A power outage that struck the West Side of Manhattan just before 7 p.m. on Saturday evening left tens of thousands of residences and businesses without power, halting traffic on major roadways and shutting subway service at four stations as well as creating multiple train delays. [Update: The outage was caused by a more minor 13,000 volt feeder cable blowing out.]

Power was completely restored just after midnight on Sunday. All told, 73,000 customers lost power, according to the utility's president John McAvoy. (Note: A "customer" could mean an entire building.)

The outage, which occurred on the anniversary of the 1977 blackout in New York, began around 6:45 p.m., affecting a wide swath of Manhattan from the West 40s to 72nd Street, between Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River.

By around 10:15 p.m, there were reports of power being back up in some areas.

Not long afterwards, it was announced that power had been restored to five of the six affected Con Ed networks. The last remaining network appeared to go back on line just before 11 p.m., as an NBC New York reporter cheered while doing a live interview across the street from Rockefeller Center. (NBC New York had issues with power at its broadcast center and was using Telemundo’s equipment in New Jersey.)

McAvoy said Con Ed was first working to isolate the issue and bring power back to neighborhoods. He said they will inspect the equipment and investigate what happened afterwards.

“We may find damage that we’re not currently aware of,” he explained during a 10:30 p.m. press conference with city officials. “We’ll restore to fully normal conditions when we understand what’s happened.”

He added that the disturbance was “not related to excessive load.” Regarding reports of an explosion before the outage, he said he couldn’t speak specifically to that incident, but noted that these are “large circuit breakers and high voltage equipment, and they are loud when they operate. That could have happened but I don’t know.”

There were other reports of a manhole fire near West 64th Street and West End Avenue; Con Ed will investigate the fire, but McAvoy believed it was “unlikely” that fire led to the outage.

NYC Office of Emergency Management Commisioner Deanne Criswell said that there were no fatalities or injuries reported from the outage; OEM was working to make sure no people were stuck in elevators.

The NYPD had asked drivers to avoid 42nd to 72nd Streets, between Fifth and 12th Avenues, allowing only MTA buses to use those roads.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is in Iowa for his presidential campaign, tweeted that New Yorkers should follow NotifyNYC.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted frequent updates throughout the evening.

There were major subway delays across Manhattan. At around 9:00 p.m. the MTA reported "severe impact" across the entire system but said that there had been no power lost to the third rail and train operators were able to manually change signals.

The agency added that there were a "limited number of elevator entrapments" but that those passengers had been removed.

Four stations were without power and closed to the public: 59th Street Columbus Circle, 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center, 34-Street Hudson Yards, and 5th Avenue/53 Street.

Phil Young, a Harlem resident, said he had been waiting at Times Square for 45 minutes to get on the 1/2/3 line. "I asked the guy at the booth and he said all the subways were down," Young said. However, he noted that the MTA updates on his phone indicated that some lines were were still operating.

Outside in Times Square, police officers were directing car traffic.

Connor Campbell, 24, described the scene as "crazy," saying businesses began closing down. "The intersections are kind of a free-for-all," he added.

Campbell said he witnessed several people helping to direct traffic along Eighth Avenue. "It was cool to see citizens stepping up like that. [The volunteers] were just getting out there and just throwing themselves in front of cars so people could get by or other cars could."

Similarly, on Twitter, there were videos circulating of good Samaritans jumping into intersections to direct traffic.

Scott Thomson, who lives at a building on West 66th Street, said he was riding up the elevator with two other people when the power went out at around 6:45 p.m. He said the three of them were stuck inside the elevator for about an hour an a half.

Thomson said he quickly checked Twitter and learned about the power outage. Despite being trapped, he said they remained calm. One of the people in the elevator was a man delivering a jug of Deer Park water.

"He opened up his jug of water," Thomson said. "We were totally fine the whole time."

Luckily, the floor of the elevator was nearly level with the 8th floor, where maintenance workers assisted in unlocking the doors and letting them out, he said.

Broadway shows and musicals and other cultural institutions cancelled their performances:

The power outage even hit Madison Square Garden, forcing Jennifer Lopez to cancel the second night of her shows:

Montse Perez, 29, was shopping at Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center when the blackout occurred. “Suddenly the lights went out. And no one knew what to do. We just stayed there, wondering what was happening. Eventually someone on the speaker said that we were experiencing a small blackout and that the lights would come back soon.”

She said that people in the check out line stayed there while everyone else kept shopping. “I turned on my flashlight and continued to shop. A Whole Foods staffer asked if I was okay, could I still find things... and then five minutes later, they told all of us to evacuate the store and just to leave items right there.” A security guard made sure no Whole Foods customers left with unpaid-for items.

When Perez and the other shoppers emerged from the basement store, they saw the entire building had no power. She went to the Columbus Circle subway to go home, but a guard told them they couldn’t enter and that people were stuck on a train. She went back to the Time Warner Center, where many people gathered.

“People were hanging there, asking if they knew anything, but no one did,” she said. “I waited to see if the lights would come back on, but they didn’t.”

Overall, everyone seemed calm to Perez. “No one really freaked out. Some kids were asking what was going on. People were more concerned with whether they would be able to keep buying stuff,” she said.

“People are volunteering to direct traffic,” because there were no cops around, she said. Now Perez is trying to head back uptown, and discovered the Fifth Avenue N/R/W station closed.

During the press conference, Midtown South Assistant Chief Steve Hughes was questioned about why police officers weren’t around to help direct traffic. He said that officers—who were responding to a Level 3 emergency—were asked to “freeze” all traffic first and let buses through. Referring to the civilians who helped direct cars and pedestrians, he said, “We appreciate their help.”

By 10 p.m. a press secretary for Mayor de Blasio had announced that he will return to New York City.

Additional reporting contributed by Jake Offenhartz