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Con Edison Media Relations
October 29, 2012
4:45 p.m.


Utility Advises Customers of Possible Service Shutdowns

NEW YORK – The wrath of Hurricane Sandy has knocked out electrical service to 68,700 Con Edison customers and the number is likely to grow, as heavy winds knock trees into overhead wires.

At 4:45 p.m., the company reported 21,800 customers without service in Westchester County, 18,500 in Staten Island and 18,200 in Queens, as the Hurricane has struck the New York metropolitan area with more destructive force than previously anticipated.

The company 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.

The company has provided the same message to certain customers in flood-prone areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Seawater can damage underground electrical equipment. Shutting the equipment down can help to limit the damage. That means the company would be able to restore service to customers faster.

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.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages, and check service restoration status by computer or mobile device at They also can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When reporting an outage, it is helpful if customers have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power. Customers who report outages will be called by Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available.

The company is advising its customers to pay close attention to reports from city and municipal officials. Con Edison will continue to provide updates through the media as the storm moves closer.

In addition, important information also will be posted on the company's Web site,

For instructions on how to report an outage, click here:

Con Edison offers the following safety tips:

  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.
  • If you still have electrical power, be sure to fully charge your cell phone, lap top and other mobile devices, as well as any extra batteries, so that you will still be able to communicate in the event that you do lose power.
  • Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you're in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.
  • If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.
  • Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios are working. Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and news on power outages can be heard on most local radio and television stations.
  • Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, 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.

The company is in constant communication with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services and company personnel are working closely with city and municipal emergency officials.


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