Illustration for article titled An entire city block in Manhattan was electrified yesterday

An entire city block in Manhattan was electrified by stray voltage yesterday, charging up everything from the metal street grates to the doorknobs.


The event began when a stray volt of electricity met an early morning rain. That, combined with the lingering salt left on the streets from earlier snows, created the perfect storm for the conduction of electricity, which spread rapidly — and it sounds terrifying. From The New York Times:

The metal grates in the sidewalk on the east side of the street were electrified, as were many other metal objects in the area. "They were also picking up stray voltage on nearby doorknobs," said Bob McGee, a spokesman for the utility.


Pretty amazingly, there were no reports of injuries. Although the street was shut down and people were asked to stay inside their buildings until the electricity was able to be brought back down by late afternoon.

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