SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning - Air Quality Alert View Alerts

A Power Company Mishap Turns New York's Skyline Blue

The New York Police Department is investigating an 'arc flash' at a Con Edison substation in Queens.

Posted: Dec 28, 2018 6:08 AM
Updated: Dec 28, 2018 10:53 AM


An electrical flash at a Con Edison substation in Queens temporarily lit up New York's skyline Thursday night in a brilliant blue.

Despite the eerily glowing color, there was no alien invasion.

Instead, the light came as part of an electrical fault that caused an "arc flash," Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee said Friday morning, similar to lightning. There was no fire, he said.

Earlier, McGee told CNN that a brief electrical fire occurred after a "couple of transformers tripped offline" at 20th Avenue and 32nd Street in Astoria.

Also, McGee said Friday there had been no explosion. On Thursday night, the New York Police Department had tweeted about a "transformer explosion" at a Con Edison facility.

The issue caused a transmission dip in the area, and Con Edison crews responded with the New York Fire Department, the power company said.

The fire department did not enter the premises because the "arc flash" was over when firefighters arrived, McGee said.

Loud bangs were probably related to the arc striking the ground in a thunder-and-lightning effect, he said. The flash went from a piece of equipment 20 feet high to the ground, he said, and that's what was seen across the area.

The incident was brought under control, and no injuries were reported, the New York Fire Department said. The cause was determined to be a "non-suspicious" equipment malfunction, according to a tweet from the New York police's 114th Precinct.

"No injuries, no fire, no evidence of extraterrestrial activity," police said on Twitter.

The sky was lit up in shades of blue visible as far as Manhattan and New Jersey. The tremors shook buildings and rattled windows, sending people running into the streets.

Residents reported temporary power outages.

Con Edison said Friday morning that all major transmission lines had been restored.

The incident temporarily closed LaGuardia Airport in Queens. No flights took off between 9:22 and 10:23 p.m. ET, according to FlightAware, a flight-tracking data company.

All terminals were affected by the loss of commercial power, causing the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a temporary ground stop.

LaGuardia resumed normal operations, the FAA said in an advisory on its website.

Con Edison said the airport switched to a backup generator during the transmission disturbance, and all power lines serving the area were in service and the system was stable.

Because all FAA facilities at LaGuardia are on generator power, there was no interruption to air traffic control, FAA spokesman Greg Martin said.

UPDATE: This story has been updated with the latest information on the incident from Con Edison.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 224547

Reported Deaths: 2877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah42425618
Washington28176259
Marion24842333
Clackamas20349243
Lane15401176
Jackson13240160
Deschutes1074187
Umatilla988394
Linn644882
Yamhill515882
Klamath498279
Douglas479594
Polk440457
Josephine438076
Malheur370967
Benton354822
Jefferson252842
Coos241040
Columbia213732
Union175924
Wasco160631
Lincoln159122
Crook144724
Hood River128934
Morrow125017
Clatsop123711
Baker116018
Curry86512
Tillamook7985
Grant5657
Lake4868
Harney46611
Wallowa2486
Gilliam881
Sherman872
Wheeler491
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4003787

Reported Deaths: 64620
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles131165624721
Riverside3112424667
San Bernardino3095025265
San Diego3011003805
Orange2856205146
Santa Clara1245862183
Sacramento1178311790
Kern1143421428
Fresno1057321746
Alameda980131290
Ventura845891046
Contra Costa78084836
San Joaquin776151461
Stanislaus666191097
Tulare50731854
San Mateo45255588
Monterey44651528
San Francisco41758565
Solano36525261
Santa Barbara36106469
Sonoma33414331
Merced33321485
Imperial29333746
Placer25624307
Kings23790251
San Luis Obispo22356267
Madera17220249
Santa Cruz16779207
Yolo15149215
Marin15039243
Butte13523205
Shasta13179242
El Dorado11312121
Napa1055282
Sutter10343127
Yuba712950
San Benito632664
Tehama592766
Lassen590526
Nevada568575
Humboldt535154
Mendocino485652
Tuolumne469173
Lake440866
Amador395348
Siskiyou259640
Glenn248127
Colusa238118
Calaveras235658
Del Norte174710
Inyo148238
Mono13395
Plumas7926
Modoc5767
Mariposa5377
Trinity4696
Sierra1370
Alpine910
Unassigned810
Medford
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 67°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 52°
Crater Lake
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 67°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 50°
Smoky skies and spotty Thursday thunderstorms
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events