New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would not commit to returning home from Iowa hours after a massive blackout hit the Big Apple that has put tens of thousands of people in the dark.
The 2020 candidate for president was on the campaign trail in Waterloo when power outages struck a wide swath of Manhattan in the early evening Saturday.
Asked by CNN if he would return to New York City, de Blasio said, “I’m going to get more information in the next hour or so. And we’ll adjust my schedule accordingly depending on what I hear.”
About an hour later, CNN’s Ana Cabrera noted that the mayor had decided to return to New York City during an interview with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who criticized de Blasio for his absence when disaster struck.
De Blasio is a long-shot candidate for the Democratic nomination in a large field of competitors. He is polling at 0.3%, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.
A transformer fire is believed to have led to the power outages across Midtown and the Upper West Side. De Blasio said his first deputy and emergency management commissioner are on the ground to contend with the situation.
Cuomo said he was “directing the Department of Public Service to investigate and identify the exact cause of the outages to help prevent an incident of this magnitude from happening again” and noted Con Ed hopes to begin restoring power to affected customers by midnight.