Power Failure Leaves Grand Central Terminal In Darkness

Just one day can cause significant economic impact.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””](Photo Credits:  Hasuan Fernandez used his cellphone to light his way through Grand Central Terminal on Monday. Credit: Yana Paskova for The New York Times)[/pullquote]

NY TIMES | BY Liz Robbins:   It could have been a set from a zombie movie, hulking forms emerging from shrouded subway stairs, wandering aimlessly into the light. Hungry and confused.

But the cameras were not rolling. Instead, it was the spooky reality on Monday morning at the normally bustling Grand Central Terminal, after a power failure caused darkness to blanket the lower level, as well as the main corridor leading to Lexington Avenue.

A water pipe burst around 9:30 a.m., a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said, cutting power to the lower level of the terminal, and closing all 100 retail shops and restaurants. The lights had flickered off momentarily in the main hall, before generators supplied backup electricity.

“It was a pipe inside the infrastructure that feeds electricity into Grand Central,” Aaron Donovan, the spokesman for the authority, said. “It’s possibly weather-related; we’re still investigating what caused the water pipe to burst.”

Mr. Donovan said that as of late afternoon, the power was being restored incrementally but was unlikely to be fully back until Tuesday morning.

As subway passengers emerged from the Lexington Avenue corridor exit, security officers directed them to lighted exits along 42nd Street. The ticket booths in the main hall put up signs saying they would take only cash. But the A.T.M.s were closed.

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