NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Con Edison says more than 1,000 gallons of nonhazardous oil leaked from underground transmission cables into New Rochelle Harbor on Saturday.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reports, it looked like water was gurgling up from a manhole, but it wasn’t.READ MORE: NYPD: 2 Gunman Wanted After 10 Shot Outside Queens Laundromat
The New Rochelle fire chief says it’s actually oil, streaming down the street and around the corner into Wright Island Marina, spilling into New Rochelle Harbor, which empties into the Long Island Sound.
“This is a catastrophe over here. I just got off my boat from fishing, I fish these waters every day, and now you see this. It’s honestly crazy,” fisherman Mike Coccherst said.
“I feel sorry for the people at Wright Island Marina because all that oil is under their boats. All that oil has to be cleaned up,” New Rochelle resident Judith Cassara said.
The water earlier Saturday was speckled with what Con Edison says is dielectric fluid.
Well over 1,200 gallons of the fluid started leaking Saturday morning until 5:30 p.m. A spokesperson says it coats transmission cables to keep them cool, describing it like a mineral oil and nonhazardous.READ MORE: COVID In New York: Mask Mandates Not Being Re-Imposed Just Yet As Concern Grows Over Delta Variant
“Right now, the only danger is slippage, things of that nature. We’re told it’s that dielectric oil, not PCBs, anything like that,” New Rochelle Fire Chief Andrew Sandor said.
The fire department hazmat unit responded along with Con Edison and the Coast Guard. They put out yellow booms on the water to try to contain the fluid.
Despite Con Edison’s assurances, residents are still concerned about what this means for the Long Island Sound.
“People talking, how much of this is going into the Sound, what’s the effect going to be on the wildlife, on the fish,” New Rochelle resident Barbara Barletta said. “Really sad. I mean, you can smell it.”
One boater who was on the Sound told CBS2 she didn’t notice any oil outside of the harbor, so hopefully that’s a good sign.MORE NEWS: NYPD: 3 Shot In Washington Heights, No Arrests
The Coast Guard says a water main break caused the massive spill. Con Edison says it ‘s responsible for the cleanup.