PSEG Jersey

Mike Sugerman/WCBS 880

Underground Electrical Fire Sparks Power Outage In Newark

October 21, 2018 - 10:33 am

NEWARK, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- Downtown Newark is coming back to life after a large scale power outage left much of the area without power overnight Sunday.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, Newark firefighters and police responded to reports of smoke in the area coming from manholes on the streets.

Several streets were then knocked into the dark and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said the power would be out for at least 24 hours.  

An underground electrical transformer was found to be the cause of the smoke.

Roughly 1,500 customers, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, were left without power. A concert by Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Johnson has be canceled at the venue.

"The lights flickered a little bit but then at the end it was complete darkness," said Natalie Rabetski, who was in Newark for the Dodge Poetry Festival at the Performing Arts Center. 

According to PSEG, a cable failure led to the underground fire. No injuries were reported and crews were in the area inspecting other electrical facilities.

“Estimated restoration times will depend on the extent of the cable damage,” PSEG said in a statement. “We will provide restoration times as soon as our assessment is complete.”

Some customers had power back by 4 a.m. Sunday while others waited until 7 a.m. Some customers were told they may have to wait even longer.