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CNN BREAKING NEWS

New York No Rush No Hour

Aired August 15, 2003 - 05:31   ET

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

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: With the blackout, New York's afternoon rush hour was anything but rushed and took much longer than an hour.
CNN's Peter Viles is in the New York bureau or borough, rather, of Queens.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: By any measure this has got to be the longest and slowest rush hour in the history of New York. It went on for hours. It is probably continuing as we speak.

New Yorkers, when the lights went out, most of them went to the street and started a long walk home. The streets became a sea of humanity. Traffic lights were out so there was gridlock in many parts of the city. You saw some heartwarming things, people taking it upon themselves to direct traffic on corners where there were no police. When people finally arrived home throughout the city, it was one of those occasions where everyone seemed to have a story to tell about how they got home.

Here are a couple of those stories.

So it was like a sea of humanity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was. It was, although this time it was like the sea of humanity wasn't freaked out. They were just calmly walking across the bridge and they were in a much better mood than they were two years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Being here during 9/11 and today, I think New York actually shows its best spirit during crisis. You see people just pulled together and do what needs to be done and you see plenty sights of people just waiting it out and doing what they have to do. It's -- you know we're here just relaxing because, you know, there's nothing else to do this evening.

VILES: Just a word or two about where we are. We're on a dock in Queens. And behind me on any other night would be one of the most glorious sights in America, the skyline of New York. You would see the United Nations building, you'd see the Empire State Building, maybe the Chrysler building, tonight, all of that dark.

Peter Viles in Queens, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COSTELLO: And just so you know, Gary Tuchman is live at Times Square. We're going to get to him a little bit later. But he says some of the lights are coming back on in Times Square and that certainly is a good sign, although many other areas of Manhattan still dark this morning.

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