The Con Edison Plant at 14th Street and Avenue C blew up on Monday night during Hurricane Sandy. The explosion has caused all Manhattan residents living below 40th Street to lose power.
Nellie, a resident of 1225 FDR Drive near the plant who did not give her last name, recalled the explosion. Her daughter, Lisette, translated her response from Spanish.
“It must have been between 8 and 9 when she was in the front part of her building looking outside and then she heard a big explosion,” Lisette said. “Actually she saw a blue light and then one of her grand kids shouted that he heard something so she came running to the backside of her house and that’s when she saw everything go into flames.”
“You could see the blue light it-must have been the transformers. It was a big ball of fire and she thought it was actually going to go into her house because it was right there-it was right behind her house. She was really really scared. She knew that it was the power plant. She was very scared,” she said.
“[Her first reaction was] she actually got out of the house and knocked on her neighbor’s door. She was crying and trying to get her mom out too. She’s a very nervous person so she was screaming. She was very scared.” she added.
Richard, who did not give his last name, works as a custodian at Public School 34 and was near the plant during the explosion.
“I thought to myself, ‘Okay, there goes the neighborhood!’” he said. “I was standing out here, and the water was almost up to my knee. But thankfully, it didn’t go into the school.”
The area surrounding the plant smells heavily of fumes. But a Con Edison worker on site said it is nothing nuclear, just electrical, so there is no need to worry about the fumes.
Con Edison workers have congregated on 2nd Avenue between 20th and 21st streets. Most are from Westchester, NY lending support. One worker estimates 5 to 6 days until power is back in Manhattan. It will take longer to restore power in the lower most parts of Manhattan, as the region is farther away from the plant. At this site on 2nd Avenue, New Yorkers can charge their electronics for free.
UPDATE: Nov. 1, 11:54 p.m.
In updates through its Twitter page, Con Edison said Manhattan and Brooklyn should return to normal power conditions by Saturday. This would also allow NYU to resume operation on Monday.
But resident outside of the city may have to wait longer. The company predicts that the majority of New York’s power should be up and running by Nov. 11.
UPDATE: Nov. 2, 3:49 p.m.
Con Edison posted on Twitter that two networks in the very tip of Manhattan that were pre-emptively shut down will be restored today. This would allow some parts of lower Manhattan to regain power tonight.
Katya Barannik is deputy features editor. Email her at email@example.com.
- Weekend Roam: Little Germany
- WSN Editorial Board reflects on spring semester events
- Strawberry Festival promises delicious, intergalactic fun
- Clive Davis Institute collaborates with DJ Swivel
- Best places to dine on dumplings
- 'Heroes' is not super enough for Xbox Live film program launch
- NYU SLAM sees victory through 'badidas' campaign
- Victoria Ettore elected student council president
- Hester Street Fair hosts diverse vendors, delicious food