New York City blackout leaves thousands without power — as de Blasio campaigns in Iowa  07/14/2019 00:52:00   CHRISTIAN VASQUEZ
New York

As New York City experiences a power outage affecting more than 40,000 people Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's not yet decided whether to return from Iowa, where he is campaigning for president.

"Im going to get more information in the next hour or so, and well adjust my schedule accordingly depending on what I hear," the mayor said on CNN.

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The mayor ruled out "external influences" as a cause for the outage.

De Blasio told reporters he is in touch with police and emergency management commissioners. The Democratic candidate is currently at a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa.

The New York Fire Department said a manhole fire caused the outage that left subways cars stalled and elevators stuck.

".@NYCEmergencyMgt is working with the NYPD, FDNY and city agencies to respond to power outages in Manhattan due to a manhole fire earlier this evening. Disruption is significant. Well have further updates soon  please follow @NotifyNYC." de Blasio tweeted.

De Blasio is directing New York's Public Service Commission to investigate the cause of the blackout and to prevent "an incident of this magnitude from happening again."

"While fortunately no injuries occurred as a result of this incident, the fact that it happened at all is unacceptable," de Blasio said.

Con Edison officials said they were working to restore electricity to 43,500 people and businesses in the Upper West Side but did not have an estimated restoration time, according to the Associated Press.

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

The blackout occurred on the 42nd anniversary of the 1977 outage that left millions without power.

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