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The day the Big Apple went dark for 30 hours: Dramatic pictures from exactly 15 years ago reveal the chaos and confusion caused in New York City by the biggest power cut in US history

On August 14, 2003, tree branches interfered with power lines in Ohio, causing a massive chain reaction that would knock out power for 60 million people

The outage affected New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, and Ottawa

While most areas had their power restored within a few hours, it took about 30 hours for officials to reconnect New York City to the grid

Images from that day show masses of commuters walking across the East River crossings, stranded subway riders being rescued inside tunnels, and people sleeping on the sidewalks


Just before people started to head home for the rush hour commute, 21 power plants shut down within a span of three minutes.

Just like that, between 50 and 60 million people in New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, and Ottawa were without electricity.

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