A friend witnessed the explosion of the 14th street substation. I believe these transformers, about 1 city block in extent, delivered power to most of lower Manhattan. I am guessing the flood water obstructed cooling, and they overheated and exploded spectacularly.
(there is a 4 stack natural gas generating station next door to where the explosion happened, so -maybe- the explosion was not the transformer, but most reports say transformer)
My friend reported: 'The power flickered, then came back on'. Some unknown time later the power went out.
So the question is, could power in the grid fed by these transformers stay on for a while after the explosion, and for how long?