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See how the New York City power outage knocked out train stations, canceled Broadway shows, and darkened Times Square

nyc power outage

  • A massive power outage struck uptown Manhattan Saturday evening, leaving people stranded in elevators, without traffic lights, and facing massive train delays.

  • Residents took to social media to share photos of the city's darkened icons, including Times Square, Radio City, and 30 Rockefeller Center. 

  • Onlookers even captured the moments the lights finally flicked back on before midnight Saturday night. 

  • Visit INSIDER's homepage for more stories.

A massive power outage struck uptown Manhattan in New York City Saturday that left scores of people not only without power, but also stranded in elevators, without traffic lights, and facing massive train delays.

Con Edison, the city's power provider, said on the power outage map that more than 77,000 customers had lost service Saturday evening. 

Those in the city's Midtown and Upper West Side neighborhoods posted on social media to show the bizarre scenes that broke out during the outage as some of the city's most iconic sites went dark. 

See what it was like on the ground. 

Onlookers took notice almost immediately when the lights in parts of midtown and uptown Manhattan flicked back on Saturday night.

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Traffic signals and some lights just came back on! pic.twitter.com/pshIR5PRwB
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WE'RE BACK, BABY!!! #BLACKOUT pic.twitter.com/9KySiRQf4m


Hours earlier, one of the earliest symptoms of the power disruption in the city came as travelers reported they were stuck on subway cars in darkened stations.

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There's a power outage at the subway station on 59th, anyone else having this problem? #MTA pic.twitter.com/j9iDIHB7OK


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@NYCTSubway the lights went out at 7 Ave platform. I was waiting for E. Is it a blackout? What's happening? pic.twitter.com/oPeRUuQfqZ



As the evening went on, it became increasingly clear just how far darkness fell across the island, including an approximately 20-block radius of Manhattan.


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Here's a look at the #NYC #Blackout- pic.twitter.com/iX2NvkTNBp


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Looking north up 9th ave. #nofilter #Blackout #poweroutage #nyc #NYCblackout pic.twitter.com/3lceymu5t4


Several of the city's most iconic landmarks including the Radio City Music Hall sign and the west half of Times Square went dark.

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Power outage in NYC...glad we weren't on the elevator to the Top of the Rock! #Blackout pic.twitter.com/85SRMARomF


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#Blackout in Manhattan. Half of Times Square remains on pic.twitter.com/vVW4n308g3


Another major site that got caught in the dark was 30 Rockefeller Center, which is home to NBC News. However, Saturday night's broadcast dodged the blackout with backup generators.

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Very dark here at 30 Rock, but we're safe. #poweroutage #blackout #poweroutagenyc #blackoutnyc pic.twitter.com/fnTjAeYfLh


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Here's how we're on TV for @NBCNightlyNews from 30 Rock in the midst of a blackout in parts of midtown Manhattan. Backup generators in one small studio. #Blackout pic.twitter.com/e833iLygJh


The outage struck the city's Saturday night entertainment scene particularly hard, including Broadway shows and Jennifer Lopez's Madison Square Garden performance.

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They just cancelled second part of Harry Potter on Broadway due to power issues — tickets will be refunded .... pic.twitter.com/UgqF7U92wv


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@JLo concert at MSG being evacuated bc of power outages pic.twitter.com/dZDqIHDYIn



However, performers from several different musicals didn't let canceled shows stop the shows, as they took to open windows and sidewalks to keep onlookers entertained.

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Very nice. Cast of @hadestown singing to the disappointed audience about the #blackout. pic.twitter.com/zIHuozHIGu


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@cnn @HamiltonMusical was cancelled due to the blackout. The cast sang to us from above the Rodgers Theater in NY. It was awesome! pic.twitter.com/HV6cf1tTzG


Singers in a choir scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall took to the street in front of the venue to deliver what one onlooker called a "New York moment."

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I guess this is what they call a New York moment. After being trapped on the F for an hour because of the power outage I emerged to see dark restaurants & traffic lights, civilians directing traffic, & an evacuated Carnegie Hall concert happening in the street. #nyc #Blackout pic.twitter.com/3p9UWtRrel


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A power outage in New York, but it couldn't stop the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, creating a makeshift stage right outside Carnegie Hall. #nycblackout pic.twitter.com/fPQJzvTS1t




Videos captured New Yorkers who stepped in to direct traffic on their own.

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Thank you to these INCREDBILE NEW YORKERS. Directing traffic to help keep everyone safe during the #blackoutnyc #blackout pic.twitter.com/1h0WgMuQCF


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Yet another Good Samaritan directing traffic at the hairy Lincoln Square / Columbus / Broadway intersection on the Upper West Side. #blackout pic.twitter.com/0NqKPhirpy


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This guy at Lincoln Center has been waiting his WHOLE LIFE for this moment. #blackout pic.twitter.com/zegxLXS1XS


After hours of crowded sidewalks and delayed trains, agencies urged people to avoid taking underground subways as they attempt to restore power.

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#FDNY is on scene of a transformer fire at W 64 St and West End Ave. Members are responding to reports of numerous stuck elevators that are occupied, but there are currently no patients reported.


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Update: Because of the ongoing power outages, there is limited subway service into Manhattan from Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Please check https://t.co/tyvPdlXfha or the MYmta app for the status of your line, and we will continue to provide updates here.


Some drew comparisons to the city's 1977 blackout, which happened on July 13, 42 years ago.

The blackout cut power for millions and sparked a burst of crime while the lights were out.

The 1977 blackout began when bolt of lightning struck a Westchester power station before another lightning strike in Yonkers tanked the city's power grid, which was already weak under the summer heat.

More than 1,500 business were vandalized, according to the New York Daily News, and it was estimated that the cost of damages amounted to a little over $300 million, or about $1.27 billion in today's money.

However, this chaos seemed unlikely to be a repeat event, as Con Edison announced that the company hoped to have all power restored by midnight.