Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Energy said in a report that more than 8.2 million homes and businesses lost power in the United States because of Hurricane Sandy. New York was among the hardest hit with 2 million affected and hundreds of thousands of people still without power. As the New York Times reports, last night, a sequence of unfortunate events took place that plunged New York City into total darkness.
“Con Ed (Consolidated Edison, the power company), fearing damage to its electrical equipment, shut down power pre-emptively in sections of Lower Manhattan on Monday evening, and then, at 8:30 p.m., an unplanned failure, probably caused by flooding in substations, knocked out power to most of Manhattan below Midtown, affecting about 250,000 customers. Later, an explosion at a Con Ed substation on East 14th Street knocked out power to another 250,000 customers.”
Con Ed said it would be four days before the last of the 337,000 customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn who lost power would have electricity again while the 442,000 living in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County may have to wait a week.