New York City Power Outage: Thousands Without Power In Midtown, Upper West Side On 42nd Anniversary of 1977 Blackout

A significant power outage is being reported in parts of Manhattan tonight.

• ConEdison estimates that over 42,000 New Yorkers are without power.

• The New York Police Department and New York Fire Department have reported a spike in calls as people are reporting being trapped in elevators and other issues. NYPD officials have asked units from other boroughs to respond.

• The outage has impacted Rockefeller Center in Midtown, as well as a portion of Times Square. Several subway stations also have lost power, prompting trains that are running to skip those stations until power can be restored.

• The outage arrives on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 New York City Blackout.

New York City Blackout
At dawn, the Manhattan skyline shows no lights due to a power blackout, New York, New York, July 14, 1977. The photo was taken from Jersey City, New Jersey. Allan Tannenbaum/Getty

Media reports indicate that thousands are without power in parts of Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side.

According to ConEdison, which provides power for New York City and Westchester County, approximately 42,500 people have been impacted by the outage which the New York City Police Department says stretches from 5th Avenue to the Hudson River and West 40s to 72nd Street.

However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, tweeted to say that a manhole fire is responsible for the outage. De Blasio did not indicate where the fire occurred or if anyone was injured.

Posts to social media showed landmarks in the city without power, including Rockefeller Center, the Empire State building and parts of Times Square.

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.

"We are responding to extensive outages on the west side of Manhattan," said Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin told the New York Daily News. "It's equipment issues, and we are working to restore customers."

The outage also impacted the Columbus Circle, 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center, 34 Street-Hudson Yards, and 5th Avenue/53 Street subway stations, forcing passengers on trains at the time the power cut to be escorted through tunnels and dark stations by MTA employees.

While trains are still running despite the outage, the stations without power are being bypassed by trains until power is restored. Subway lines on both sides of Manhattan are running with limited service, and the affected stations are closed to the public.

Saturday also marked the second night of Manhattanhenge, an event where the rising and setting sun aligns perfectly with the city's street grid. New York's May event was sidelined by rain and clouds, though Friday and Saturday's sunset was presented with clear views. Manhattanhenge began at 8:20 p.m. local time.

The outage also saw some Broadway shows cancel their Saturday evening performances, including Best Musical Tony winner Hadestown, Hamilton, Mean Girls and King Kong.

Another show forced to cancel, Come From Away, didn't let a lack of electricity stop them. The cast headed out on the street to perform a song from their show to a street full of people.

The outage also forced the cancellation of Jennifer Lopez's concert at Madison Square Garden. The singer had performed three songs before the power went out and the show was stopped. Thousands attending the concert were evacuated.

Lopez later hopped onto Twitter to apologize to her fans, saying she is "heartbroken and devastated" that the show was stopped, but she promised to reschedule.

Without traffic lights, some New Yorkers stepped in to help, as captured on social media.

The power outage comes on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 Blackout which plunged most of New York City into two days of darkness. 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.

New York City Power Outage: Thousands Without Power In Midtown, Upper West Side On 42nd Anniversary of 1977 Blackout | News