New York City main power supplier Con Edison begun Monday evening the process of shutting off electrical service to a portion of Lower Manhattan, a move that will protect both company and customer equipment, and allow for quicker restoration after Hurricane Sandy passes.
The company cut service to two areas. The first is bounded by the following streets: Frankfort Street to the north; William Street to the west; Wall Street to the south; and the East River. The second area is bounded by Broadway to the west; Wall Street to the north; and the southern tip of Manhattan.
The areas include about 6,500 customers in Lower Manhattan. Con Edison reported that as of 7 p.m. there were more than 156,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County without electrical service due to Hurricane Sandy.
Sea water from Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge threatened to flood the underground electrical delivery system, prompting the shutdown. The shutdown will help avoid extensive damage to company and customer equipment, and allow company crews to restore power to customers more quickly.
The company will have to wait for flood waters to recede before workers can enter some facilities to assess damage. As equipment is inspected and determined safe to energize, the highest priority for restoration will be given to critical customer facilities that have an impact on the general public such as mass transit, hospitals, police and fire stations, and sewage and water-pumping stations.
The company said it continues to monitor underground electrical delivery equipment in other areas of Manhattan south of 36th Street, along with section of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, for flooding and possible shutdowns.
By David Michaels - MercoPress - New York