The Latest: Con Ed: Relay system failure led to blackout

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the cause of a Manhattan power outage (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A relay protection system that should have isolated a faulty distribution cable but didn’t led to the loss of power that darkened Manhattan for several hours.

Con Edison says a preliminary review of Saturday’s blackout shows that the relay system at a West 65th Street substation should have kept the problem from spreading.

Instead, the electrical fault was isolated at a transmission substation at West 49th Street.

The blackout resulting from the system’s failure affected thousands for about five hours along a 40-block stretch that included some of Manhattan’s busiest areas like Times Square and Rockefeller Center.

It also raised criticism of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio because he was in Iowa for his presidential campaign at the time.


10:07 a.m.

New York’s mayor is fending off criticism because he was in Iowa campaigning for his presidential bid while Manhattan was in the grips of a major power outage.

Bill de Blasio said Monday on MSNBC that he was in frequent contact with agencies handling the emergency and that he thinks first responders did an “incredible job.”

The Saturday night blackout darkened more than 40 square blocks of Manhattan, including Times Square.

De Blasio sidestepped criticism from numerous quarters, including from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat. A front-page New York Post editorial called for de Blasio’s ouster.

De Blasio said he took a four-hour car ride from Iowa to Chicago and got on the first available plane home.

He insisted that the blackout response was well-managed with his remote supervision.

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