Archive for July 13th, 2019

Screens in Times Square go dark amid NYC blackout – CTV News

July 13th, 2019

Verena Dobnik and Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, July 13, 2019 8:20PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 13, 2019 11:27PM EDT

NEW YORK — A power outage crippled the tourist-filled heart of Manhattan just as Saturday night Broadway shows were set to go on, sending theatre-goers spilling into the streets, knocking out Times Square’s towering electronic screens and bringing subway lines to a near halt.

The New York City Fire Department said a transformer fire at West 64th Street and West End Avenue affected hundreds of thousands of customers along a 30-block stretch from Times Square to about 72nd Street and Broadway.

The fire occurred just before 7 p.m. Saturday, authorities said.

Con Edison officials later said they were working to restore electricity to customers and businesses primarily on Manhattan’s Upper West Side by midnight.

The temperature was warm, above 80 even as the sun set, but not as steaming as Manhattan can get in July.

Power reportedly went out early Saturday evening at much of Rockefeller Center and reached the Upper West Side.

At Rockefeller Center, traffic lights were out. Some buildings in Rockefeller Plaza had lights on, others were dark.

The outage comes on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that although no injuries have been reported “the fact that it happened at all is unacceptable,” and the Department of Public Service will investigate the hourslong outage.

Many Broadway musicals and plays cancelled their Saturday evening shows, including “Hadestown,” which last month won the Tony Award for best musical. Several cast members from the show put on an impromptu performance in the street outside the theatre for disappointed audience members.

Emily Totero, 30, planned to bring out-of-town guests to see “Moulin Rouge.” But once they got to the theatre district, they saw the power go out.

“You could see all the theatre lights across the street, all the marquees went out. That’s what we noticed first,” she said.

Some shows like “Frozen” were among the Broadway shows to announce it had cancelled performances.

The outage made its way to Madison Square Garden where Jennifer Lopez was performing Saturday night. Attendees said the concert went dark about 9:30 p.m. in the middle of Lopez’s fourth song of the night. The arena was later evacuated. And at Penn Station, officials were using backup generators to keep their lights on.

When the lights went out early Saturday evening, thousands of people streamed out of darkened Manhattan buildings, crowding Broadway next to bumper-to-bumper traffic.

People in Hell’s Kitchen began directing traffic themselves as stoplights and walking signs went dark.

Ginger Tidwell, a dance teacher and Upper West Side resident, was about to order at the West Side diner on Broadway and West 69th Street just before 7 p.m.

“When the lights started flickering, and then were out,” she said. “We got up and left, walking up Broadway with all the traffic lights out and businesses dark.”

But once they got to West 72nd Street, they found another diner that was open and had power.

“It was still sunny and everyone just came out to the street because they lost power and air conditioning; it was super-crowded,” she said. “Everyone was hanging out on the street on a nice night. All you could hear was firetrucks up and down Broadway. All of Broadway was without traffic lights.”

Karen Janowsky, a vendor selling ponchos at a street fair on Sixth Avenue in Rockefeller Center got caught in the blackout just as she was wrapping up for the day and taking some of the goods to her car parked in a garage two blocks away on West 49th Street. That kept her from driving her car to get the tables, chairs and racks — all stolen before she could rush back to get them

“I was alone and I couldn’t get to everything, so they stole my stuff,” she said, adding that she had no idea who the people who took her things may have been. “It was chaos, with fire engines and people packing the streets. When the lights went out, I was one minute from getting my car in the garage.”

She lost about $400 worth of setup equipment for her goods.

“I’ve been stranded for the last three hours,” Janowsky. “I have another fair tomorrow, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Associated Press reporters Michael Sisak and Leezel Tanglao contributed to this report.

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10 PM Update: Barry expected to weaken to depression by Sunday –

July 13th, 2019

NEW ORLEANS — The  10 p.m.Saturday advisory has been released from the National Hurricane Center. New information in this advisory:

– Tropical Storm Barry’s winds have continued to decrease, this time to 50 mph

– Barry’s movement remains at 8 mph to the north-northwest after speeding up in the last few hours 

– The center of Barry is 55 miles north of Lafayette

– The Hurricane Warning for the Louisiana Coast has been dropped to a Tropical Storm Warning

– Barry became the 1st hurricane of the 2019 season Saturday morning

– That classification was short lived, landfall weakened it back to a tropical storm

– The storm made landfall as a hurricane near Intercoastal City, Louisiana.

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The Latest

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, Barry has weakened back to a Tropical Storm with winds at 50 mph, that’s down since the last advisory. Moving northwest at 8 mph.

Pressure is still up from this morning, at 1002 mb.

