Parts of New York City went dark Saturday in a massive power outage that affected thousands of people. CBS News has learned the power outage was caused by a transformer fire.
An early outage map by the city’s utility company, Con Edison, showed more than 40,000 customers were without power. Con Edison had not yet responded to calls for comment, but tweeted that they were responding to a “widespread power outage.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, campaigning in Iowa, tweeted the power outage was due to a manhole fire. De Blasio, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination, earlier told CBS News he is assessing the situation and will return to the city if necessary.
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted that Con Edison’s CEO told him there was a “a major disturbance” at West 49th Street Substation.
The New York City Office of Emergency Management said it had activated its emergency operations center.
The New York City transit system said it was working with Con Ed to restore power in affected subway stations. Photos of darkened subway stations were being shared on social media.
The Fire Department of New York said it was responding to multiple calls of people stuck in elevators.
The CBS Broadcast Center was affected and turned to generator power. NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza also lost power.
Several Broadway shows canceled their Saturday night performances, including Hamilton, Hadestown, Aladdin, Frozen, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg and The Cher Show.
Coincidentally, Saturday’s power outage struck on the 41st anniversary of the 1977 blackout, which lasted until July 14. New York City went dark during the 2003 blackout of the East Coast and again after Superstorm Sandy struck in 2012.