Superstorm SandyCon Ed overcame many obstacles to restore power to NYC

Published 16 November 2012

On 29 October Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York City and took out the power in most of Lower Manhattan, even knocking out power to the headquarters of Consolidated Edison’s (Con Ed), the electricity supplier for NYC; due to the flooding in Lower Manhattan, employees had to use rafts to rescue coworkers trapped in the company’s East 13th Street power station; in the days after the storm, as with many other New Yorkers, Con Ed almost ran out of gas, but that did not stop the company from restoring power back to Lower Manhattan less than four days after the storm

On 29 October Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York City and took out the power in most of Lower Manhattan, even knocking out power to the headquarters of Consolidated Edison’s (Con Ed), the electricity supplier for NYC.

Due to the flooding in Lower Manhattan, employees had to use rafts to rescue coworkers trapped in the company’s East 13th Street power station.

CNNMOney reports that in the days after the storm, as with many other New Yorkers, Con Ed almost ran out of gas, but that did not stop the company from restoring power back to Lower Manhattan less than four days after the storm through a non-stop effort and a few big risks that paid off.

Last week officials at Con Ed estimated the storm will end up costing the company $550 million.

They did a wonderful job getting Manhattan’s underground network back up and running,” Roger Anderson, who studies energy issues and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, told CNNMoney.

Con Ed still is not finished as about 4,000 customers are still without power and another 22,000 buildings and residents are so damaged that Con Ed cannot restore power to them. One example is the project buildings in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook. Elderly and sick residents are stuck on high floors with no heat, power, and limited supplies. According to Con Ed, part of the problem is that the equipment in the buildings is still flooded.

As bad as things became during the storm, Con Ed customers made out better than customers of other utility companies who were hit by the storm. A day after the storm, Con Ed CEO Kevin Burke promised power would be restored to Lower Manhattan by Saturday, but most residents of the Financial District, Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo had their power back by Friday night.

At that time many customers of New Jersey’s PSE&G still had no power and customers of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) were also in the dark, with no power and no idea when it would come back on. Over the first weekend after the storm, 150 protestors picketed Long Island Power Authority’s offices over its response to the storm.

Con Ed took advantage of the fact that most of its wires are buried under the streets of Manhattan and remained untouched during the storm.

Con Ed is still feeling the storms effect as the company’s shares have fallen 10 percent,

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