Thursday, July 19, 2007

Explosions and Con Ed Suckage

So, as many have no doubt heard, a steam pipe exploded near Grand Central yesterday evening. I work a couple blocks up from Grand Central but happily was already downtown by the time it happened. My rather less fortunate boss had to evacuate our building, walking down quite a few flights of stairs. The only real effect it's had on me was that my morning commute--I normally take the 6 to Grand Central--was fucked up, with the train taking forever to come and a bit more walking then usual. So I was late to work, but that's not the sort of thing you're going to get in trouble for given the circumstances.

The sidewalk is (mostly) open in the area around my building but Lexington is closed to traffic and they've dug into the road in various places, I assume to work on the other pipes. And just south of me the sidewalks are (mostly) closed as well and they don't want people going into the area. My grandmother works in that area and her office was closed today and is closed tomorrow. Anyway, they claim that there is asbestos in the debris but not the air, and the heat and humidity will prevent it from becoming airborne. I'm not particularly concerned. I do find it interesting though, that they have nevertheless outfitted the many police officers on the scene with these lovely pink masks. Of course most of them aren't actually wearing the masks, just carrying them around.

As usual, when the unusual happens, the incompetent Con Ed appears totally unprepared for it. We got an email in the earlier part of the day saying that due to the heat and the explosion the building would have to go into energy saving mode to help prevent blackouts. I was actually rather glad that this meant turning the airconditioning down because the office has been frigid the last couple days. Less happy though that it meant shutting down half the elevators. Our elevators are a constantly discussed pain in the ass to begin with. Around lunchtime or 5 o'clock you're frequently stuck waiting for 10 minutes for one to come and then when it does come it's completely full and you have to wait for the next one. So losing half of them really sucks. I ended up with a very short lunch. Fucking Con Ed.

No comments: