Citywide power blip lights up social media, leaves New Yorkers baffled, subways impacted

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Where were you when the lights (almost) went out?

New Yorkers took to Twitter on Sunday night to report a seconds-long power dip experienced in neighborhoods across Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

The flash happened just before 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 29. It’s not clear what caused the very brief disturbance in the electrical grid, but it sparked lots of curiosity from New Yorkers concerned about the power dip — and “extremely limited service” on several subway lines.

In a cryptic response to a tweet from a concerned customer, a Con Edison spokesperson acknowledged the “power issue” was “temporary, and has since been resolved.” The company did not immediately state what caused the sudden drop.

But some speculated the power dip may have been sparked by a reported transformer fire on 12th Street in Astoria, Queens which occurred at around the same time. The incident, located not too far from the Ravenswood power station

It seemed to send a plume of white smoke into the sky, but Bill Neidhardt, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio, relayed information from NYC Emergency Management that the plume was, in fact, steam from a nearby power station.

The Fire Department reported that it responded to the manhole fire at about 8:26 p.m. on Aug. 29, but that it got the situation under control at about 8:53 p.m. There were no serious injuries reported.

Con Edison acknowledged the manhole fire caused “a brief transmission disturbance in” the area of Long Island City, but that “no customers have lost service as a result of the event.”

It’s not clear, at this point, whether the manhole fire was connected to the citywide power blip in any way.

If things weren’t weird enough, MTA New York City Transit reported that the numbered subway lines and the L train were suffering from severe service delays connected to the “power surge.” Travelers were urged to use buses and the lettered lines as alternate routes.

Check mta.info for the latest updates on subway service.

Back in December 2018, Queens residents experienced a similar flicker in lights when a blast occurred at its Astoria facility. While the lights remained on, the evening sky glowed in an eerie shade of blue stemming from the inferno.

amNewYork Metro reached out to Con Edison for further information on Sunday’s incident, and is awaiting a response.

As for outages, Con Edison reported Sunday night just a handful of sporadic power failures, affecting 28 customers out of more than 3.5 million across the five boroughs.

The city hasn’t suffered a major blackout since August 2003, when it was impacted by a massive power failure experienced across the northeast United States.

This article appears courtesy of our sister publication amNewYork

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