Thousands still waiting for power in NYC amid high heat

Thousands of people in New York City were still without power Monday after being disconnected a day earlier to prevent a larger blackout amid high heat and humidity.


People sit in row boats on a lake at Central Park in New York, U.S., on Saturday, July 20, 2019. (Photo: VCG)

Con Edison restored power to around 13,000 people in southeast Brooklyn, according to a statement released overnight. Roughly 53,000 customers were without power late Sunday night, but that number had dropped to around 20,000 by early Monday. The utility said in an emailed statement that it was working to restore power to everyone by the afternoon.

The scattered outages primarily affected Brooklyn and Queens. Mayor Bill De Blasio said that New York City emergency management was adding personnel on the ground in southeast Brooklyn, including at nursing homes and adult care facilities, to respond to emergencies and keep people safe.

Around 30,000 customers in Brooklyn were taken off power Sunday so the utility could make repairs and prevent a bigger outage, de Blasio had said.

Like much of the East Coast, New York City experienced temperatures in the high 90s over the weekend — and felt much hotter with the humidity. Temperatures were starting to fall but the low remained in the high 70s, and city emergency management officials warned of thunderstorms. The department predicted the strain on the power grid would go down overnight, hastening restorations.

"It's still hot and people have a right to be frustrated. We're pushing Con Ed to get power back as fast as possible," De Blasio tweeted.

One of two senior facilities affected by the outage had its power back, and generators were being sent to the other, de Blasio tweeted after midnight. Meanwhile, air-conditioned buses were outside the facilities.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he deployed 200 state troopers, 100 generators and 50 light towers to Brooklyn, as well as personnel and command vehicles from the state Office of Emergency management. He urged New Yorkers to check on neighbors, especially the elderly.

"We have been through this situation with Con Ed time and again, and they should have been better prepared — period," Cuomo said in a statement. "This was not a natural disaster; there is no excuse for what has happened in Brooklyn."

Early Monday, the utility's online outage map showed that just under 20,000 people still did not have power. In an emailed statement, Con Edison put the number at just over 20,000.

Cuomo also said he directed the state Department of Public Service to widen its investigation into last week's blackout in Manhattan to include Sunday's outages in Brooklyn. Equipment failure, not heat, caused the roughly five-hour blackout July 13 that affected a 40-block stretch of Manhattan, including Times Square and Rockefeller Center.