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Carroll: Thousands walking the streets

People crowd the streets of Manhattan.
People crowd the streets of Manhattan.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A massive power outage struck the Northeast coast just after 4 p.m. EDT Thursday, cutting electricity to New York City and dozens of other cities, officials said.

Outages began in Ottawa, Canada, and spread to Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, New Haven, Connecticut, and other locations.

CNN anchor Kyra Phillips talked with CNN correspondent Jason Carroll, who was in the New York bureau when the electricity went out.

PHILLIPS: Jason, can you kind of take us back from when this first happened? Were you in the newsroom and all of a sudden everything just went out?

CARROLL: Absolutely. It was just after 4 here in the newsroom at the CNN bureau in New York City up on the 21st floor when all of a sudden the power just simply went out, went to black.

We went out to look out the window to see if it first just was our building or several others and saw immediately that it was in fact other buildings as well.

We're now being told that power is out at all three major airports, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airport.

The Long Island Railroad, which is the train service that services many of the commuters here in New York City to the outlying areas -- the trains are no longer running there as well.

Power out at the United Nations. Power out in downtown New York, at Wall Street.

At City Hall, power was out, but we're now told that they're running on generators. Power out on the Upper Side, on the east side.

We have gotten in touch with the New York City Police Department. Obviously they say they're being bombarded with calls from people who are obviously concerned, wanting to know what's going on. They're trying to sort it out, trying to find out exactly what has happened.

I can tell you just from looking out my window here on the 21st floor, down on the streets of Manhattan -- where CNN Correspondent Maria Hinojosa is down there -- thousands of people out on the street there coming out of buildings.

Obviously anyone who knows Manhattan knows that this is a city made up of skyscrapers obviously a number of people are caught in elevators.

We know that some of our co-workers are trapped in elevators at this point, calling from their cell phones trying to get information in terms of what exactly is going on.

It is quite a scene to look out the window and see what it a busy time anyway during rush hour and to see, again, literally thousands of people wandering the streets.

Everyone is probably asking the same question, Why did the power go out, and when is it likely that it will come back on?

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