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A Look Back at the 2003 NYC Blackout, 15 Years Ago Today

Bianca Bahamondes Bianca Bahamondes

A Look Back at the 2003 NYC Blackout, 15 Years Ago Today
At 4:10 p.m. on August 14, 2003 the city went dark. No billboard lights in Times Square, no trains running on the tracks, just utter darkness—for roughly 30 hours. 

The outage was caused by overgrown tree branches that hit a power line in Cleveland, Ohio! The outage created a domino effect, shutting down power across eight states and parts of Canada. About 50-million people were forced to live without any electricity for the duration of the outage. In NYC, commuters were forced to walk since the subways weren’t running (and those stuck on the train at the time had to evacuate). Hotel guests slept on the street, others were stranded at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, and the few restaurants that opened were serving food by candlelight. 

Here’s a look back to that day 15 years ago:

Photo Credit: Newsday / Daniel Goodrich
Photo Credit: Newsday / Daniel Goodrich
Photo Credit: Newsday / Mayita Mendez
Photo Credit: Newsday / Mayita Mendez
Times Square. Photo Credit: Newsday / Robert Mecea
Times Square. Photo Credit: Newsday / Robert Mecea
Photo Credit: Newsday / Mayita Mendez
Photo Credit: Newsday / Mayita Mendez
Photo Credit: Newsday / Mayita Mendez
Photo Credit: Newsday / Mayita Mendez

Featured image source: [Photo Credit: Newsday / Daniel Goodrich]