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.
In addition to the explosion, outages have been caused by flooding in substations across the city:
#ConEd Manhattan outages were caused by flooding in company substations and engineers are working hard to correct the problem
— Con Edison (@ConEdison) October 30, 2012
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 can confirm that there has been water infiltration into the New York City Subway tunnels under the East River. We cannot confirm a depth.
— MTA (@MTAInsider) October 30, 2012
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.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 30, 2012