Reinforcing the extent of our dependence on that little thing called electricity, a power outage at one of America’s busiest travel hubs has sent New York commuters into confusion, and if nothing else, has left them in the dark. Literally. At around 9:30 Monday morning, the collateral damage from a burst water pipe included an hours-long loss of power at Grand Central Terminal, which led to delays, closed businesses, and a lot of eerie darkness. Among the temporarily shuttered stores was the Grand Central Apple Store, considered one of the company’s “most heavily trafficked retail stores.”
The power is out at grand central, lower level is in the dark pic.twitter.com/RWfJ62OjuR
— Kyle Kalotschke (@kylekalotschke) February 15, 2016
A few more photos of the Grand Central blackout pic.twitter.com/7I9E9zhfdT
— Seth Porges (@sethporges) February 15, 2016
Grand Central in shadows and light. All 100 shops closed as repairs continue for burst water pipe. Trains running. pic.twitter.com/Erf1yU6v6v
— Liz Robbins (@nytlizrobbins) February 15, 2016
The power outage mainly affected the lower levels of the busy station, which houses a number of dining options and businesses. Thankfully, subway service was not affected by the loss of electricity — a lucky break seeing as trains were already running less frequent weekend schedules in observance of Presidents Day.
Employees at restaurants and retailers located in Grand Central recalled being alarmed by the suddenness of the outage.
— Edgar Sandoval (@edjsandoval) February 15, 2016
“It reminded of the movie ‘The Purge.’” said 20-year-old Shake Shack worker Brian Quintana, referencing a film about an evening of mass chaos. “It happened fast. It was pitch black for several minutes then some lights came on. We were escorted out about 10 minutes later.”
But of course, being New Yorkers, it seemed that few people were all that perturbed by the incident.
“After a while a light came on, half-lit. We were escorted out. Everyone handled it pretty well. Nobody panicked,” 18-year-old Owen Benfield, another Shake Shack employee, told the New York Daily News.
Still, the resulting scene from the power outage is none too comforting. Ticket machines are down, only the main entrance of the sprawling complex is open, and as local station Pix 11 reports, “Police and state troopers are on the scene.”
— Jusquifabio Flores (@comogozoNY) February 15, 2016
It remains to be seen when power will be fully restored. Or, for all you techies, when that Apple Store will reopen.
— Lisa Evers (@LisaEvers) February 15, 2016
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