Utility Says Power Restored In New York City After Outage Hits 73,000 Customers Most of Manhattan's West Side went dark Saturday evening, halting subways, traffic and elevators. Officials say power has been fully restored after about five hours.
NPR logo Utility Says Power Restored In New York City After Outage Hits 73,000 Customers

Utility Says Power Restored In New York City After Outage Hits 73,000 Customers

Authorities scrambled to restore electricity to Manhattan following a power outage that knocked out Times Square's towering electronic screens and left businesses without electricity, elevators stuck and subway cars stalled. Michael Owens/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Michael Owens/AP

Authorities scrambled to restore electricity to Manhattan following a power outage that knocked out Times Square's towering electronic screens and left businesses without electricity, elevators stuck and subway cars stalled.

Michael Owens/AP

Updated at 12:38 a.m. ET Sunday

New York officials and Con Edison say power has been fully restored after an outage knocked out lights on Times Square's giant monitors, shut down subways, and stranded people in elevators along Manhattan's West Side on Saturday evening, impacting tens of thousands in the city.

Some 73,000 customers over six networks on Con Edison's local grid lost power just before 7 p.m. local time, the energy provider said. Con Ed confirmed in a message shortly after midnight that power had been fully restored.

Con Ed said a transformer fire in Midtown, at West 64th Street and West End Avenue, likely triggered the blackout that stretched from the West 40s to 72nd Street, and from 5th Avenue to the Hudson River.

Following the blackout, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's ordered city agencies to investigate the power failures. "They'll work with ConEd to get to the bottom of what happened tonight and prevent another widespread outage like this," he tweeted.

Subway cars froze, stranding commuters far from their homes. Ten local subway lines shut down at one point. Some reported spotty cellphone service with cell towers down. Traffic lights went down in major tourist hubs, forcing roads to close.

Firefighters responded to people trapped in elevators, the department said.

No injuries have been reported so far, officials said.

St. Luke's Roosevelt Hotel, Times Square, Rockefeller Center also went dark, and Broadway shows were canceled or delayed, sending some actors out to the streets to entertain passersby.

Saturday's blackout falls on an eerie anniversary, the 1977 outage that knocked out power in most of the city for a full day. Lightning had struck power lines on the Hudson River, resulting in looting, vandalism, arson and other criminal activity.

Meanwhile, a tropical storm has knocked out power for tens of thousands more people in Louisiana. According to poweroutage.us, about 135,000 people were without power in Louisiana early Sunday morning.