TimeOutNY reports that it’s almost February, the streets are filled with slush and ice, and manholes are blowing up left and right.
…there have been 400 manhole fires in the city since Friday…
Indeed, the season of Exploding Manholes is once again upon us—NBC reports that as of yesterday evening, there have been 400 manhole fires in the city since Friday, thanks to the Saturday’s nearly record-making blizzard. The fires are leading to power outages, Manhattan had 170 (with reports from East Harlem to Morningside Park).
As a reminder, salt and melting snow lead to corroded electric wires, and when those wires get corroded, they can catch fire or unleash gas that eventually blows off a manhole cover. Power problems aside, people have been injured by flying manhole covers that can fly anywhere from 1 to 50 feet, can weigh up to 300 pounds, and the resulting smoke can release carbon monoxide into nearby homes. Avoid stepping on any and all manhole covers, especially any that say Con Ed, because they occasionally become electrified with stray voltage.
If you spot a smoking manhole, contact Con Ed or the FDNY or call 9-1-1 as soon as possible.
Editor’s note: As of this writing we do not have the exact count for Harlem as of this writing.