UPDATE 1-ConEd sees power back for most NY customers by Nov. 11

Nov 1 (Reuters) - New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc said Thursday the vast majority of its New York City and Westchester County, New York, customers will have power back by the weekend of Nov. 10-11, following the destruction by Hurricane Sandy.

The company said it expects to restore power in lower- and mid- Manhattan by Saturday, Nov. 3.

Earlier, the company had been saying power would be restored to lower Manhattan by Friday or Saturday and it would take at least a week to restore power to areas with overhead lines like Westchester.

Con Edison said in a release its latest estimate was based on a recent assessment of the damage caused by Sandy.

About 900,000 Con Edison customers lost power due to the superstorm that walloped the area, making Sandy the worst storm in the company's history, Con Edison said.

The company said its crews have restored power to about 250,000 customers who were affected by the storm. As of 11 a.m. EDT, the company was working to restore power to about 650,000 customers still out of service.

Con Edison said crews working on the underground electric system in Manhattan have pumped massive amounts of water out of the facilities and must clean and dry all of the equipment of seawater before it can be safely put back into service.

In areas served by overhead power lines, crews had to contend with more than 100,000 downed wires, as well as blocked roads and flooding, the company said.

To help restore power, Con Edison said it has lined up more than 1,600 external contractors and mutual aid workers from as far away as California.