Everyone freaked out by the crazy noise from the Con Ed plant on 14th Street and C late Monday night can relax further. Because Con Ed tells amNew York everything is fine and it was only steam that was released repeatedly around 11PM. There was a malfunction, but the everything "worked just as it should have," according to Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert. His explanation is that a "generating unit tripped as it was being brought online, and the noise and steam originated from boiler safety valves." The booming steam helped "depressurize" the boiler. There were no fires and there were no explosions. Suddenly it's all so anti-climactic!
The noise was described as a "fire breathing dragon" and "large truck downshifting on the BQE" by some commenters while others reassured everyone by saying the noise was common. (Our favorite comment was from mothra - something about a green lizard.) Still, when you hear it in succession like that, for 20-30 minutes, you can't help but worry, especially after such memorable Con Ed moments like the Queens Blackout of last summer.
Gotham Gazette has a good explanation of the city's steam use - it's the biggest steam district in the world!
Photograph by dmansouri on Flickr