This blackout was different from the blackouts that occurred in 1965 and 2003. The 1977 blackout was localized in NYC and the immediate surroundings only. During the blackout, there was a lot of looting and arson. The police could not handle the mob scenes. Nearly every street corner someone was breaking into a store or robbing someone at gun or knife point.
ConEdison has upgraded the NYC and surrounding systems since then, so less blackouts have been occurring.