Blackout 2003: The original PIX11 News coverage

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(PIX11) — Shortly after 4 p.m. on August 14, 2003, New York and much of the Northeast and Canada were plunged into darkness during the historic blackout.

Here are selections from WPIX’s coverage on the WB 11 News at 10 on that evening, coverage many New Yorkers could not see because they were in the dark.

Above, Mary Murphy reports from Times Square. She reported on people were trapped in the subways and in gridlock. Hospitals were flooded with patients with respiratory problems.

Convenience stores and bars stayed open, as patrons drank in the dark. People danced in the streets, and gathered under the towering billboards and darkened light spectaculars of Times Square to pass the time and wait for any flicker of light.

LaGuardia Airport was shuttered. Many hunkered down for the night. Check out the report below for the scene at the airport:

Millions took to the streets  to walk home, or carpooled with complete strangers. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz welcomed thousands who walked from Manhattan over the Brooklyn Bridge. He yelled into a megaphone: “Welcome home, Brooklyn, everything going to be all right.”

Crowds turned into angry mobs trying to board overpopulated buses, or public transport that would not run. Jackie Hyland reports on the chaos:

Only two years after 9/11, New Yorkers immediately thought the worst. but Bloomberg soothed their qualms: “The first thing that everybody should do is to understand that there is no evidence of any terrorism whatsoever.”

The mayor himself crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to encourage people to go home and stay there until the power came back. Bloomberg helped remind people the power would soon be back. Pamela Chan reports from City Hall:

Web produced by Allison Yang