In a news conference this morning, Mayor Mike Bloomberg reported that Con Edison is considering proactively shutting off electrical service to low-lying areas of the city, including downtown Manhattan, to avoid more serious damage from flooding. Also, elevators at public housing complexes in the mandatory evacuation zone will be deactivated this afternoon.
From the NYT’s City Room blog:
“You can plan on the possibility of no power downtown,” Mr. Bloomberg said, saying damage to the power lines from salt water could be “substantial.”
A spokesman for Con Ed, Alfonso Quiroz, said the shutdown could allow workers to restore electrical power more quickly once the storm had passed.
Public-housing buildings will turn off their elevators to ensure that residents are not stranded in the event of a power shutdown. The mayor urged residents in areas scheduled for evacuation to leave their homes immediately, and he said businesses in those neighborhoods should close up shop and turn off propane tanks and active gas lines.