NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Power has been 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.

By midnight, just under five hours after thousands lost power, electricity was fully restored throughout the 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 and officials from Con Edison, authorities said 73,000 customers had lost power due to the outage. Loud cheers rang out as power was restored to another of the darkened sections – bringing five of the six back online at that point.

WEB EXTRA – OEM and Con Edison officials provide the latest details on the Manhattan outage as power begins to be restored: 

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.

PHOTOS: Massive Power Outage Hits Parts Of Manhattan

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. A transformer fire at that location may be to blame for the massive outage.

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 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.

New Yorkers were reminded of the blackout of 1977 Saturday – the 42nd anniversary of the July 13 outage. (Credit: CBS2)

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.

The MTA is reporting major system disruptions heading into Sunday due to the power outage. Multiple lines, including the A, C, M, and Q lines are suspended or have had their route altered. For the latest on the subway service changes, click here.

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 was in Midtown Saturday evening, 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.

Broadway shows also went dark on Saturday, but that didn’t keep performers from putting on a show for New Yorkers outside the theaters. The Carnegie Hall choir even put on an impromptu concert in the streets of Manhattan.

As many officials tweeted throughout the night, the crisis brought that best in New Yorkers, many of whom were photographed helping to direct traffic and assist people stuck in elevators. Even tourists who weren’t familiar with Manhattan pitched in to lend a hand.

“We’ve been lost over the past three days, and we’ve reached out for help on subways trying to navigate the streets, and everyone has been overwhelmingly wonderful and helpful to us, so we’re paying it forward,” Jennica Reynolds of Middleton, Idaho said.

Stay with CBS New York for the latest on this developing story

Comments (11)
  1. This is good practice for the one that will last a couple months. Was anyone eaten?

  2. Get used to this New York, it’s all one of the wonders that “The Green New Deal” has in store your you: “Silly Peasants, Power is for the Elite”

    Even without this Bolshevik solution to the needs of the prols, the power infrastructure of these Marxist ruled communities is being left to rust and decay. The elites already have their gas driven generators installed and at the ready.

  3. Emoh Nur says:

    When it really happens, people living in the cities will realize just how bad things can become in just a very short time.

  4. Did they kill the power to Nakatomi Plaza ???

  5. Jim Hyland says:

    We are witnessing a total world in decline, divisions, public shaming, violence, immorality, infrastructure melting down, why? God’s prolonged spiritual and physical judgments have begun as we are in these last days. To learn more, check E Bible Fellowship.

    1. Robert Gregory Anders says:

      New York, Just a dangerous and violent as it was in the 70s. It took nearly 8 minutes before there were gun shots in my parents area of town (52nd street and 8th ave) looting at many stores locally. Just as bad and dangerous as it was back then!

  6. Robert Watson says:

    We should permanently pull the plug on the craphole that is New York city.

  7. Christopher Perrien says:

    Of course the answer is 42. Somebody has a sense of humor.

  8. Jim Steiger says:

    Who cares? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  9. New Yorkers think the world revolves around them. It’s just a power outage. Get a grip.

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