Exploding electrical wires sparking fires in NYC

I'm monitoring the FDNY scanner frequency tonight, and one of the issues the first responders are having the hardest time with is illustrated in this video. Power lines downed from the Sandy storm sparking electrical fires, endangering people in the water and structures nearby. FDNY is having great difficulty responding to many of these incidents, due to flooding. (Tina Amini)


  1. Perhaps they will decide to cut the power as a precautionary measure. Folks who manage the power utility in hurricane areas do this sometimes, right? 

    1. They’ve been doing that section by section as needed. Manhattan below 40th is essentially without power right now. 

  2. If there’s a mandatory evacuation I believe they do.  Not 100% sure on this since when there is one we get the hell outta dodge, so to speak.  The problem is, with this storm having such a massive reach it probably wouldn’t be effective to turn off power everywhere it will affect due to people, businesses, hospitals and government facilities needing power during such an event, and you can’t tell so many people to go out and buy generators.

    Edit: Also, while I don’t wish a hurricane on anyone, maybe, just maybe, this will give some people up north some perspective of what happens down here in the south during a hurricane. Not to make Sandy sound weak, but excluding the massive sotrm surges and wave heights, the rest of the storm is pretty much what we get out of our normal thunderstorms down here with the wind gusts of 60+ mph. However, as was mentioned in other places, the biggest threat from these storms is the storm surge mixed in with massive amounts of rain lasting days, the winds are just an added bonus -_-

    1. I wonder if you’ve heard of nor’easter? They happen regularly up here, usually have faster wind speeds than hurricanes and routinely cause floods and washouts. I grew up in a small coast town in NY, and given the number of buildings I’ve seen float away, massive chunks of land eroded out, roads gone, fisherman dead, maritime rescue folks gone missing, and the weeks at a time spent without power or water I’m fairly certain we know what harsh weather is all about. And that’s before you add in any of the hurricanes we some what regularly get (particularly late season ones like Sandy), and the increasingly common tornadoes from our “regular” storms. Just because the more damaging hurricanes and tropical storms have missed us for the last 20 years or so doesn’t mean dangerous weather is alien to us. My childhood memories of fall and winter resemble something out of an 18th century nautical novel. Pissing rain, gale force winds and “oh i guess that road doesn’t exist anymore”.

  3. That’s some scary shiz.  How crazy is the guy taking that footage to be standing out there on wet ground in the rain yards away from exploding transformers and falling live wire.  Unless he was in a car.  Hard to tell.  I’d be hightailing it the other way.

  4. Why are there above ground powerlines in NYC? I get it that in a less densely populated area, like Alaska, it may be less economical to put them underground…

    Hopefully those tunnels (and rivers) will be equipped with floodgates in the aftermath of this disaster. (Captain Hindsight to the rescue)

    1. There isn’t necessarily any “ground”. With subways and sewers and basements, there’s already quite a bit going on down there.

  5. And the Europeans ask: Why are powerlines still on poles in the US? Why are we so cheap that we don’t bury our lines, even in major cities? 

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