The power temporarily went out at LaGuardia airport (but has now been restored), and the New York City sky lit up with a strange bright blue color on the evening of December 27, 2018, sending people to social media with videos and commentary.
LaGuardia Airport wrote on Twitter around 10:30 p.m. on December 27, “Due to a power outage in Queens, there is partial flight operations @LGAairport. Many flights are departing, some are not. Please check flight status with carrier. Due to a power failure at #LGA, please allow extra time when coming to the airport.”
However, just after 11 p.m., the airport wrote: “Power is operational at all terminals at #LGA. Please contact your airline for the status of your flight.”
Power was reportedly mostly restored, however, but some flights were affected.
Travelers reported being inconvenienced.
Some people just posted videos with simple commentary: What is going on at LaGuardia? The New York Police Department quickly presented the answer; no, it’s not an alien invasion (contrary to some sarcastic Twitter remarks).
The NYPD confirmed it was investigating a transformer explosion, writing on Twitter, “Reports: Investigating a transformer explosion at Astoria East & North Queens Con Ed power plant. Please avoid 20th Ave & 31 st. Please Avoid the Area.”
The NYPD also wrote, “ADVISORY: The lights you have seen throughout the city appear to have been from a transformer explosion at a Con Ed facility in Queens. The fire is under control, will update as more info becomes available. Follow @fdny, @NYPD114pct and @conedison.” There were reports of a temporary ground stop at the airport:
According to CBS New York, LaGuardia was forced to “temporarily shut down” because of the explosion. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted, “LaGuardia Airport (LGA) has been temporarily closed due to power outage resulting from the ConEd transformer explosion. No estimated time for the length of the closure has been immediately indicated. No information on cancellations and delays have been immediately released. Passengers are advised to contact their air carrier for flight-specific information.”
Police also wrote, “The transformer explosion at a #ConEd plant in #Queens is under control and there are no injuries at this time.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Videos & Photos Captured the Explosion & Its Aftermath in the Night Sky
People filled social media with videos of the blue light taking over the sky. A New York City Council Member, Costa Constantinides, wrote on Twitter, “Per @NYPD114Pct there was a generator explosion at the ConEd plant in #Astoria with no injuries at this time. No reported damage to nearby homes. We’ll share more info on possibility of brownouts or changes when we have it.”
What happened at LaGuardia airport? The early word was that there was a transformer explosion, as others quickly noted on social media. “Appears to be an explosion at the con Ed plant in Astoria @ConEdison … Bright as day. Sounded like a transformer,” wrote one man.
Another Twitter user wrote, “Small, blue explosion near LaGuardia has knocked out power at the airport and surrounding area. Unclear what the cause is.. everything (exiting, boarding, security, etc.) is frozen until they figure it out. #lga.” Photos showed the sky completely blue – and not the normal sky-shade of blue.
People kept their sense of humor throughout it all. One man wrote on Twitter, “lol i’m on the tarmac at cincinnati and the pilot just came on: ‘so we just heard a a coned explosion knocked out the power at laguardia…but we’re uh, still gonna go.'”
A woman named Tammie explained on Twitter, “I’m one block from the Con Ed plant in #Astoria. Electricity went out, then the explosion, my building humming and shaking, sky was lit up blue, green, & white! Terrifying! Thought it was the end!! Ever since: Police, fire trucks, helicopters hovering overhead.”
Some people joked that New York City must be facing an alien invasion.
In fact, the alien jokes flew on social media. Here are some of them:
“Evacuated out of #LaGuardia ; does anyone know what’s going down??? We just had to run out of there like crazy motherf*ckers,” wrote one woman on Twitter.