* Shutdown affected about 6,500 Lower Manhattan customers
* Con Ed has more than 156,000 without power due Sandy
By Scott DiSavino and David Sheppard
NEW YORK Oct 29 New York power company
Consolidated Edison Inc ED.N said on Monday that it had shut off
power to part of Lower Manhattan to protect electrical equipment
and to allow for quicker restoration after Hurricane Sandy
The company said in a release it cut service to two areas.
The first is bounded by Frankfort Street to the north; William
Street to the west; Wall Street to the south; and the East
River. The second area is bounded by Broadway to the west; Wall
Street to the north; and the southern tip of Manhattan.
The areas, some of which had already been evacuated, include
about 6,500 customers. Con Edison said that, as of 7 p.m.
Eastern time there were more than 156,000 customers in New York
City and Westchester County without power due to Hurricane
Sea water from Hurricane Sandy's storm surge threatened to
flood the underground electrical equipment, prompting the
shutdown, Con Edison said.
The company will have to wait for flood waters to recede
before workers can enter some facilities to assess damage, Con
As equipment is inspected and determined safe to energize,
the company said the highest priority for restoration will go to
critical customer facilities that have an impact on the general
public such as mass transit, hospitals, police and fire
stations, and sewage and water-pumping stations.
Con Edison said workers continue to monitor underground
electrical delivery equipment in other areas of Manhattan south
of 36th Street, along with section of Brooklyn, Queens and the
Bronx, for flooding and possible shutdowns.
A few hours before the power shutdown, the company notified
customers through an automated calling system that their power
might be shut off.
"We wanted to let people know in and around these areas that
there may be disruption to their service," Con Edison spokesman
Alfonso Quiroz told Reuters.