NYC blackout

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Con Ed: Relay System Failure Led To Massive Manhattan Blackout

July 15, 2019 - 6:10 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Con Edison on Monday said a relay protection system that should have isolated a faulty distribution cable but didn't led to the massive blackout in Manhattan this weekend.

The agency said a preliminary review of Saturday’s power outage showed the relay system at a West 65th Street substation “did not operate as designed.”

According to Con Ed, the system is supposed to detect electrical faults and direct circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults.

“The failure of the protective relay systems ultimately resulted in isolation of the fault at the West 49th Street transmission substation,” the agency said in a statement.

PHOTOS: NYC Blackout 2019

The massive power outage left thousands in the dark for nearly five hours along a 40-block stretch – which including some of Manhattan’s busiest areas such as Times Square and Broadway.

“From the moment the event began, we focused on restoring customers safely and quickly,” Con Ed said.

More than half of Con Edison’s customers has their power restored in under three hours.

Still, the event raised criticism of both the electrical agency and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was in Iowa for his presidential campaign at the time.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in an interview with WCBS 880, noted that “Con Ed does not have a franchise granted by God,” and that the city could replace its power supplier if problems persisted.

The outage came 42 years to the day since the blackout of 1977.