Con Ed to install water-proof transformers in Lower Manhattan

View of Lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry as New York recovers from Hurricane Sandy on November 4, 2012 in New York, New York.     AFP PHOTO / Mehdi Taamallah        (Photo credit should read MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images)
View of Lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry as New York recovers from Hurricane Sandy. (MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images)

Con Edison is getting set to Sandy-proof Lower Manhattan.

Over a four-year span, the power company will install 158 water-proof transformers capable of withstanding storm surges without short-circuiting, DNAinfo reports.

David Gmach, Con Ed’s director of public affairs, announced the new initiative at a recent meeting of Community Board 1, which encompasses the downtown neighborhoods that were worst-hit by surging floodwaters at the end of October, when Hurricane Sandy knocked out the power and darkened the skyline for days.

The project, which is just one part of a much larger, billion-dollar plan to storm-proof Con Edison’s equipment, will require the old transformers to be unearthed from streets and sidewalks with jack-hammers. Construction is slated to begin before the end of 2013.

“Sandy caused incredible damage to our energy delivery systems, disrupting the lives of millions of New Yorkers,” Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke said in a statement on Tuesday. “While we recognize that these weather events represent a ‘new normal,’ our goal through our investments is to lessen the hardships that violent weather causes for our customers.”


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