Earlier this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for the Louisiana coast from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle. A tropical storm warning is in effect for other areas including the New Orleans metro area.

TROPICAL STORM BARRY: Path, Spaghetti Models, Live Radar

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The slow projected movement of the storm should aid in its intensification. A longer time over water will lead to a stronger storm. We need not fixate on the storm category though – water is the headline here.

On top of freshwater flooding, a dangerous storm surge threat will also be present as the storm gets ready to make landfall late Friday and Saturday. Areas likely to be affected by this will be southern and southeastern Louisiana.

Download the FREE WWL-TV News app now in the iTunes store or on Google Play for tropical weather updates through hurricane season.

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Blizzard will shut down ‘Overwatch’ matches when it spots cheating – Engadget

July 13th, 2019

Blizzard will shut down ‘Overwatch’ matches when it spots cheating  Engadget

Blizzard thinks it has a straightforward way to prevent Overwatch cheaters from wrecking others’ matches: bring those matches to a screeching halt. As part of…

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Microsoft, software

‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Premiere Halted by Electrical Sparks – Variety

July 13th, 2019
July 13, 2019 8:19PM PT

Saturday night’s premiere of “Hobbs & Shaw” was brought to a halt following a brief electrical issue in the Dolby Theater.

Reports from inside the venue say an electrical grid toward the front of the theater started sparking about 30 minutes into the screening, causing flashes and loud popping sounds to fill the room. The sparks then moved upward from the floor in the center of the orchestra and back toward a block of seats.

Although security did not evacuate the theater, a number of panicked guests fled from the venue, leading to widespread confusion.

Before the movie resumed, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took time to address the audience, letting attendees know that he was waiting in the wings to make sure crowd was safe. However, “Jason Statham ran his a– out of here”, he added.

The delay lasted only around 15 minutes before the film began playing again.

In “Hobbs & Shaw,” Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw only to team up and take down a cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist, played by Idris Elba. “Deadpool 2” filmmaker David Leitch  is directing alongside screenwriters and series veterans Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce.

“Hobbs & Shaw” opens across the globe in most international markets, followed by China on Aug. 23.


Spider-Man: Far From Home Director Talks Marvel’s PS4 Game Influences – IGN

July 13th, 2019

‘Lennon wall’ on Vancouver steam clock a symbol of support for Hong Kong protesters – Toronto Star

July 13th, 2019

VANCOUVER—Vancouver-based supporters of the Hong Kong protests say they are amazed to see a “Lennon wall” of sticky notes appear on the Gastown Steam Clock located in downtown Vancouver — but the person responsible for the sticky notes remain a mystery.

Images of the wall appeared on social media Friday, and on Saturday morning, the brightly coloured sticky notes were still up on the steam clock, bearing messages such as “Freedom HK” and “Save Hong Kong.” Several tourists posing for photos with the famous clock paused to examine the messages before moving on.

The first “Lennon wall” started in Prague in the 1980s, after people wrote messages of dissent against the Communist government on a public wall featuring a painting of musician John Lennon. Taking inspiration from Prague, similar walls went up during the 2014 protests in Hong Kong, made up of sticky-note messages.

The walls have sprung up once again in Hong Kong since the start of the protests against a highly-controversial extradition bill that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.

Abraham Wong, a Vancouver realtor who is originally from Hong Kong, said he went to see the wall for himself in Gastown after seeing an image of it posted on social media.

“To me, it’s fabulous,” he said. “It is the bravery and the courage of the Hong Kongers, that inspired the Hong Kongers in Vancouver to do something like that.”

While Wong said that he doesn’t know who put up the wall, he is happy to see it on the streets of Vancouver.

“I’m in appreciation. It means their message has resonated so far, that different parts of the world have done the same thing to show support of the Hong Kong protesters.”

In June, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets for what was likely Hong Kong’s largest protest in more than a decade.

With files from the Associated Press.

Cherise Seucharan is a Vancouver-based reporter covering crime and public safety. Follow her on Twitter: @CSeucharan

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‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Premiere Reconvenes In Hollywood After Scare – Update – Deadline

July 13th, 2019

Saturday night’s premiere of the Universal action film Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw was suddenly interrupted when a bottle of water spilled over an electrical outlet and created sparks, a source told Deadline.

The incident inside the Dolby Theater in Hollywood happened just before 8 p.m. PT, scaring attendees and causing some people to flee the theater. At one point, the entire front center orchestra section suddenly stood and rushed out of the facility.

Deadline had a reporter inside, who described the event as chaotic. However, a short time later, the reporter said attendees returned to the theater and the event resumed.

