By Sabina Mollot
Throughout the day on Thursday, Con Ed has been asking customers to curb their power use, while making repairs to electrical cables.
At around 9 a.m., when Con Ed announced the repairs, a spokesperson said the utility hoped to restore any power to lost to customers by the evening.
By the afternoon, Con Ed reduced voltage by five percent in the neighborhoods of Madison Square, Gramercy and Flatiron in Manhattan as a precaution to protect equipment while repairs were being made.
Con Edison has asked customers within the confines of East 31st Street to the north, East 14th Street to the south, Fifth Avenue to the west and the East River to the east not to use appliances such as washers, dryers and, unless needed for health or medical reasons, air conditioners, and other energy-intensive equipment. Customers have also been asked to turn off lights and televisions when not needed until the problems are resolved.
Customers should also avoid opening freezers to see if food is still frozen, Con Ed said. Every time the freezer is opened, 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.
About 30,200 customers are in the impacted area.