As of shortly before 5 p.m., the wrath of Hurricane Sandy knocked out electrical service to 68,700 people, Con Ed reported, and the number is likely to grow, as heavy winds knock trees into overhead wires.
The utility said it is also monitoring flooding conditions that could be at their most severe tonight. Con Edison has notified Manhattan customers from 36th Street south that the company may have to shut off their electrical service if the underground electrical equipment becomes inundated with water.
At 5:50 p.m., Stuyvesant Town sent out an emailed notice to residents to not use elevators and to stay in their apartments. Residents with special needs are asked to call public safety at (212) 598-5233.
Con Edison has also cut steam service to 140 customers in Manhattan. If steam pipes become inundated in water on the outside, the difference in temperature can make them dangerous, the utility warned. Stuyvesant Town lost steam service this morning.
Con Ed customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at http://www.conEd.com. They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).
At 3 p.m. Janet Handal, president of the Waterside Tenants Association, said, “We expect to lose power at some point this afternoon.”
Handal said she opted to stay put, despite the fact that Waterside Plaza is in Zone A, a mandatory-evacuation area.
“Biggest concern here is storm surge flooding which will flood our garage and the elevator shafts, which is what happened with Irene,” she said. “We have been told that Con Ed will shut down the power about 6 p.m. They have shut down three out of four elevators at this time.”