Con Ed still searching for answers in Manhattan blackout

Officials say it was not caused by a cyber attack, a terrorist attack or too much demand on the power grid
July 15, 2019 09:00AM

The blackout impacted a 42-block stretch of Manhattan between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

The blackout impacted a 42-block stretch of Manhattan between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)

The cause of Saturday’s Manhattan blackout is still up in the air.

Engineers examined power equipment on Sunday to figure out what sparked the massive blackout, with Con Edison focusing mainly on a transmission substation in Midtown that was de-energized on Saturday night prior to the power outage, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will likely take several days to determine the cause, but officials have ruled out a cyber attack, a terrorist attack and the level of demand on the power grid as causes.

The blackout impacted a 42-block stretch of Manhattan between the Hudson River and Fifth Avenue, and it left more than 72,000 Con Ed customers without electricity. It took five hours to complete repairs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have both ordered investigations into the blackout, and Sen. Chuck Schumer has called for the Department of Energy to investigate it as well.

Power went out on Saturday at 6:47 p.m. and caused several events to be canceled, including 26 out of 30 Broadway shows. Power started to come back around 10 p.m. and was fully restored by midnight. There were no hospitalizations or reported crimes related to the outage, and Con Ed president Timothy Cawley told the Journal he believed the grid was still in good shape.

“We think the grid is sound,” he said. “We are certainly going to learn everything we can about this event.” [WSJ] – Eddie Small