Big Apple goes dark as power outage strikes New York City

World News | Published:

A transformer fire saw more than 44,000 customers lose power.

New York’s Times Square fell dark and subway trains halted as Manhattan was struck by a power cut.

Authorities scrambled to restore electricity to Manhattan following the outage which darkened marquees in the theatre district and left businesses without electricity.

The power cut also hit Madison Square Garden, where Jennifer Lopez was performing on Saturday night. Attendees said the concert went dark about 9.30pm in the middle of Lopez’s fourth song of the night.

Officials with Con Edison later tweeted that they were working to restore electricity to customers and businesses primarily on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The power reportedly went out early on Saturday evening at much of the Rockefeller Centre and reached the Upper West Side.

Atthe Rockefeller Centre, traffic lights were out while some buildings in Rockefeller Plaza had lights on and others were dark.


The outage came on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power.

New York Power Outage
A store owner in Times Square sits outside his shop during a widespread power outage (Michael Owens/AP)

Several cast members from the show put on an impromptu performance in the street outside the theatre for disappointed audience members.

New York Power Outage
People walk in midtown Manhattan during a widespread power outage, (Michael Owens/AP)


“You could see all the theatre lights across the street, all the marquees went out. That’s what we noticed first,” she said.

Some shows like Frozen were among the Broadway shows to announce it had cancelled performances.

When the lights went out early on Saturday evening, thousands of people streamed out of darkened Manhattan buildings, crowding Broadway next to bumper-to-bumper traffic.

New York Power Outage
Pedestrians cross the street near emergency response vehicles at 50th Street and 8th Avenue (Michael Owens/AP)

Ginger Tidwell, a dance teacher and Upper West Side resident, was about to order at the West Side diner on Broadway and West 69th Street just before 7pm.

“When the lights started flickering, and then were out,” she said.

“We got up and left, walking up Broadway with all the traffic lights out and businesses dark.”

But once they got to West 72nd Street, they found another diner that was open and had power.

“It was still sunny and everyone just came out to the street because they lost power and air conditioning – it was super-crowded,” she said.

“Everyone was hanging out on the street on a nice night. All you could hear was fire trucks up and down Broadway. All of Broadway was without traffic lights.”

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