Blackout Cripples 72,000 Customers in New York City; Broadway Actors Hold Impromptu Performances

July 15, 2019

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On Saturday night, a widespread blackout crippled large portions of New York City, mainly in midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side. Luckily, although 72,000 customers were affected and the subway system was snarled, there were no injuries or deaths. The origin of the blackout is unclear: NBC News, citing a city official, reported that the blackout cause seemed to be a transformer fire, while Con Edison CEO John McAvoy noted the blackout didn't "appear related to excessive load." Mayor Bill De Blasio, meanwhile, stressed that the blackout "was not a cyber-attack" and "not an act of physical terrorism." Still, New York Senator Chuck Schumer called on the Department of Energy's Office of Electricity to investigate the blackout's cause, while New York governor Andrew Cuomo called the power outage "unacceptable" and added, "You just can't have a power outage of this magnitude in this city. It is too dangerous, the potential for public safety risk and chaos is too high." Oddly enough, the blackout occurred 42 years to the day another blackout hit New York City and caused riots. One of the areas hit hardest by the New York City blackout was Broadway, although performers from shows such as Hadestown, Rock Of Ages, Waitress, and Come From Away took to the streets and improvised songs for fans after their shows were scotched. A choir scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall also held an impromptu performance outside the venue.