NYC and San Francisco dual blackouts a mystery


Authorities are offering few answers after mysterious power outages hit the New York City subway system and left 90,000 without power in downtown San Francisco.

The outages on either coast both occurred on Friday morning, throwing America’s first and fifth largest rapid transit systems into disarray at the peak of the two cities’ morning rush hours.

First, in New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the power went out around 7.30am local time at 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan.

Service was suspended on the B and C lines and modified on five other lines, creating crowding and delays throughout the system. 

New York: Delays spread throughout the subway system Friday morning, after a power outage at 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue suspended service on two lines and modified others

New York: Delays spread throughout the subway system Friday morning, after a power outage at 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue suspended service on two lines and modified others

New York: Delays spread throughout the subway system Friday morning, after a power outage at 53rd Street and Seventh Avenue suspended service on two lines and modified others

New York: People wait on the platform at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station as trains idle on Friday in Brooklyn. A power outage at a midtown Manhattan subway station caused widespread delays during the morning commute on Friday

New York: People wait on the platform at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station as trains idle on Friday in Brooklyn. A power outage at a midtown Manhattan subway station caused widespread delays during the morning commute on Friday

New York: People wait on the platform at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station as trains idle on Friday in Brooklyn. A power outage at a midtown Manhattan subway station caused widespread delays during the morning commute on Friday

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said some passengers were stranded on trains, and some cars were dark except for phone lights.

Some riders say their commutes took two or three hours. Stations were packed.

Generators restored some power by lunchtime. ‘B” and ‘D” service was inching back around 11:30 a.m. But residual delays continued.

The MTA repeatedly cited ‘a Con Edison power issue.’ 

But utility spokesman Bob McGee said the cause hadn’t been pinpointed and Con Edison isn’t the only power source there.

San Francisco 

San Francisco: The Montgomery Bay Area Rapid Transit station is dark following a power outage Friday in San Francisco. A wide area of San Francisco has been hit by a power outage

San Francisco: The Montgomery Bay Area Rapid Transit station is dark following a power outage Friday in San Francisco. A wide area of San Francisco has been hit by a power outage

San Francisco: The Montgomery Bay Area Rapid Transit station is dark following a power outage Friday in San Francisco. A wide area of San Francisco has been hit by a power outage

A power outage on Friday morning in San Francisco affected around 90,000 people, stalling work in the technology and finance center as a vast swath of the financial district lost electricity.

Paul Doherty, spokesman for utility PG&E, said there had been an incident at a San Francisco substation and a series of outages began affecting the city shortly after 9am local time (12.00pm in New York). He was unable to give an estimate of when the problem would be fixed.

The outage affected central and northern parts of the city, according to the city’s Department of Emergency Management.

Office workers spilled onto city streets in the heart of the business district, milling about as traffic snarled, since stoplights were not working.

San Francisco: A fire truck at top left and other traffic try to make their way around a pair of idled cablecars on California Street after a large power outage Friday

San Francisco: A fire truck at top left and other traffic try to make their way around a pair of idled cablecars on California Street after a large power outage Friday

San Francisco: A fire truck at top left and other traffic try to make their way around a pair of idled cablecars on California Street after a large power outage Friday

King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco said his offices had been hit.

‘It’s pretty big, seems like half the city has no power. It´s a big deal. All our systems went down. We were in the middle of a trade, luckily we have cloud based software so all the trades are saved and we´re going to have our people in Texas or New York execute it,’ he said.

The San Francisco Fire Department says it has responded to more than 100 calls for service since a power outage struck a large area of the city. 

However, no injuries related to the blackout were reported.

The department tweeted that the calls included 20 elevators with people stuck inside.

The department adds there have been no delays in responding to calls.

Pacific Gas & Electric says a series of outages began at 9 a.m. and within 30 minutes about 90,000 customers lost power.



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