UPDATE 1-More than 786,000 Con Ed customers still without power

Oct 31 (Reuters) - New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc said Wednesday about 786,000 homes and businesses in New York City and Westchester County were still without power due to the devastation wrought by the massive storm, Sandy.

Con Edison said in a release its crews had restored service to about 109,000 customers by 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) Wednesday.

That is less than the estimated 140,000 customers the company said it restored on Tuesday. Officials at Con Edison were not immediately available to explain the difference.

For Wednesday, Con Edison said those customers still out include about 237,000 customers in Manhattan, 115,000 in Staten Island, 109,000 in Queens, 108,000 in Brooklyn, 40,000 in the Bronx, and 176,000 in Westchester County.

Customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn who are served by underground electric equipment should have power back within three days.

Restoration to all customers in other areas served by overhead power lines will take at least a week.

Tuesday night, Con Edison said it cut power to about 160,000 customers in southern Brooklyn and central Staten Island due to Sandy-related problems on high-voltage systems supplying electricity to those areas.

The company also said it reduced the voltage in several neighborhoods in Brooklyn by 8 percent Tuesday night as workers fixed problems there.

On Wednesday, the company said Sandy knocked down more than 100,000 electric wires. Some roads were blocked by trees or flooding, slowing those working to restore power in areas served by overhead wires like Westchester.

For areas served by underground wires like Manhattan, Con Edison said workers must clean and dry equipment of seawater before it can be safely placed back in service.

Con Edison said it has secured assistance from 1,400 external contractors and mutual aid workers from utilities as far west as California to help with the restoration efforts.