• Kyle Brookings

Remembering the New York City Blackout of 1977



On July 13, 1977 there was a citywide blackout in New York City that lasted 24 hours.


The only neighborhoods in the city that were not affected were in southern Queens; neighborhoods of the Rockaways, which were part of the Long Island Lighting Company system; and the Pratt Institute campus in Brooklyn which operated its own historic power generator.


A series of lightning strikes was the cause of the blackout.


Unlike other blackouts that affected the region, namely the Northeast blackouts of 1965 and 2003, the 1977 blackout was confined to New York City and its immediate surrounding areas.


Power was not fully restored until late the following day. Among the outcomes of the blackout were detailed restoration procedures that are well documented and used in operator training to reduce restoration time.

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