Speed Reads

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San Francisco paralyzed by massive city-wide blackout

More than 90,000 people are without power in San Francisco, resulting in citywide closures of schools, businesses, and public transportation, SF Gate reports. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is unsure if a fire at a substation is the cause, or if the substation instead caught fire due to the outage.

The San Francisco Fire Department is responding to over 100 calls, including 20 reports of people stuck in elevators. Cable cars, electric buses, and BART are down, or operating sporadically, and the streets are jammed as traffic lights are out at intersections.

Perhaps the most terrifying detail of all is that people are without WiFi or functioning espresso machines at coffee shops. SF Gate offers a look at the chaos:

Aaron Trzesniewski was in a cable car near Sutter and Powell streets when the electricity cut out.

"It's huge," Trzesniewski said. "All the retailers are down, all the businesses, Starbucks, everybody."

All around Union Square, the lights were out in the boutiques and restaurants, and rows of shuttered businesses extended into the Tenderloin and Chinatown. Workers stood outside, waiting, or in some cases they stood inside, with the doors closed.

A lot of people just milled about, drinking coffee or staring at their phones. [SF Gate]

PG&E officials say they hope to have power restored by 1 p.m. PT.

Manhattan also suffered power outages that stranded subway commuters Friday morning, although the two blackouts do not immediately appear to be connected and are instead suspected to be a result of the cities' ancient infrastructure.