Manhattan power outage hits Times Square, traffic lights and 42,000 customers
By EDITH HONAN , EMILY SHAPIRO and JOSHUA HOYOS
Parts of midtown Manhattan in New York City were hit with a power outage on Saturday evening, causing Times Square billboards and to go dark, disrupting subway service and cutting out traffic lights.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that the outage was caused by a manhole fire.
Consolidated Edison Inc, New York City’s power provider, said in a post on Twitter that it is “responding to extensive outages” on west of Central park in Manhattan and that it is working to restore power to 42,000 customers.
Photos circulated on social media showing the iconic sign of Radio Music Hall unlit, movie-goers evacuating from Lincoln Center’s cinema and the sprawling Columbus Circle subway station without lights. Traffic lights were not working along a stretch of Manhattan that extends up about a mile, and across from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River, on Manhattan’s far west side.
A spokesman for the city fire department said they were responding to multiple calls about stuck elevators and power outages, going from midtown, near Times Square, and extending up to the Upper West Side, the area close to Lincoln Center performing arts complex. It added in a Twitter post that it was responding to “numerous stuck elevators.”
The Twitter account for New York subways said the agency is working to keep trains moving and will bypass affected stations.
The mayor, who is Iowa to campaign for president, said he was monitoring the situation and had not decided if he would rush back to the city.
“Well, first I have to get the details on what is happening,” de Blasio told reporters. “I’ve been through now, five and a half years of mayors, the nation’s largest city, I’ve been through many, many situations. The first thing you learn is, let’s get all the facts, and then we’ll assess what to do.”