Consolidated Edison, New York’s energy provider announced that it could take up to four days to restore electricity to Lower Manhattan after being painted with darkness neighborhoods plunged into darkness Monday evening.
For 24 hour straight Hurricane Sandy pounded Lower Manhattan with robust gusts of wind and lake loads of water, filling some buildings with up to 30 feet of water. After forcing tens of thousands from their residents, Sally, even in her absence, has managed to deprive the area of electricity after water damaged caused a substation explosion.
ConEd is currently investigating the explosion in a substation at East 14th Street and F.D.R Drive which, as of 2 pm, shutoff electricity to roughly 250,000 Manhattan buildings below 39th Street.
Moreover, the utility company was caught off guard by underestimated tidal surges.
John Miksad, senior vice president of electric operations at ConEd, in speaking to Jacob Gershman of the Wall Street Journal couldn’t give a clear time frame on when power would be restored to Lower Manhattan.
Con Ed was expecting major flooding, he said, but the utility company was caught off guard by a tidal surge that topped pre-storm estimates.
“This is the largest storm-related outage in our history,” said Sara Banda, a spokeswoman for Con Edison to Reuters. “We try to restore lines that will get power to the most customers possible, but it will depend on the equipment.”
Outages on Manhattan outstripped the 180,000 in the suburbs of Westchester County. In fact, new York city accounts for a tenth of the power outages nationwide.
An additional 109,000 homes and businesses in Staten Island have been left without power, Con Edison reported. On the west side of the Hudson River, almost two-thirds of New Jersey’s residents are suriving through, according to the Department of Energy.
Nationwide, more than 8.2 million homes and businesses lost power in the United States because of Sandy. In fact, the blackouts stretch from North Carolina to the Canadian border and as far west as Ohio and Indiana.
20 percent or more of all customers in seven east coast states have been left without power. Forecasting firm, IHS Global Insight expects up to $20 billion in property damages and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business.