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Lights Back on in Manhattan

Transformer fire affects over 73K customers, officials say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2019 8:54 PM CDT
Updated Jul 14, 2019 5:53 AM CDT
Screens in Times Square are black during a widespread power outage, Saturday, July 13, 2019, in the Manhattan borough of New York. Authorities say a transformer fire caused a power outage in Manhattan...   (AP Photo/Michael Owens)
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(Newser) – Authorities restored electricity to Manhattan late Saturday following a power outage that knocked out Times Square's towering electronic screens and darkened marquees on Broadway and left businesses without electricity, elevators stuck, and subway cars stalled, the AP reports. The New York City Fire Department said a transformer fire Saturday evening at West 64th Street and West End Avenue affected more than 44,000 customers along a 30-block stretch from Times Square to about 72nd Street and Broadway. Con Ed said it began coming back online around 10pm, reports the New York Daily News, and all power had been restored shortly before midnight. Most subway lines and street lanes had reopened by around 2am.

The temperature was warm, above 80 even as the sun set, but not as steaming as Manhattan can get in July. Power reportedly went out early Saturday evening at much of Rockefeller Center and reached the Upper West Side. At Rockefeller Center, traffic lights were out. Some buildings in Rockefeller Plaza have lights on, others were dark. When the lights went out early Saturday evening, thousands of people streamed out of darkened Manhattan buildings, crowding Broadway next to bumper-to-bumper traffic. People in Hell's Kitchen began directing traffic themselves as stoplights and walking signs went dark.The outage comes on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power.

(Read more power outage stories.)

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