By PIX11 NEWSROOM
pix11.com | @wpix
1:21 PM CDT, November 1, 2012
NEW YORK (PIX11)
In wake of the unprecedented damage brought to the New York City area by Hurricane Sandy, Con Edison announced Thursday it expects to restore the vast majority of customers who lost power by the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11. The remaining customer restorations could take an additional week or more.
According to the utility, about 900,000 customers served by underground and overhead electrical distribution equipment in New York City and Westchester County lost power due to the superstorm that walloped the area.
As a result, a large swath of Manhattan plunged into utter darkness.
Con Edison crews have restored power to about 250,000 customers who were affected by the storm. As of 11 a.m.Thursday, the company was working to restore power to about 650,000 customers still out of service. Customers served by underground networks in Mid- to Lower Manhattan who lost power during the storm will have service by this Saturday.
Crews restoring service in those underground areas have pumped massive amounts of water out of the facilities, the utility said. They must also clean all components of the seawater from the equipment. Equipment must be dried, repaired or replaced, and inspected before it can be safely put back into service.
In areas served by overhead electrical distribution equipment, crews have had to contend with more than 100,000 downed wires, as well as blocked roads and flooding.
Customers are urged to use extreme caution before going into a flooded basement. Know whether there are electrified services or unsanitary conditions and wear high rubber boots. Also, know how deep the water is and probe it with a wooden stick, if necessary, to gauge the depth. Keep children out of flooded basements.
Despite initial reports, the massive outage was not caused by a dramatic explosion Monday night at a 14th Street plant that was captured on video that has since gone viral. Flooding damaged electrical relays, which led to the power shutdown, a company executive told The New York Times.
Check for updates on PIX11.com and during our coverage on Channel 11