NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Con Edison is asking large customers in Midtown Manhattan to reduce power as crews work to repair electrical cables in the area.
The utility says the problems are due to road salt, melting snow and ice getting into the underground electrical system. Con Ed spokesman Bob McGee said the salt can create manhole fires and burn out cables.
"We frequently see this problem after a major snowstorm where there has been a lot of salt deposited on the street and then incipient rain and everything else washes it into the manholes and then occasionally we have some problems," McGee told 1010 WINS.
The affected area is West 39th Street to West 52nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, which includes parts of Times Square and the Theater District -- and approximately 3,500 customers.
The utility is looking for customers to reduce power to help take pressure off the remaining cables as crews work to repair ones that are damaged.
Wednesday night, Con Ed asked about 7,000 customers in parts of Harlem to refrain from using non-essential electrical appliances after road salt caused similar problems to cables there.
"We've had some feeder cables burn out in both those areas and we've got crews out there," McGee said. "In the interim, we've asked customers in both those areas, in Harlem and the Times Square area, to conserve energy as much as possible."
For more information, visit www.coned.com.
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