish. Individuals had to make use of the flashlights on their telephones to see their means out.”
Town’s subway system mentioned it was working with the utility and that the outage was affecting Midtown and the Higher West Facet.
“A number of stations are at the moment with out energy and are being bypassed by all trains,” it posted on Twitter.
“Individuals have been having enjoyable at first when the lights went out; it was one thing totally different,” mentioned the supervisor on obligation on the Oxbow Tavern on Columbus Avenue and 71st Road, who declined to offer his identify.
With some stations and site visitors lights darkish, many residents and guests alike took to the streets and walked, based on social media posts, a lot of which had the hashtag #blackoutnyc.
Reporting by Maria Caspani and Daniel Wallis; Extra reporting by Frank McGurty and Conway Gittens in New York, and David Morgan in Washington; Modifying by Jonathan Oatis and Andrea Ricci