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Manhattan Power Outage Shuts Down Subways, Stores, and Landmarks

Manhattan Power Outage Shuts Down Subways, Stores, and Landmarks

Seen from the air, a large section of Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Midtown neighborhoods sit coated in darkness during a partial blackout on July 13, 2019.
Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

A blackout hit Manhattan on Saturday night, leaving large swaths of the city in darkness. The power outage struck at 6:47 p.m., affecting most of Manhattan’s west side from 32nd Street all the way to 72nd Street. About 73,000 Con Edison customers lost power in all after some kind of mechanical failure at the West 49th Street substation.

Around 10 p.m., Con Edison was able to start restoring power to some of the affected area. Six power networks were knocked out, according to the utility. Two were back on by 10:30, and the remaining four followed until all power had been restored just before midnight. No injuries had been reported by that time either.

The partial blackout, which coincidentally struck on the 42nd anniversary of the infamous 1977 outage which left millions without power, shut down subway lines and elevators, stranding thousands. It also shut down most of theater district, stopped J-Lo’s Madison Square Garden concert mid-song, and led many stores and restaurants to close. Landmarks like Rockefeller Center and much of Times Square went dark, while pedestrians helped police direct traffic at some busy intersections.

For some more perspective on the size of the blackout, here are some views from afar and above:

Below is a closer look at what we know so far about the cause and consequences, as well as many of the dramatic, eerie, and heartwarming scenes that people have shared on social media.

The outage appears to have been caused by some kind of mechanical failure at the 49th Street substation, Con Edison officials said, though their investigation has not finished. It’s not yet clear why the failure happened. New York governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that an explosion and fire at the substation caused the problem. He also said that the outage was unacceptable and dangerous.

Police tried to get drivers to avoid the area, and officers took over directing traffic at some intersections — as did some courageous volunteer New Yorkers:

But not all the stores:

And some dining options remained available:

Many of Times Square’s screens went black.

And there was a dividing line:

Vulture has been rounding up the performances here.

And was evacuated:

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Power Back On After Blackout Strikes Manhattan


Power Back On After Blackout Strikes Manhattan

By Margaret Hartmann and Chas Danner

Con Edison restored all service a little before midnight after some kind of mechanical failure knocked out power for more than 70,000.

Barry has landed in Louisiana with hurricane-strength winds and dangerous rainfall potential

The storm named Barry approached Louisiana’s central coast Saturday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.

It has already brought flooding to New Orleans where tornado warnings have been issued. Residents across other parts of Louisiana have also been bracing for flooding — forecasters predict up to 25 inches of rain across much of southern Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, leading to dangerous, life threatening flooding.

“Today is really going to be the day of the biggest impacts from Barry,” John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist at NHC, told NPR. Cangialosi said the biggest impacts of the storm will be from heavy rains and storm surge.

The hurricane center said a storm surge warning is in effect for much of southeast Louisiana, stretching from Intracoastal City to Biloxi, Miss.

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Wall Street celebrated the news, and it doesn’t sound like Facebook will radically change.

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House Votes to Require Congressional Approval for War With Iran

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Intelligencer staffers discuss why this sordid tale has touched such a nerve.

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Momentum to take away some presidential war powers

The House voted Friday to prevent President Trump from launching into war with Iran without getting Congress’ approval first, after more than two dozen Republicans joined Democrats to include the provision in the House’s annual defense authorization bill.

The move sets up a likely showdown with the Senate over whether the Iran restriction, which includes an exception for cases of self-defense, will be included in the final bill negotiated between the two chambers. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have argued that the language would send a bad message to Tehran that the United States is divided, complicating the president’s ability to manage escalating tensions.

The Iran amendment is just one of several high-profile measures that lawmakers voted this week to include in the first defense authorization bill Democrats have steered through the House since taking over the majority earlier this year. Those measures, which range from ending U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen to undoing President Trump’s ban on transgender troops, helped secure the support of liberal Democrats from the congressional Progressive Caucus, who had previously warned that they might vote against the defense bill.

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The Labor secretary’s press conference didn’t convince anyone, and was embroiling Trump even more in the Epstein scandal.

A familiar-sounding warning

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Trump scoring some points with liberals here

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Do you, though?

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Cross July 17 off the calendar

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The rot goes to the top

The head of the Border Patrol, @USBPChief Carla Provost, was a member of that secret CBP Facebook group where disgusting and frequently violent xenophobic posts were commonplace.@rdevro reports:


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FLASHBACK: At press conf. on Wednesday, @SecretaryACOSTA said TRUMP “has publicly made clear that I’ve got his support,” adding he’d received a call Wednesday from MICK MULVANEY meant to dispel reports the two men were in a dispute.

“Our relationship is excellent,” Acosta said.


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The reviews are in

Gulf Coast braces for Barry

Photo: CNN Breaking News/Twitter

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One of the few Trump policy proposals Dems might be cool with isn’t going anywhere

President Trump’s plan to lower prescription drug prices hit two major obstacles this week. He killed a proposal on Wednesday that would have reduced out-of-pocket costs for older consumers out of concern that it would raise premiums heading into his re-election campaign. And a federal judge threw out a new requirement that drug companies disclose their prices in television ads.

Administration officials rushed to assure the public that the double setback did not reflect failure on one of the president’s signature issues, one that has fueled public outrage and drawn the attention of both parties.

He has hinted that he is focusing in on a more audacious proposal, especially from a Republican president. It would tie some drug prices to those set by European governments, an idea that is tantamount to price controls and opposed by members of his own party. Yet Mr. Trump is said to be particularly taken with the idea because it fits with his “America First” approach.

This does not seem ideal in terms of military readiness

When he resigned as defense secretary last December, Jim Mattis thought it might take two months to install a successor. That seemed terribly long at the time.

Seven months later, the U.S. still has no confirmed defense chief even with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. That’s the longest such stretch in Pentagon history.

There is also no confirmed deputy defense secretary, and other significant senior civilian and military Pentagon positions are in limbo, more than at any recent time.

The causes are varied, but this leadership vacuum has nonetheless begun to make members of Congress and others uneasy, creating a sense that something is amiss in a critical arm of the government at a time of global uncertainty.

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Elizabeth Warren Unveils a Sane, Humane Immigration Plan

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It has a roughly zero-percent chance of getting through our nation’s paranoid, cruel Congress any time soon.

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