ConEd Explosion Could Leave Downtown Manhattan in Darkness for a Few Days

At around 9 p.m. last night, this happened. The video shows a flash of electrical fire at the ConEdison plant on 14th Street and Avenue D. Soon after, most of the East Village and the Lower East Side was shrouded in darkness. Not sure if we've seen anything like this before.

According to a ConEd spokesperson Chris Olert, "Most of Manhattan below 39th Street is out." The most recent estimates have the number of customers sitting in darkness near 350,000. And newscasters are now saying that a full restoration of power could take days.

For ConEd to fix the electrical outage, the water that is flooding Avenue C and D needs to be removed for workers to come in and restore service. The same goes for the MTA. Except meteorologists do not expect this storm's heavy rains to end for some time; by Wednesday afternoon, Sandy will still be riding up the State of New York and her outskirts will leave us with showers until Friday.

In addition to the explosion, outages have been caused by flooding in substations across the city:

A similar explosion to the one witnessed in that video occurred in 2002. Then, 63,000 New Yorkers were left powerless for seven hours or so. And that didn't involve unbelievable levels of water; the MTA has already confirmed that the subway tunnels underneath the East River are flooded:

We'll keep you updated, New York, on the ongoing outages. This might be difficult to do but, as of now, make plans with no electricity in mind.


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Why does the Con Ed plant need to keep the 15th street exit closed on the FDR since 2001? Because they want to protect a major Manhattan hub from potential "terrorist attacks". In ten years all that happens is they've proven they couldn't protect themselves from a wet napkin.


Why should the East Village continue to suffer at the hands of this idiotic policy that protects no one and closes a vital roadway in NYC? Please reopen this exit immediately. It is obvious that Con Ed is going to do its own damage to this city no matter what protections we afford them and their ridiculous plant on the East River. The way to protect this city is by providing redundancy of power, not dependency on a single location that can't even pre-plan in advance of the most major flood warning we have ever seen.

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