The scene following a steam pipe explosion in the Flatiron district.

Juliet Papa/1010 WINS

NYC Barricades Explosion Area From Nor’easter To Prevent Spread Of Asbestos

July 21, 2018 - 5:05 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City is preparing to barricade the site of a Manhattan steam pipe explosion against heavy rain that could complicate the cleanup of asbestos-laced debris.

Con Edison said the company will be surrounding the area with sandbags as the city prepares for a rare summer nor’easter, which will most likely cause street flooding throughout the boroughs.

The company said it will be working through the weekend to clean up the streets and buildings near Fifth Avenue and 21st Street, where the steam pipe ruptured Friday, and released debris contaminated with asbestos.

Hundreds of residents in the Flatiron District were shut out of their homes and businesses, but streets closest to the site have gradually been reopened.

It could still take days to check and clean the buildings, which include 28 in a “hot zone” closest to the site.

Con Edison uses the network of steam pipes to power heating and cooling systems in thousands of Manhattan buildings.