New York City power outage knocks out subways, businesses, elevators

BREAKING: Massive Power Outage In Midtown, Other Sections Of Manhattan, Thousands Affected

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on July 13, 1977, power went out throughout the city after a severe thunderstorm destroyed power lines critical for delivering electricity to the five boroughs.

Reporters and other New Yorkers shared images of parts of Times Square and full Manhattan blocks powering down as a result of the outage.

New Yorkers inevitably recalled the blackout of 1977, which cut power for millions in the city, along with the chaos that ensued when the the lights went out.

Smoke was reported in numerous locations on the West Side, including at the Port Authority and Rockefeller Center.

Freddi Goldstein, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was campaigning in Iowa for president, said that the mayor had been briefed on the blackout and that the Office of Emergency Management was responding. De Blasio did not indicate where the fire occurred or if anyone was injured.

"There's a power outage at the subway station on 59th, anyone else having this problem?"

The Daily Beast reports that the source of the outage is a blown transformer at West End Avenue and West 64th Street, but neither ConEd, NYPD or NYFD have confirmed what caused the break in service.

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Firefighters were also responding to people trapped in elevators and subway cars, and they are operating all over Manhattan's West Side from streets in the 40s to the 60s, according to an FDNY spokesman.

The company is advising people in the affected areas switch off or unplug electrical appliances to avoid potential damage to the appliances when power is restored.

A number of Saturday night shows were delayed, with theatregoers left waiting in the streets outside venues. New York's May event was sidelined by rain and clouds, though Friday and Saturday's sunset was presented with clear views.

The utility Con Edison said that about 42,000 customers were without power, mainly on the West Side. Several cast members from the show put on an impromptu performance in the street outside the theater for disappointed audience members.

Manhattan residents and visitors took to Twitter to post photos of the city without power, including eerie photos and video of pitch-black subway stations.

The outages arrived on the 42nd anniversary of the NY city blackout of 1977, which was triggered by lightning strikes and spanned most of the city, lasting 25 hours. That outage was triggered by lightning strikes hitting two substations and came at a time where the city was already on edge by the Son of Sam serial murders.

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