UPDATED: Power has gradually been restored to Midtown Manhattan and the theater district after what New York City officials described as a rolling blackout that darkened Times Square and other high-traffic areas on Saturday night.
Officials said all power should be restored to the 73,000 customers affected by the outage by midnight ET. Local media reported no major incidents of disturbance or injuries amid the blackout that began around 7 p.m. ET.
EARLIER: A massive power outage crippled New York Saturday, leaving some people stranded as elevators stopped and subway services stalled.
According to the New York Fire Department, the outage was caused by a transformer fire, leaving much of Rockefeller Center and the Upper West Side powerless. The blackout also affected a number of Broadway productions including “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “Hadestown,” “Lion King,” “Ain’t Too Proud,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “The Cher Show,” which were all canceled. Several other shows were delayed.
Additionally, the outage closed down a Jennifer Lopez concert, the second of her two-night “It’s My Party” tour run in New York City. The singer was 30 minutes into her concert at Madison Square Garden when the venue house lights came on. An MSG staffer told the capacity crowd to exit, noting, “We regret to interrupt this event.” Lopez said that the show will be rescheduled for the future.
“I love you; I am so sorry that this happened in the middle of our moment,” she said. “I’m going to get back to you as soon as I can with when we are going to reschedule the show.”
Cast members of Broadway’s “Hadestown” took to the streets outside the Walter Kerr Theater after the blackout to entertain fans who expected to see the show on Saturday night.
As for transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority tweeted that there is limited service on the 1/2/3 and 4/5/6 subway lines and recommended that residents use local bus routes for travel. On the street side, a number of traffic lights were out — leaving some residents to direct busy intersections — and several metro stations were dark. The Times Square billboards were also down.
Utility company Con Edison said that it was responding to power outages across the city and promised more updates on Twitter.
“We are working to restore power to 42,000 customers primarily in the Westside of Manhattan,” the company said on Twitter. “We will provide updates as we receive them. Thank you.”
The outage also comes on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage, which similarly left most of the city without power after lightning strikes in Westchester County. Observers noted that the 1977 outage affected a wider swath of the city and came as temperatures topped 90 degrees.