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Ten years ago today, New York City's skyscrapers went dark, air conditioners quit running, and people got stuck on sweltering subways as the electricity grid supporting people from Ontario to New Jersey to Ohio blacked out. In New York, it was 90 degrees outside. Here's what it looked like:

The blackout hit at 4:10 p.m. on a Thursday, just an hour or two before people began heading home after work.

(Photo via Reuters.)

People were trapped underground in the subway, where it got super hot. These poor guys were on the A train.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

People poured outside to see what was going on. This is a crowd outside Grand Central Station.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

People who normally take the subway home from Manhattan had to walk over the city's bridges. These guys walking over the Brooklyn Bridge look like they're at a sticky summer music festival where nothing fun is happening.

(Photo via Reuters.)

(Photo via Reuters.)

The Manhattan Bridge:

(Photo via Reuters.)

A few hours later, Fifth Avenue was empty.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

Times Square sunk into darkness.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

People hung out on the sidewalk in Times Square.

(Photos via Reuters.)

An ice cream vendor with a keen sense of supply and demand raised his ice cream prices from $2 to $5.

(Photo via Reuters.)

The skyline was black.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

(Photo via Reuters.)

(Photo via Reuters.)

(Photo via Associated Press.)

Stranded commuters slept on the steps of the Central Post Office.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

Transit workers freed people who'd been trapped on the subway.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

People shopped by flashlight.

(Photo via Reuters.)

Ate by carlight.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

Worked by candlelight.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

The next morning, New York was still dark.

(Photo via Reuters.)

Commuter train cars sat in the Metro North rail yard.

(Photos via Reuters.)

Grocers tossed meat and dairy products that spoiled.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

By August 18, being there for the blackout meant bragging rights.

(Photos via Reuters.)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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