Hobbs & Shaw star and executive producer Dwayne Johnson went on stage after the incident to reassure the audience and joked: “This was not one of the surprises.”

Johnson was referring to a speech he made at the beginning of the premiere, when he spoke for about ten minutes, congratulating the cast, director David Leitch and Universal executives for their work on the film. At one point, Johnson told the audience to stay until the end of the film for a “surprise.”

When reached by Deadline, the Los Angeles Police Department said it was aware of the situation, understood that it had been resolved and officers were on the scene.

The Los Angeles Fire Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw co-stars Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Eiza González, Idris Elba and Helen Mirren. The film follows Fast & Furious rivals — lawman Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and mercenary Deckard Shaw (Statham), who must form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of our world.

There was no after-party planned after tonight’s premiere because Johnson and Statham are heading abroad for an overseas press junket. The film is slated to open nationwide on August 2.

Senior Editor Dominic Patten contributed to this report.


New York City’s big blackout of 1977 happened 42 years ago today – Curbed NY

July 13th, 2019

In one of those bizarre coincidences that’s almost too strange to be true, the blackout that affected a large swath of Midtown Manhattan on Saturday happened on the 42nd anniversary of the massive citywide power outage of 1977.

That blackout began around 9:30 p.m. on July 13, 1977, and power wasn’t restored for 25 hours. Unlike this weekend’s outage—which has been confined to one section of Manhattan (albeit one of its most densely trafficked ones)—that blackout plunged much of the city into darkness.

The skyline went entirely dark, and the lights went out nearly everywhere: in the subways; at major transit hubs like Grand Central Terminal, stranding commuters; at places like Shea Stadium, where the Mets were forced to stop a game against the Chicago Cubs in the sixth inning; and in many of the city’s neighborhoods. In some places—perhaps most memorably, Bushwick and parts of the Bronx—the extended power outage led to looting and instances of arson.

Shea Stadium during the 1977 blackout.
Photo by Vic DeLucia/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images
A view of 34th Street during the 1977 blackout.
Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

It was caused by stress on the system after a series of lightning storms in Westchester County, but “human and mechanical error,” per the New York Times, exacerbated the issue.

The impact of the 1977 blackout was felt long after the lights came back on: The blackout cost the city more than $300 million, both directly and indirectly. In neighborhoods affected by burning buildings or looting, the recovery process was lengthy—in some places, it took years to recover. And the blackout led Con Edison to “move[] to avoid the mistakes that led to the blackout, adding sophisticated monitoring equipment and modifying the flawed procedures that drew public acrimony and thousands of lawsuits, some still unsettled,” according to a New York Times article from 1987.

The skyline seen from Brooklyn during the blackout of 1977.
AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine

It remains to be seen what the impact of this weekend’s outage will be—but luckily, it hasn’t spread throughout the city, and some of the lights are already coming back on.


#NYCBlackout: People Take to Twitter During Manhattan Power Outage – NBC New York

July 13th, 2019

Social media users in New York City took to Twitter Saturday evening amid a power outage that left much of midtown Manhattan in the dark.

NYC Power Outage: Photos of the BlackoutNYC Power Outage: Photos of the Blackout

From subway passengers stuck on trains to a lightless Radio City, people used the hashtag #nycblackout to share information and images.

But as crowds in Times Square were turned away from Broadway theaters because of the blackout, some cast members didn’t let tech problems ruin their performance. Actors from acclaimed musicals “Come From Away,” “Waitress” and “Hadestown” joined swaths of people on the street for an impromptu set. 

Others delivered newscasts in the dark or tried to direct New York City traffic. 


Thousands lose power, Broadway theaters close in blackout – UPI News

July 13th, 2019

July 13 (UPI) — Tens of thousands of customers lost electricity in Midtown Manhattan and Broadway theaters canceled performances Saturday night due to a “mechanical issue.”

“The blackout is between W 42nd St and 72nd St, from the Hudson River to as far as 5th Ave. NYPD has confirmed that there’s no foul play. This was a mechanical issue. NYPD & FDNY are currently responding to people with the most urgent needs, especially those stuck in elevators,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter from Iowa where he was campaigning for president.

The New York Post, which published photos of some of Times Square’s darkened video screens, reported a manhole fire was to blame for the outages, which happened on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City blackout.

“We are working to restore power to 42,000 customers primarily in the Westside of Manhattan. We will provide updates as we receive them. Thank you,” power company Con Edison tweeted at about 8 p.m. EST, roughly an hour after the lights went out.

“Power is being restored on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and we’re estimating most customers will be restored at midnight,” Con Ed posted in an update at around 10:30 p.m. EST.

The population of New York City is estimated at 8.5 million.