Dramatic Photos Of Chaos And Looting During New York's Notorious Blackout 37 Years Ago Today

AP7707140393APFirefighters battle flames in a Bronx storefront.

Sunday marks the 37th anniversary of the infamous blackout that led to looting and rioting all around New York City. That date, July 13, 1977, was a time of extreme strife and tension in America’s largest metropolis.

3,800 arrests were made, according to the New York Times, and more than $US1 billion in damage was recorded, with some of the worst coming in the Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighbourhood. The FDNY reported 1,037 fires throughout the city, with at least 50 being very serious, according to The Times.

The root cause of the blackout was a series of lightning strikes occurring between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. that cut electricity off from two major power plants. The chaos would soon follow.

LaGuardia and JFK were closed, and the subways were evacuated.

”The looters were looting other looters, and the fists and the knives were coming out,” Carl St. Martin, a neurologist in Forest Hills, Queens, recalled years later, according to the Times.

Here are some of the shocking photos of the eery darkness and mass chaos:

AP7707130295(1)Joe Pickoff | APThis shot shows the Twin Towers in near-darkness.
AP7707140211(1)APOwners of a sporting goods store carry bats on the night of July 13.
Blackout of 1977 AP Photo/MCTwo men carry a chest down the street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Blackout 1977 looting BrooklynAP Photo/HGFirefighters try to put out one of the hundreds of fires set that night.
Blackout 1977 aftermath looting AP Photo/Ira SchwarzThis photo shows 110th Street and Third Avenue on July 14, in the wake of the looting.
Looting 1977 blackoutAP Photo/Ira SchwarzHere’s another shot of a heavily looted 110th Street.
Blackout 1977 looting BrooklynAP PhotoPolice oversee a crowd in Harlem.
Looting 1977 blackoutAP Photo, FileA man peers into the broken window of a jewelry store on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn blackout 1977APA street in Bedford-Stuyvesant is filled with trash and people.

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