Storm Team 4

Lightning Strike Causes Massive Power Outage in Northern Manhattan, Queens

An overnight lightning strike knocked out power for thousands of NYC customers Friday morning, the mayor said; most power was restored by lunchtime, though 2,600 in Queens had to wait until the late afternoon

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A massive power outage struck Friday morning in the upper part of Manhattan, knocking out not only lights but also cellphone service, and a short time later power went out in a large chunk of Queens as well.

At one point it was pitch black as far as the eye could see along Broadway north of 73rd Street on both the east and west sides of Manhattan. According to Con Edison, the area affected ranged up to West 163rd Street on one side, and from Fifth Avenue over to the East River between East 61st Street and East 78th Street.

Power came back on after around 20 minutes for parts of the Upper West Side, though some spotty outage reports lingered thereafter.

"We are investigating a problem on our transmission system that caused three networks in Manhattan to lose their electric supply at about 5:13 this morning. The supply has been restored to those networks on the Upper West Side, Harlem and the Upper East Side," Con Ed said in a statement.

About 90 minutes later, though, power went out in the Middle Village section of Queens, and it took hours to fully restore power throughout that neighborhood. More than 2,600 customers were left without power until about 4:15 p.m., Con Edison said in a statement after service was restored.

Power outages in Upper Manhattan left many without power and streets in the dark. Katherine Creag reports

Con Ed's outage map showed about 140,000 customers without power in Manhattan as of 6 a.m., but that was down to 140 by 10 a.m. - and all power in the borough was projected to be restored by 12 p.m., the utility said.

The same map showed about 27,000 customers out in Queens as of 8:30 a.m., potentially linked in part to the new outage.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said an overnight lightning strike caused the early morning outage, and that by his 10 a.m. briefing all customers from Friday's outage had their power restored.

A massive power outage was reported Friday morning in the upper part of Manhattan, knocking out not only lights but also cellphone service. Credit: @kendisgibson
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