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Officials: Power In Manhattan Will Return Friday Or Saturday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Power was coming back Wednesday afternoon to some areas toward the southernmost tip Lower Manhattan, but most residents and businesses below Midtown remained in the dark.

Officials have said the hope is that power will be restored by Friday or Saturday, CBS 2 reported Wednesday afternoon.

Power went out for virtually all customers south of 39th Street during height of Superstorm Sandy Monday night, following an explosion at a power station at 14th Street and Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive.

The affected areas include some of the most expensive and fashionable sections of Manhattan, from the Financial District north to Chelsea and Gramercy Park.

Web Extra: Complete Outage Guide

In total, 3.5 million power customers in the New York metro area lost power during Superstorm Sandy. While the 323,000 customers who lost power in Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn, should see power within a few days, for the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island it could take a week.

"There's lots of equipment that got hit by saltwater that's got to be cleaned up, cleaned out," Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert said.

The utility was also forced to cut power to about 160,000 additional customers in Brooklyn and Staten Island Tuesday night because of problems with high-voltage systems.

Faced with the prospect of days without power and swaths of the city plunged into darkness at night, police brought in banks of lights and boosted patrols to reassure victims of a monster storm that they won't be victims of crime.

Bloomberg promised "a very heavy police presence" in the darkened neighborhoods, which include much of Manhattan south of the Empire State Building from the East River to the Hudson River.

To assist those without power, Con Ed began distributing ice Wednesday afternoon.

Wet ice was available at Union Square East and 17th Street in Union Square Park in Manhattan, while dry ice was available at the Walgreens at 532 Neptune Ave. in Conley Island, Brooklyn; at the entrance to the Hutchinson Metro Center at 1200 Waters Pl. in the Bronx, at 121-10 Rocakway Blvd. in South Ozone Park, Queens, at the entrance to Great Kills Park on Buffalo Street in Staten Island, and at the Yonkers Raceway, 810 Yonkers Ave. in Yonkers.

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