Con Edison, New York City, announced the restoration of electrical service to its Cortlandt network at 3:51 a.m. on September 19, returning service to all networks in lower Manhattan that lost power because of the recent terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. However, the company continues to urge customers whose power has been restored to minimize the use of electricity while work continues in the area.

The Cortlandt network, which serves approximately 1,800 customers, is bounded by Barclay Street to the north, Broadway to the east, West Street to the west, and down to the southern tip of Manhattan. The company also restored electric service to Battery Park City.

While all networks affected by the attack are now energized, some buildings may still be without power until the company can gain access to them to turn on electrical connections. For safety reasons, access to some areas where electric service has been restored may still be restricted. Therefore, customers should contact local authorities before attempting to return to these homes or businesses.

Looking back on the extraordinary restoration effort, more than 1,900 Con Edison workers labored around the clock to restore power in lower Manhattan, while thousands more worked behind the scenes. Workers laid more than 33 miles of high-voltage cable around the damage zone, on the streets, and in trenches dug to shield the wires. The company cut and isolated damaged electrical cables buried beneath debris-clogged streets. Transmission lines from the two substations that were destroyed by the collapse of a building in the World Trade Center complex were cut and isolated from the transmission system.

Temporary generators provided power to some buildings. In some cases, the generator cannot handle the entire building load so building personnel disconnected electrical service to some tenants. Con Edison advised customers not to attempt to hook up their own generator, but to call a licensed electrician.

The extensive destruction in the World Trade Center area also interrupted service to the majority of the telephone lines for callers to Con Edison. In the interim, the company asked customers with billing or customer-service inquiries to call back when phone service is fully restored to keep the lines free for callers trying to report emergencies.

Photo courtesy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, D.C.