SEVERE WX : Air Stagnation Advisory 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: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 43°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 43°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 36°
Stagnant and dry weather continue all week
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events