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Power failure hits New York on anniversary of 1977 outage

Energy supply has since been fully restored.

A chunk of New York City plunged into darkness for hours as 72 000 customers on Manhattan’s West Side lost power on the anniversary of the historic 1977 blackout. Energy supply has since been fully restored, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The outage on Saturday night affected an area stretching from Fifth Ave to the Hudson River, and from West 42nd through 71st streets, an area that includes Times Square and Central Park. Subway services to as far away as Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were disrupted as the power failure took a toll on the “entire system.”

“While this situation was luckily contained, the fact that it happened at all is unacceptable,” Cuomo said in a briefing before he headed to a substation that caused the outage. He’s directed “a full and thorough investigation into the cause of tonight’s blackout and we will hold all parties accountable in ensuring this does not happen again,” he added.

A substation explosion and fire that created a surge was the cause of the outage, in turn affecting four other substations, Cuomo said earlier in the evening, citing an update he received from Consolidated Edison  or ConEd, the city’s utility. He said no passengers were stranded on trains and there have been no reports of injuries so far.

Singer Jennifer Lopez cancelled her concert at Madison Square Garden and said people were evacuated from the venue. The outage also caused all but three Broadway theatres to close, the New York Police Department’s Times Square Command said.

The power failure happened on the 42nd anniversary of the infamous blackout that left most of the city without power. The outage led to widespread looting and arson that cost an estimated $310 million in damages, the New York Times reported.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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