Con Ed Says Blackouts Possibly Due To Thunderstorms, Lightning

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Con Ed was still working today to get power back to approximately 18,000 customers in Westchester County and 11,000 customers in Queens, after yesterday’s blackout, which did all the fun things power outages do — cripple neighborhoods, stop subway service, disable traffic lights, etc.

Ultimately, Con Ed estimates that service was interrupted for 136,700 customers (approximately 385,000 people) in the southwest Bronx and sections of the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

So, what exactly happened?

According to a statement on the energy company’s website, the cause of Wednesday’s blackout is basically unknown, but they suspect the thunderstorms and possibly lightning strikes played a part.

From Con Ed:

The company is examining data and equipment to help determine what caused the outage. In addition, engineers are examining possible links between the outage and lightning strikes in the area. It appears that there were several strikes near a transmission substation in Queens at, or near, the time of the event.

Con Edison’s initial findings show that the event occurred quickly — in less than 10 seconds — and involved multiple transmission lines.

Dude, come on. “It was raining and lightning out” was an excuse I would use with my mother when I was late for dinner when I was about 8.

Maybe they’ll find out there was some faulty equipment, mabye it really was a huge lightning strike — whatever the cause — it’s “Power Outage Season” so Con Ed gave out some tips on what to do if there’s another. (Warning – it’s a PDF)

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