Schumer wants federal probe into power outage

NEW YORK (AP) U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for a federal probe into a blackout that left thousands of people in Manhattan without power for several hours.

The New York Democrat says the Department of Energy's Office of Electricity should investigate the work being done by Con Edison to maintain and upgrade the city's power grid after the power failure on Saturday night in some of the busiest parts of Manhattan.

Schumer says the federal agency should consider the New York City blackout a national priority because any lessons learned can be applied nationally.

In a statement Sunday, Con Ed said it would be conducting "a diligent and vigorous investigation" to figure out the cause of the blackout.

A massive power outage on a hot Saturday night packed the streets of Manhattan with people using cellphones as flashlights amid bumper-to-bumper traffic and a cacophony of sirens and honks.

Con Edison officials say a substation caused the power failure at 6:47 p.m., affecting 73,000 customers for more than three hours along a 30-block stretch from Times Square to 72nd Street and Broadway, and spreading to Rockefeller Center. An investigation will determine the exact cause of the blackout, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called "unacceptable."

The energy utility said power was restored to customers and businesses in midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side was restored by about midnight.

The pre-sunset outage shut down restaurants and Broadway shows and had people scrambling outside in search of waning daylight.