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Neighborhoods Experience Power Outages Across NYC

Rain from Hurricane Barry hit the city on Wednesday night (and this morning!), but we're also in the middle of a heat wave and while there weren't power outages on the scale of the West Side Blackout, thousands of New Yorkers across the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens were hit with smaller blackouts.

Nearly 4,000 customers (which could mean a house with a family; an apartment; or a business) in New Dorp, Staten Island, were without power on Wednesday night. The issue was an "equipment failure," according to Council Member Steven Matteo (who had dealt with another part of his district being struck by outages on Tuesday).

The neighborhood had a smaller outage earlier on Wednesday that affected about 400 customers, and then Stapleton had an "equipment failure" resulting in 500+ customers without power.

Elsewhere, outages were caused by manhole fires. Why so many? A Con Edison spokesperson previously told Gothamist, "We tend to have manhole events during the summer, when there's a lot of A.C. usage. Even more so during the winter, when melting snow and ice and road salt gets into the underground delivery system. That can get in the wiring … and cause smoking, and sometimes smoking manholes are manhole fires."

And higher A.C. usage is on deck for the weekend; on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "If you don't need to go somewhere, don't go somewhere," the mayor said. "It's kind of like we say in blizzards. This is now the heat equivalent of a blizzard, if we're going up above a hundred degrees. Don't go out if you don't need to go out. It's not business as usual."

Here's where issues struck:

• In East Elmhurst, Queens, a "transformer fire lead to a manhole fire" and explosions on Wednesday night around 9 p.m.

• There were also manhole fires in Maspeth, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, that led to high carbon monoxide levels and evacuations.

WABC 7 explained, "The localized power outages due to the fires were all caused by the rain or overheating wires below the ground. That is something we can expect to see more of as the temperatures continue to soar over the weekend."

• A Wednesday afternoon manhole fire left some customers in Borough Park without power:

• Flushing was also hit by outages after the storm:

• A feeder cable issue led to outages in the Bronx's Soundview section:

• On Thursday morning just after 4 a.m., a smoking manhole was reported at Central Park West and 106th Street. West Side Rag reports, "lights are out at 465 Central Park West and Con Ed crews are on the scene."

"The cause of manhole events is always a failure of equipment on the underground electric delivery system — often a burnt-out cable," Con Ed spokesperson Allan Drury told Metro a few years ago.

Saturday's blackout, that stretched from 30th Street to 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River in Manhattan, was caused by a 13,000 volt feeder cable that blew up in an Upper West Side manhole... and the relay protection system didn't work, so it basically killed the West Side substation.

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