This stunning video, which appears to be taken from the Williamsburg waterfront, shows the dramatic explosion of the East Village Con Ed Substation that knocked out power to parts of downtown Manhattan. The blast happened during the Hurricane Sandy surge at approximately 9 p.m. on Monday night, casting a large swath of the island into darkness. We knew the explosion was a big one, but this video really conveys its frightening magnitude:

The power downtown is not expected to be restored for several more days, and by the looks of that explosion, you can sort of understand why. Still, the lack of electricity and, in some cases, running water, is a major problem for hundreds of thousands of people throughout Manhattan. (As of yesterday afternoon, Con Ed said 250,000 homes and businesses were without power.) Here's a closer look at the grim realities of life downtown these days.