NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Con Ed is taking steps to protect itself from major storms as the next hurricane season approaches.
The utility is planning to invest $1 billion on storm protection over the next four years in New York City and Westchester County to help reduce the number and duration of outages.
Con Ed has already put $12.5 million in improvements at a critical substation on the Lower East Side that blew during Superstorm Sandy, plunging downtown Manhattan into darkness for days, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“We’ve put cement walls in around the substations and power plants and we’ve put in a number of underground switches so that we can disconnect some parts of their service areas so that we can keep other parts energized,” said Con Edison Chairman and CEO Kevin Burke.
The improvements represent about 10 percent of the work that needs to be done throughout the entire network, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported.
“We have a lot more work to do,” Burke said.
Superstorm Sandy caused more than one million power outages.
“Sandy caused incredible damage to our energy delivery systems, disrupting the lives of millions of New Yorkers,” Burke said in a statement. “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.”
Some of the steps Con Ed is planning on taking include burying 30 miles of overhead wires and redesigning two underground electrical networks in lower Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.
The utility is also planning to invest $1.2 billion this year to upgrade its system in an effort to meet increased power demands during hot summer months.
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