NEW YORK CITY — Manhattan households that lost power due to Hurricane Sandy will have their power restored by Saturday, but the "vast majority" of households in New York City in Westchester County without electricity can expect to have it restored by next weekend, Nov. 10 or 11, Con Edison announced in a Thursday afternoon press release.
"Crews restoring service in those underground areas [that serve Manhattan] have pumped massive amounts of water out of those facilities," the utility company stated. "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 Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, which are served by overhead wires, "crews have to contend with more than 100,000 downed wires, as well as blocked roads and flooding," Con Ed said.
Con Ed workers around the city are also making sure buildings in the blackout zone don't "blow up" once power is restored, law enforcement sources said.
Many buildings are still partially submerged in floodwater, particularly those in lower Manhattan, the sources explained. If suddenly electrified, the structures could ignite.
Work crews have restored power more than 250,000 customers affected by the storm. Lights flickered to life in more than 30,000 homes and businesses Wednesday:
- About 2,000 customers in lower Manhattan, an area near the World Trade Center bounded by Vesey Street to the north, West Street to the west, Broadway and State Street to the east, and the southern tip of Manhattan to the south.
- About 28,200 in Coney Island, Seagate, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay, an area very roughly bounded by Shell Road to the west, Gravesend Neck Road to the north, East 15th Street to the east, and Sheepshead Bay to the south.
"They are making very good progress," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a Thursday afternoon press conference.
About 650,000 households were still without service in New York City: 59,000 in Brooklyn, 36,000 in The Bronx, 227,000 in Manhattan, 103,000 in Queens and 83,000 on Staten Island.
"These are very large numbers," Bloomberg said, but “down substantially from this time yesterday.”
In Manhattan, power had not yet been restored to the following areas:
- On the East Side: From East 39th Street to the southern tip of Manhattan, between Fifth Avenue and the East River.
- On the West Side: From West 31st Street to the southern tip of Manhattan, between Fifth Avenue and the Hudson River, with the exception of the 2,000 customers in lower Manhattan, and Battery Park City, which had power restored Wednesday.
About 900,000 customers in New York City and Westchester lost power in the storm.
In addition to the outage update, Con Ed announced that it was distributing dry ice to customers still without power Thursday afternoon:
The ice was being given out at one location in each borough:
- 1840 Bogart Ave. in The Bronx
- Walgreen's at 532 Neptune Ave. in Brooklyn
- The south side of Union Square Park at 14th Street and Union Square West in Manhattan
- 121-10 Rockaway Blvd. in Queens
- The Buffalo Street entrance to Great Kills Park in Staten Island.
The distribution started at noon, and it will continue while supplies last.