NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Power has been partially restored after a large outage struck Midtown, Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen, and other parts of Upper Manhattan.
CBS2 began to hear reports that that all restaurants had gone dark in Hell’s Kitchen around 7 p.m. Saturday evening – 42 years to the day after the famous 1977 blackout in New York City.
At around 10 p.m. Saturday night, CBS2 began to receive multiple reports that lights have begun to come back on around Midtown. CBS2’s Alice Gainer was near Columbus Circle as traffic lights began to come online. Power was also restored to the CBS2 studios, which had also been affected by the outage.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted shortly after 10 p.m. to say that Con Edison is working to have all six sections of Manhattan that were affected restored by midnight.
During a press conference with the city’s Office of Emergency Management, authorities said 73,000 customers had lost power due to the outage. Loud cheers rang out as power was stored to another of the darkened sections – bringing five of the six back online.
OEM officials said the root cause of the blackout is not yet known, but it was not due to extensive power use on the hot summer day. Authorities do not expect any more outages throughout the night.
The FDNY earlier reported that they are receiving calls from residents without power in the West 40s all the way north to 72nd Street and from Fifth Avenue west to the Hudson River.
Police and fire department sources tell CBS2 that the cause of the failure appears to be a feeder cable problem below ground at 64th Street and West End Ave.
Mayor de Blasio tweeted just after 8:20 p.m. – saying that both police and fire officials were responding to the affected area and that the “disruption is significant.”
The mayor then spoke with CBS2’s Jessica Moore live from the presidential campaign trail in Iowa and addressed the ongoing emergency:
Fortunately, the mayor said that first responders have not received an reports of injuries due to the ongoing blackout. De Blasio is also reportedly returning to New York City Saturday night to deal with the crisis; pausing his latest 2020 fundraising trip out of state.
The power outage struck on the same day, July 13, as the 1977 blackout. That outage happened when lightning struck electrical equipment resulting in a blackout that lasted 25 hours. The darkness was filled with thousands of crimes, but only one homicide.
Commuters should avoid the subway as power outages in several stations have been confirmed by the MTA and Con Edison as well. Authorities say there is no indication of intentional sabotage or an act of terrorism involved with the blackout.
The FDNY said they had to prioritize life threatening and public safety emergency calls earlier in the night due to the number of people calling 911, but they are now back to normal operation as of 9:30 p.m.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer was at one of the subway stations in Midtown where power has completely gone out.
Gainer also hit the road to see how drivers are handling the dangerous traffic conditions on Manhattan’s West Side Highway.
CBS2’s Ali Bauman is in Midtown where pedestrians and drivers are dealing with the mass confusion caused by the downed traffic lights.
New Yorkers are also calling for help through social media, as at least one person has been trapped in an elevator by the outage. Richard R. O’Connor tweeted from his elevator in Manhattan Saturday evening.
Stay with CBS New York for the latest on this developing story