Post-Storm Stray Voltage Found on Orchard Street
Stray voltage remains one of Con Edison’s biggest problems, yet it’s not often discussed in the public forum. Only when tragedy strikes. (The placement of the skull Halloween jug is apropos.)
The last time the hot-button issue came up was in February 2014 when a dog was electrocuted to death on Clinton Street. Objects on the street tend to “energize” after snowstorms when a deadly mixture of salt and water results. The euphemism is “contact voltage.”
The east side of Orchard Street, between Delancey and Rivington, is currently cordoned off for this very reason. A Con Edison worker onsite couldn’t confirm how long the area would be closed out, but did note that the danger is “minimal.”
The utility company still needs to do something about those danger signs, though.
When Con Edison addressed the issue before Community Board 3 a few years ago, one of the main criticisms was placement of signage. If they can’t fix the problem, it was argued, then at least create warnings that are more easily visible and legible (i.e. at eye level). While that wasn’t resolved, they did, however, take the lead on dispensing with the fine print and using alternative wording that’s more understandable – “Warning, possible electrical condition, do not enter.”