Con Ed announced this morning that it has restored power to more than 320,000 customers in New York, leaving approximately 570,000 Con Ed customers without electricity.
Those customers without power include 226,000 in Manhattan, 84,000 in Queens, 35,000 in Brooklyn, 54,000 in Staten Island, 31,000 in the Bronx and 140,000 in Westchester County.
Although some areas of Manhattan now have power, more than 100 buildings may still be without electricity due to basement flooding or equipment damage, Con Ed said.
The utility expects to make significant progress restoring power over the next seven days but crews are still dealing with downed trees and wires as well as flooding.
Yesterday, Con Ed and sources said that lower Manhattan will have almost all of its power back tomorrow – but it could take another nine days for electricity to be 100 percent restored.
And the “vast majority” of remaining powerless residents – many in the outer boroughs and Westchester – won’t have electricity until Nov. 10.
Lastly, some “stragglers” – mostly customers in places served by overhead lines – won’t be restored until the following week, said John Miksad, Con Ed’s senior vice president for electric operations.
“Given what we know, given the resources we have now, that’s what it looks like,” Miksad said.
“Going without power for one day is a rough thing. Going without power for two weeks is unbearable.”
One dissenting source involved in discussions between the state and the utility said the Saturday projection wasn’t completely accurate.
“The Con Ed situation is really bad,” the source said, predicting that power won’t fully be restored to lower Manhattan for another nine days.
“They’re working on different strategies” to try to get the bulk of the customers back up, the source added.
“But the reality is not everyone is going to be back up by this Saturday.
“No way. No how.”
Gov. Cuomo said he’s monitoring the progress made by Con Ed and other utilities.
He warned that state officials will look closely at utilities’ operations if it’s felt that repairs are taking too long.
Not properly preparing for the storm would be “a failure to keep the trust that New Yorkers have placed in you by granting you the privilege to conduct utility business in New York state,” Cuomo said.
“If they want to be a utility in this state, they have to perform. And we want performance.”
An “army” of Con Ed work crews and engineers are working to restore power to lower Manhattan by repairing the East 14th Street substation, which was damaged by floodwaters that Sandy pushed up from the East River, Miksad said.
At the same time, the company is checking underground transformers and other equipment in the area.
Once all the equipment is ready, the substation will be switched back on – restoring power nearly simultaneously to most of lower Manhattan and the subway system.
But the repairs appear to be going more slowly than the company had hoped.
On Wednesday, Con Ed said it had hoped to have most power back in lower Manhattan by today.
More lights are expected to be back on today in the Financial District.
Manhattan remained the worst-off area yesterday, with 220,000 Con Ed customers – mostly below 36th Street – still without power at 5 p.m.
Brooklyn’s power situation has improved dramatically, with 51,000 Con Ed customers reported without power yesterday, down from 109,000 on Wednesday.
ConEd workers were stunned by the enormity of damage.
“In my almost 50 years as a utility worker, I’ve never seen the devastation we have seen in the last few days,” said Harry Farrell, president of Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers of America.
The Long Island Power Authority reported it had 635,482 customers in the dark as of last night.
But LIPA had turned on the lights for more than 491,000 users, a utility representative said.
Source: NY Post