What You Need to Know About New York City's Blackout

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Where were you when the great blackout of 2019 hit New York City?

Thousands were plunged into darkness Saturday as a power failure took hold of Manhattan’s West Side. 

That meant lights out for some of the most recognizable parts of the Big Apple, including Madison Square Garden, where Jennifer Lopez was performing her “It’s My Party” tour. Darkness stretched to The Great White Way, cancelling Broadway shows. And subway trains came to a screeching halt. 

Lopez posted a video on Instagram, telling her fans that she was "devastated and heartbroken" about her hometown show being canceled. But the singer rescheduled the performance for Monday night.

“Gonna take more than a city-wide blackout to shut us down!” she wrote.

“We will have the most amazing celebration ever,” she said in the video. “No blackouts this time!”

There were no reported injuries as a result of the blackout.

Energy company Con Edison said the power outage began about 7 p.m. Saturday and affected 72,000 Manhattan customers. It stretched from 72nd Street to West 30th Street, from the Hudson River over to 5th Avenue. 

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Con Ed tweeted that all power had been restored. According to The New York Times, ConEd chairman and chief executive John McAvoy suggested the cause was mechanical failure, but he said he would not be certain until an investigation was done. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pointed to an explosion and fire at a substation that triggered other substations, causing them to lose power. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is running for president and was fundraising in Iowa when power failed, decided to return home to deal with the outage.

This blackout hit New York exactly 42 years to the day one gripped the city in 1977. That occurred after lightning hit electrical equipment and lasted 25 hours. According to WCBS, that resulted in thousands of crimes and one homicide. 

This outage also reminded many beyond New York City of the blackout of 2003, that affected the parts of the Northeast, Midwest and Canada.

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