By Sharon Marris, news reporter

A transformer fire cut power to tens of thousands of properties in Manhattan for most of Saturday night.

Many of the towering electronic screens of New York's famous Times Square were blank, the theatre district went dark and some people resorted to using torches or their mobile phones to see in the subways.

In some places, traffic lights were out and people stepped in to direct traffic and pedestrians themselves.

Image: A blackout left much of Manhattan in darkness
A woman sits inside a Duane Read on 57th Street attempting to use her cell phone during a major power outage on July 13, 2019 in New York City
Image: The power cut is thought to have been caused by a transformer fire

The fire department said it was responding to "reports of numerous stuck elevators that are occupied" and it warned people to avoid underground subways.

Power company Con Edison said 42,000 customers were affected, primarily in a 30-block-stretch of Manhattan's Westside.


Power had been cut after a transformer fire early in the evening but Con Edison said power had been restored to all customers just before midnight local time (5am in the UK).

Many Broadway musicals and plays had cancelled their evening shows but cast members of Hadestown were among those who performed for fans outside the theatre so they did not miss out.

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Concert goers were told to leave Madison Square Garden after an event featuring Jennifer Lopez was affected by the power cut.

The area was plunged into darkness about four songs into Lopez's set and she later said on Twitter that she was "devastated and heartbroken".

People walk along a dark street near Times Square area, as a blackout affects buildings and traffic during widespread power outages in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S, July 13, 2019
Image: People came onto the streets after various shops and theatres went dark
A blackout affects buildings in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S, July 13, 2019
Image: Some places were able to run on generators but many were left in the dark

Ginger Tidwell was at a diner just before 7pm when the light "started flickering and then were out".

She said: "We got up aRead More – Source

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