See below for updates.
On Saturday evening, a major power outage struck parts of midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side in New York City where at least 45,000 customers were affected, according to energy company Con Edison.
Iconic landmarks of New York, such as Times Square and Rockefeller Center, went dark, while multiple subway stations and subway lines were also not operational. Although not gridlocked, traffic was also jamming up in parts of the city as traffic lights went out and local citizens directed traffic.
Times Square is down, i repeat, Times Square is down. This is not a drill!! #Blackout #NYC pic.twitter.com/8IUfER7ozl
— Sahid Abraham (@Sahid0) July 13, 2019
According to a FDNY spokesman, firefighters were responding to people trapped in elevators and subway cars, while at the same time responding to a fire started at West 64th Street.
A transformer fire in midtown Manhattan is said to have caused the large-scale power outage.
During this chaos, one would expect the mayor of the city to be present and lead efforts to fix problems caused by the blackout.
But, this is Mayor Bill de Blasio we are talking about.
He was present in Waterloo, Iowa, campaigning for his presidential run when the blackout happened. In a new poll from Quinnipiac University on Tuesday, Mayor de Blasio is polling at zero percent and has the highest unfavorability rating among the more than 20 Democrats running in the 2020 presidential election.
After he heard of the blackout and the problems that it caused, Mayor de Blasio had the nerve to tell CNN that he may or may not return to NYC depending on “more information in the next hour or so.”
As darkness fell in New York City, ABC7NY tweeted that the mayor has finally made up his mind to return home. “Just in: Mayor Bill de Blasio is returning to New York City form Iowa amid the power outage,” the news outlet tweeted. No details were given about when de Blasio might return.
The number of those without power continues to grow from reports of 20,000 to at least 45,000 now. Saturday’s blackout came on the 42nd anniversary of 1977 outage that left millions without power.
Update 11:18 p.m. EST: Con Ed is reporting that an “electrical disturbance” is the blame for the blackout.
Con Ed CEO says 73,000 customers w/o power in Manhattan blackout. Called it electrical disturbance. Says manhole fire unlikely. Emergency task force going building to building to determine to look for people who may be trapped in elevators.
— Sara Lee Kessler (@SaraLeeKessler) July 14, 2019
Update 12:33 a.m. EST: Con Ed reports that power is back on for all but 9,700 customers:
We have about 9,700 customers left to restore. We are working hard to restore everyone. Thank you all for your patience. #safetyfirst pic.twitter.com/aIA462muJS
— Con Edison (@ConEdison) July 14, 2019