The Metropolitan Transportation Authority tweeted Saturday evening that signals on the A, B, C, D, E, F, and M subway lines were affected and four stations were closed to the public due to lack of power: 59th St-Columbus Circle, 47-50th Sts-Rockefeller Ctr, 34th St-Hudson Yards, and 5th Av/53rd St.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was campaigning for president in Iowa, said it appears the outage was the result of a mechanical problem in the electrical grid.
The Con Edison utility said it was working to restore power to 42,000 customers and would provide updates as it got them.
The local energy company Con Edison said about 42,000 people had been deprived of power.
Parts of midtown Manhattan in New York City were hit with a power outage on Saturday evening, causing Times Square billboards and to go dark, disrupting subway service and cutting out traffic lights. The New York Fire Department posted a message on Twitter saying it was at the scene of the blaze.
The outage also saw some Broadway shows cancel their Saturday evening performances, including Best Musical Tony victor Hadestown and King Kong. There was also "smoke in multiple buildings" on the West Side, the department said, and it was responding to "numerous" reports of people stuck in elevators. Trains were stuck when the power went out but those trains were moved into stations.
A power outage impacted several blocks in midtown Manhattan in the late afternoon July 13.
The Daily Beast reports that the source of the outage is a blown transformer at West End Avenue and West 64th Street, but neither ConEd, NYPD or NYFD have confirmed what caused the break in service.
"Several stations are now without power and are being bypassed by all trains", it posted on Twitter.
By 9 p.m., transit officials were cautioning people to avoid underground stations.
Straphangers tweeted photos of blacked-out train stations and non-working traffic lights.
Saturday's outage took place on the anniversary of a 1977 New York City outage in which most of the city lost power.
13th July 1977: A restaurant with only liquor left after the NY blackout.