Sunday, December 16, 2007


Signs of Winter : Salt and a Little Snow Give FDNY and the East Village Electrical Power Grid Hot Fits....

As an electrical fire in a manhole smoked a Mercedes like a ham with toxic smoke at the corner of 7thg street and avenue B , FDNY waited for a Con Edison emergency repair crew to arrive . About the only thing that FDNY could do at the scene was occasionaly hose down the fire when the flames periodically rose to the extent that they could possibly ignite the Mercedes ..
Con Edison could not give an estimated time of arrival for an emergency repair crew at the site because their emergency crews were all engaged in extinguishing numerous other manhole fires throughout Manhattan .
FDNY could not remove the grey Mercedes from over the smoking and flaming manhole because all FDNY rescue teams that could pull the car off the smoking and flaming manhole were already busy with other problems associated with all the other the numerous manhole fires .
Salt that is spread on the streets during snow and ice storms increases the conductivity of water from snow-melt . It also corrodes electrical connections resulting in unaccepably high resistivity of the connections which with current flow through these high resitance connections causes the connection to heat and melt and burn the wire's insulation producing much toxic smoke . The increased conductivity of the water in and around the wiring in the manhole causes an increase in the shorting of current to ground and to the wires of other phases in the manhole raising temperatures to a point that wire insulation softens and even melts .This softening and melting of the insulation allows metal wire and connectors to force their way through the insulation and to touch other connectors and wires causing shorts that melt and burn insulation producing much toxic smoke along with steam .
Ultimately the wire insulation is consumed and bare copper comes into contact with bare copper over a sufficiently large surface area and an even more intense shorting of current occurs producing in some cases a small explosion accompanied by a loud growling sound produced by a very large AC current flow ....for a very short period a current in excess of 100,000 amps .
As we were photographing this event a large NY Sanitation salt-spreader drove by spraying us with salt .... and covering the area adjacent to the fire with even more salt .

Bravo Bob! At some points there was a lot more smoke and the smell was overwhelming toxic, just like the Thanksgiving infrastructure break at 2nd St/2nd Avenue.

We have had infrastructure breaks galore and I brought up my concerns last year at the DOB city council task force combining the way too rapid development like St. Ann's tear down-NYU's supersizing and free passes to supersize with an old infrastructure. I followed up with letters to city council and Betsy Gotbaum. Ms. Gotbaum's staff member wrote me back and opened up a case to investigate my concerns re: infrastructure and the NYU mega dorm. I have been writing the press and the city about safety concerns and I have not heard back from the DEP commishner once.

Dan Doctoroff had someone email me back to assure me all was fine and that was before the horrific steam pipe blow up.

WE NEED A MAP OF ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE BREAKS from DEP, from the City Of New York so when can see how many there have been and we are there locations.

I called the press on Thanksgiving and couldn't get them down for the other man hole infrastructure break and Con Ed was there with emergency vehicles but today no Con Ed trucks because there were too many infrastructure problems elsewhere. I captured powerful video of smoke pouring out of the manhole.

That was at 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue (Thanksgiving) and here is NY1 footage of me standing next to a water main break just a few blocks up at 7th Street and 2nd Avenue.

What is it going to take to get the city to put our safety first before the developers?

We need the press to get DEP and the city to give the public the facts on what has been happening and that means Con Ed as well.
I handed in my letter "Destroying "old" New York" that was published in AM NY Jan 11, 2007 to Con Ed and asked Con Ed to ask the city to slow down -- the development was too rapid.

Remember Jodi Lane...How many people is it going to take to die or be injured to finally get the city to put our safety a head of this tsunami of development and city wide people kept asking the mayor to slow down. Well Dan Doctoroff made a quick exit and the tsunami of development is "a done deal". I emailed Doctoroff about my concerns and what would happen to the infrastructure after the mayor, he and Amanda Burden left office but it seems to be happening sooner.

Suzannah B. Troy
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