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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Thousands Pour Into NYC Streets During Blackout

Aired August 14, 2003 - 16:34   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Our Jason Carroll, another one of our correspondents, he's actually inside our New York bureau. He was inside the bureau when this blackout occurred. He's kind of giving us a sense for what it's like there, looking out the window.
Jason, you heard Maria Hinojosa, actually angry people on the streets hanging the phone up on her. A lot of people, I guess, getting extremely anxious. What can you see from the windows up there?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as I look outside, literally just thousands of people wandering the streets here as they win begin to come out of buildings.

Obviously, you know, in a place like New York City, emotions are going to be running high simply because of what has happened here. So obviously you're going to have some emotions that are involved with this.

Again, it was just after 4 p.m. when the lights went out across the city of Manhattan. And as you say, we're now getting reports in other parts of the country, as well as in Canada, portions of Canada, as well.

We have heard reports of some sort of a transformer fire at one of the Con Edison plants located about 14 blocks from where we are. We're located on the west side of Manhattan in midtown.

As I look outside the window here, it is obvious that power is out and all across, as I'm looking down one of the avenues here, Eighth Avenue, power out all along, lights not working there. So you can imagine what it's like in terms of traffic. This is a busy time anyway.

Power out at Newark Airport, Kennedy Airport, La Guardia Airport. So if there are various people across the country who are dealing with travelers, expect delays and residual delays. That's probably going to affect other airports as well as air traffic controllers redirect air traffic.

Power out at Wall Street. Power was out for a short time in city hall. Generators kicked in there, and so they are running on generators there. Power out at the United Nations. We're also hearing power out in Secaucus, New Jersey, which is just over the river. Power out in portions of Connecticut as well. A lot of people here trapped in elevators. That's probably going to be one of the concerns of firefighters, who are going to be stretched out across the city. Obviously, Manhattan is a city of skyscrapers. And there are people in our own building who, for a time, have been trapped in elevators.

We were also getting word not too long ago at some point that they may ask us to evacuate the building. If that happens, I will let you know.

But obviously a lot of questions being asked in terms of exactly what is going on. The New York City Police Department has been bombarded with phone calls from people wanting to know why the power went out -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Our Jason Carroll reporting to us from our bureau in New York there. He was in the bureau when this blackout took place.

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