Power fully restored following manhole fires on Upper West Side, some residents complain of noisy generators

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- It might be a sleepless few days for some residents on the Upper West Side following Thursday's manhole fires.

A giant generator has been placed at 71st Street and Broadway to bring power to at least two large apartment buildings while repairs are made underground.

Utility crews spent Friday working to get all customers back on the grid after a series of manhole fires knocked out power to dozens of buildings.

The fires, possibly sparked by the heat, damaged a series of electrical feeders and left approximately 646 customers in the immediate area without power.

At least three manholes on Broadway, south of West 72nd Street, caught fire just before 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Smoke spewed from them for hours, while as many as three others also began smoking.

It took until 4 p.m. Friday for all power to be fully restored. The cause of the manhole fires is still under review.

Now residents are coping with ear splitting, temple throbbing, bone rattling noise due to the generator providing power to the two buildings.

At one building, residents have been told to get used to the noise.

The generator may be in place for more than a week.

The ensuing investigation will look into why the fires led to widespread damage to electrical feeders at the intersection.

The extreme heat and power usage Thursday afternoon may have played a part in sparking the fires, which coincidentally broke out on the 40th anniversary of the citywide 1977 blackout.

No injuries or damages were reported.

Eyewitness News Reporter Josh Einiger was on the scene:
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.