Con Ed Battles Blizzard to Keep the Power On

By Aidan Gardiner and Julie Shapiro  on February 8, 2013 1:50pm  | Updated on February 8, 2013 9:31pm

NEW YORK CITY — The massive snowstorm that hit the city Friday briefly cut power to hundreds of people on Staten Island, marking the first of what officials feared could be many more power outages across the five boroughs.

About 1,000 customers in Great Kills went dark after falling tree limbs damaged some power lines, according to Consolidated Edison. And more than 800 customers in nearby Bay Terrace also lost power Friday because of downed power lines, according to the utility.

Nearly all saw their power restored before 3 p.m., and as of 9:30 p.m. there were only a couple hundred customers in the city without power, according to Con Edison's website.

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On Friday evening, scattered outages appeared from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side, each affecting several dozen customers or fewer, Con Ed said. 

In the Rockaways, power outages began in the early afternoon in Wave Crest and Breezy Point, though just a few customers were affected, according to the Long Island Power Authority, which provides electricity to the Rockaways and Long Island.

By 9:30 p.m., the number of Rockaways customers without power was in the single digits, LIPA said.

Still, Con Edison was bracing for the worst, particularly in areas with outdoor power lines, said Bob McGee, a Con Edison spokesman.

"When the wind begins to blow, we’re going to have some significant outages to deal with it," McGee said. "But we’re ready for it."

Winds were gusting up to 35 miles per hour in the city Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Con Edison has deployed hundreds of crews to repair outages and hired scores of extra workers to assist in the effort, McGee said.

The Long Island Power Authority also hired extra crews to keep up with repairs, the utility said.

"We expect that most customers who lose power as a result of the storm will have it restored within 24 hours after losing power, but some outages could extend beyond that," LIPA said on its website.

The harsh winds could also dump up to 10 inches of snow, a weather service spokesman said.

"It's not going to be as bad as Sandy, but it's going to be significant," McGee said.

For more information about forecast in your neighborhood, check out DNAinfo's weather page.

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