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Power outages affect hundreds, but do not blame today’s snow • Brooklyn Paper

Power outages affect hundreds, but do not blame today’s snow

From the depths: Smoke rises from a manhole on Prospect Park West on Monday.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Road salt continues to wreak subterranean havoc in Brooklyn, causing power outages throughout the borough today.

An estimated six inches of snow fell during the day, snarling road and subway traffic and sending some workers home early, but the last two days of above-freezing weather are to blame for the outages, as melting snow laced with salt corroded wires and left 625 people without power, according to Con Edison.

“When it rains or when the snow starts to melt all the salt on the roads moves through the system faster,” said Sydney Alvarez, a spokesman for the utility giant.

Two power outages in Marine Park left 123 customers without electricity on Thursday afternoon, but 100 of those had been fixed by 5:30 pm. Another cluster of outages popped up in Park Slope, Boerum Hill, and Prospect Heights, leaving nearly 200 residents without power. Con Edison estimates that workers will restore service by 7 am tomorrow, and as early as 11 pm in some places.

Utility workers blamed salt-affected wires for the recent rash of manhole fires citywide, including one that left an elderly man hospitalized when an explosion sent a manhole cover flying into his head.

The de-icing agent will remain a problem until spring, which seems ever more distant by the day, arrives.

“Ever since the big storm that never happened we’ve had heavy salt accumulation in the area,” Alvarez said. “And until that salt gets flushed out by the first rainfalls, it will remain very active.”

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz

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