NEW YORK, July 13 (Xinhua) -- A massive power outage hit New York City's Manhattan borough on Saturday evening and affected more than 40,000 people.
People started reporting restaurants, billboards, and streetlights going dark at around 7 p.m. (2300 GMT) local time.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter that NYC Emergency Management worked with the police and fire departments and other city agencies to respond to the power outage. According to the New York City Fire Department, a transformer fire at West 64th Street and West End Avenue caused the blackout.
By 8:30 p.m. (0030 GMT on Sunday), more than 44,000 people have been affected by the outage, according to power service company Con Edison.
The impacted area stretched from 40th Street in the south to 72nd Street in the north, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River. Con Edison restored electricity to most of its customers on Manhattan's Upper West Side just before midnight as its officials had said.
The outage darkened Empire State Building and part of the Manhattan skyline. Some of Times Square's billboards, the Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Music Hall, the Lincoln Center and other famous local landmarks were all without power and left in darkness.
Traffic in Manhattan had been disrupted, with buses recommended as the transportation method.
The U.S. biggest city's subway system had been affected to a great extent as four stations were closed to public.
Signals on the Sixth Avenue and Eighth Avenue were affected, thus disrupting services of D, F, M, A, C, E lines, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) tweeted, adding that there was only limited service on the numbered lines.
"Our entire system is affected by the Con Edison outage. In Manhattan, the bus is your best bet," MTA said.
The New York Police Department on Twitter advised vehicles to avoid areas from west 42 Street to west 74 Street and from Fifth Avenue to 12th Avenue. Only MTA buses were permitted in the area.
Activities of local residents and tourists were interrupted.
Several Broadway and off-Broadway shows said they cancelled performances in the evening, including the well-known Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked, Waitress, and Mean Girls. The blackout also forced audience out of theaters to the street on the hot summer night.
Jeffrey Windsor was on the stage in Carnegie Hall when the power outage happened. He was supposed to sing with Millennial Choirs & Orchestras at 8:30 p.m. at Stern Auditorium.
At first Windsor and his fellow performers thought it was a temporary outage and power could be restored very quickly. They went outside the building, performed a little bit in the street while waiting for further information.
"This one today was a little heartbreaking but it was also great, just because we did perform outside and a crowd of people came. New York has just been amazing for us," said Windsor.
The city's fire department was said to have responded to numerous calls about stuck elevators and power outages.