See how the New York City power outage knocked out train stations, canceled Broadway shows, and darkened Times Square

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  • A massive power outage struck uptown Manhattan Saturday evening, leaving people stranded in elevators, without traffic lights, and facing massive train delays.
  • Residents took to social media to share photos of the city’s darkened icons, including Times Square, Radio City, and 30 Rockefeller Center.
  • Onlookers even captured the moments the lights finally flicked back on before midnight Saturday night.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

A massive power outage struck uptown Manhattan in New York City Saturday that left scores of people not only without power, but also stranded in elevators, without traffic lights, and facing massive train delays.

Con Edison, the city’s power provider, said on the power outage map that more than 77,000 customers had lost service Saturday evening.

Those in the city’s Midtown and Upper West Side neighborhoods posted on social media to show the bizarre scenes that broke out during the outage as some of the city’s most iconic sites went dark.

See what it was like on the ground.


Onlookers took notice almost immediately when the lights in parts of midtown and uptown Manhattan flicked back on Saturday night.


Hours earlier, one of the earliest symptoms of the power disruption in the city came as travelers reported they were stuck on subway cars in darkened stations.


As the evening went on, it became increasingly clear just how far darkness fell across the island, including an approximately 20-block radius of Manhattan.


Because New York is a vertically oriented city, one of the most common issues people shared on social media was being stuck in elevators, which city firefighters said was a primary concern.


Several of the city’s most iconic landmarks including the Radio City Music Hall sign and the west half of Times Square went dark.


Another major site that got caught in the dark was 30 Rockefeller Center, which is home to NBC News. However, Saturday night’s broadcast dodged the blackout with backup generators.


The outage struck the city’s Saturday night entertainment scene particularly hard, including Broadway shows and Jennifer Lopez’s Madison Square Garden performance.


However, performers from several different musicals didn’t let canceled shows stop the shows, as they took to open windows and sidewalks to keep onlookers entertained.


Singers in a choir scheduled to perform at Carnegie Hall took to the street in front of the venue to deliver what one onlooker called a “New York moment.”


Videos captured New Yorkers who stepped in to direct traffic on their own.


After hours of crowded sidewalks and delayed trains, agencies urged people to avoid taking underground subways as they attempt to restore power.


Some drew comparisons to the city’s 1977 blackout, which happened on July 13, 42 years ago.

The blackout cut power for millions and sparked a burst of crime while the lights were out.

The 1977 blackout began when bolt of lightning struck a Westchester power station before another lightning strike in Yonkers tanked the city’s power grid, which was already weak under the summer heat.

More than 1,500 business were vandalized, according to the New York Daily News, and it was estimated that the cost of damages amounted to a little over $300 million, or about $1.27 billion in today’s money.

However, this chaos seemed unlikely to be a repeat event, as Con Edison announced that the company hoped to have all power restored by midnight.