The winter months put an extra strain on New York City’s already outdated infrastructure. The mixture of melting snow and de-icing salt can seep through the city streets onto a maze of already fraying electricity cables. This dangerous combination can trigger fires, smoke and explosions that can send manhole covers flying.
Every year it is estimated that New York has 2,100 manhole incidents, nearly 6 every day. Earlier this month a smoking manhole cover in Brooklyn exploded, almost injuring a worker.
In 2014, Con Ed invested $1.3 billion in modernizing its electrical systems, but this only touched a fraction of the tens of thousands of miles of cables that run in the city.