Massive Power Outage Briefly Knocks Out Northern Manhattan, Then Queens Goes

Buildings in Harlem sit dark during a power outage early, Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in New York.
Candice Choi | AP

A massive power outage struck Friday morning in the upper part of Manhattan, knocking out not only lights but also cellphone service, and a short time later power went out in a large chunk of Queens as well.

At one point it was pitch black as far as the eye could see along Broadway north of 73rd Street on both the east and west sides of Manhattan.

Power came back on after around 20 minutes for parts of the Upper West Side, though some spotty outage reports lingered thereafter.

"We are investigating a problem on our transmission system that caused three networks in Manhattan to lose their electric supply at about 5:13 this morning. The supply has been restored to those networks on the Upper West Side, Harlem and the Upper East Side," Con Ed said in a statement.

About 90 minutes later, though, power went out in the Middle Village section of Queens, and two hours later it was still largely out.

Con Ed's outage map showed about 140,000 customers without power in Manhattan as of 6 a.m., but that was down to 140 by 10 a.m. - and all power in the borough was projected to be restored by 12 p.m., the utility said.

The same map then showed about 27,000 customers out in Queens as of 8:30 a.m., potentially linked in part to the new outage.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said overnight weather conditions appeared to cause the early morning outage, and that by his 10 a.m. briefing all customers from Friday's outage had their power restored.

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