Voltage dip reported across New York City

N.J. Burkett reports from midtown with the possible cause.
Did you notice your lights flickering a bit Wednesday morning? If so, you're not alone.

Con Edison experienced a city-wide voltage dip at 9:30 a.m., which lasted about a second.

No matter where you were or what you were doing, if you were in New York City, daily life hit a speed bump right at that time.

"The lights blinked off and then went back on," one man said.

The power grid dipped, then surged back to life, the result of a transformer failure on the Lower East Side in one of Con Edison's largest power plants.

Failsafe systems kicked in and re-routed power around the crippled equipment, preventing a chain-reaction blackout like the one that knocked out electricity for two days back in 2003.

"The electricity simply reroutes itself to other power lines, and so that's why people see a dip. They see a blink or a dimming of the lights momentarily, very quickly and that's what they saw," said Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin.

The biggest impact was in the city's subway system. Although the station platform lights stayed on, along with the air conditioner and lights inside the trains, the entire signal system had to re-boot.

And some trains were forced to wait several minutes before they could begin moving again.

Officials insist the weather was likely not the cause, and that this could have happened at any time of the year.

They say these occurrences are rare but not unheard of, and that most times, the fail safe systems kick in before anyone notices.

Con Ed said the voltage dip on a transmission line was "less than momentary, blink of an eye", and seen across the system.
Related Topics:
home power outage subway con ed New York City
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