Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s warnings, officials at Con Edison don’t believe they will have to enact a preemptive shutdown of power systems tonight. Power cables suffer more damage from saltwater when they have current running through them, but according to the New York Times, tonight’s storm and possible flooding won’t result in them shutting down substations. Con Ed spokesperson Chris Olert told the paper, “we are not doing any shutdowns today, unless something erupts.”
Bloomberg’s remarks seem to follow the theme of over-caution, as any disruptions to “downtown Manhattan,” as the mayor referred to it, would be localized to “the southeastern tip of Manhattan, bordered by the Brooklyn Bridge on the north, Broadway on the west and the East River on the south and east.” That would only affect about 6,400 customers.
It is worth noting that this is only related to self-imposed power cuts and there is still the possibility of storm-related outages. “‘The utility is far more concerned with the overhead electrical wires on Staten Island and in Queens, the Bronx and parts of Westchester County,’ Mr. Olert said. ‘Con Ed will be closely tracking wind conditions in those areas, and it has warned residents to look out for, and stay away from, any downed wires.'”