500,000 customers without power in NYC metro area

August 30, 2011 9:39:20 AM PDT
Nearly half a million customers are still without power in the New York City metro area. Those include about 70,000 in the city and Westchester and 324,000 on Long Island. Con Edison says it hopes to restore power to its city customers by late Tuesday evening.


It'll take longer in Westchester because flooding and downed trees are hampering crews from reaching damaged lines. Service in Westchester is expected to be back by late Thursday. Con Edison says the hardest hit areas in the city were Queens and Staten Island.

At the peak of the storm, 187,000 Con Edison customers had no power.

Long Island Power Authority says it has restored service to 100,000 customers and hopes to have 90 percent of the rest restored by Friday. The last 10 percent might have to wait throught the weekend.

Customers can report power interruptions or service problems as well as view service restoration information online at www.conEd.com and on their cell phones and PDAs. They may also call Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

The following link to the New York City Office of Emergency Management's hurricane preparedness Web site provides information about what to do in the event of a hurricane, as well as providing evacuation and shelter information: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/ready/hurricane_guide.shtml.

Con Edison offers the following safety tips:

  • Exercise extreme caution when entering flooded basements. Rising water that comes into contact with energized electrical equipment can create hazardous conditions that present a risk of serious injury.

  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs or leaves.

  • Avoid standing water or puddles: there could be downed wires in them that you can't see.

  • Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you're in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

  • If your power goes out, turn off lights and unplug appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.

  • When reporting an outage, have your Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether your neighbors have also lost power. Leave at least one light switch in the on position to alert you when power has been restored.

  • Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are in working order. Use candles and oil lamps with care. Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and news on power outages can be heard on most local radio and television stations.

  • Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

  • If you believe that you smell gas, you should report any possible gas leaks to the company and we will respond. If the city or county declares a state of emergency, or if conditions do not allow for a safe response by company personnel, we might be prevented from responding. In that event, you should shut off all appliances and evacuate to a safe location until such time as we can respond safely.

    Con Edison will provide updates to affected customers both directly and through the media as the situation warrants. In addition, important information will also be posted on the company's Web site, www.coned.com. The company is in constant communication with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services.