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Authorities say a transformer fire caused a power outage Saturday in Manhattan and left businesses without electricity, elevators stuck and subway cars stalled. While Con Edison restored electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers primarily on Manhattan’s Upper West Side just before midnight, the remaining 10,000 customers had their power restored around 2 a.m. on the East Coast.
“All customers are back in service, we will focus on investigating the cause of the equipment failures and on getting the electrical-delivery system back to its normal level of reliability,” the energy company tweeted.
The power went out early Saturday evening at much of Rockefeller Center and reached the Upper West Side. NBC Universal editor Lydia Robertson tweeted, “Blackout at Rockefeller Center, NBC! We are running on generators!”
A diner on Broadway at West 69th Street lost its lights, as did other surrounding businesses.
The AMC Lincoln Square 13 movie theater on the Upper West Side had its entire Cineplex evacuated.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority tweeted that there were outages at various underground stations.
Con Edison said in a tweet that 42,000 customers on Manhattan’s Westside were left without power.
According to the New York City Fire Department, which addressed a large volume of calls during the blackout, the loss of power was from 5th Avenue to the Hudson River, and from 72nd Street to the West 40s. It also confirmed that the outage was initiated by a transformer fire that started at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.
Many theater productions, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Frozen, Moulin Rouge and The Lion King, were cancelled due to the power outage and others were delayed. Broadway World gave regular updates on the programming schedule, along with alerts from Broadway League.
Several castmembers from the Broadway musical Hadestown put on an impromptu performance in the street outside the theater for disappointed audience members.
Those attending a Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison Square Garden tweeted that the blackout had occurred inside the arena and it was being evacuated amid safety concerns. The venue tweeted that because the show was forced to end early, it will follow up with ticket holders.
With the power out in Times Square, people took pictures of empty billboards.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed a state agency to conduct an investigation into the blackout, saying in a statement that although no injuries were reported, “the fact that it happened at all is unacceptable.” The Department of Public Services will investigate the blackout.
During the outage, which came on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power, local residents and businesses took to social media to share their concern and update the situation.
Blackout at Rockefeller Center, NBC! We are running on generators! pic.twitter.com/GDBqBqxwmP
— Lydia Robertson (@LydiaBBH) July 13, 2019
— Arik Hesseldahl (@ahess247) July 13, 2019
We’re getting reports of power outages in station complexes throughout Manhattan. We’re working to identify causes and keep trains moving. More information to come.
— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) July 13, 2019
— Carissa Lawson (@CarissaLawson) July 13, 2019
— Erica Grow (@Erica4NY) July 13, 2019
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 13, 2019
.@ConEdison responding to power outages on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. NYPD and @FDNY are continuing to respond to calls in the area, thank you for your patience. Follow @conedison for more information. pic.twitter.com/qI1wRlaM9v
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) July 13, 2019
We are working to restore power to 42,000 customers primarily in the Westside of Manhattan. We will provide updates as we receive them. Thank you.
— Con Edison (@ConEdison) July 14, 2019
#FDNY is addressing the spike in call volume by relocating resources to Manhattan. The loss of power is from 5th ave to Hudson River, and west 40s to 72nd St. Please be patient, call 911 only if you have a true emergency.
— FDNY (@FDNY) July 14, 2019
— Daniella Belotti? (@Dannicb123) July 14, 2019
— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) July 14, 2019
— John Cronin (@HollywoodCronin) July 13, 2019
All customers are back in service, we will focus on investigating the cause of the equipment failures and on getting the electrical-delivery system back to its normal level of reliability. https://t.co/QdF3O50SZs #safetyfirst #ConEd pic.twitter.com/dkAVaDDv35
— Con Edison (@ConEdison) July 14, 2019
July 13, 11:10 p.m.: Updated to reflect full restoration of power.
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