Wednesday 21 August 2019

Thousands of New Yorkers without power amid heat wave

Thousands in New York City left without power amid heat wave
(Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
Thousands in New York City left without power amid heat wave (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Thousands of people across New York City went without power overnight as the Big Apple deals with high heat and humidity.

Energy firm Con Edison restored power to around 13,000 people in south-east Brooklyn, but 40,000 people in the city are still without electricity.

Around 20,000 of those were customers in Brooklyn whose power was cut off to allow for repairs and prevent a bigger outage, according to mayor Bill de Blasio.

The scattered outages primarily affected Brooklyn and Queens.

Mr de Blasio said New York City's emergency management was adding personnel on the ground across that part of Brooklyn, including at nursing homes and adult care facilities, to respond to emergencies and keep people safe.

The Democratic mayor had tweeted that Con Ed would start bringing those "customers back 500 at a time around midnight".

One of two facilities for the elderly affected by the outage had its power restored, and generators were being sent to the other, Mr de Blasio tweeted.

Governor 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 their neighbours, especially the elderly.

Mr Cuomo said: "We have been through this situation with Con Ed time and again, and they should have been better prepared - period.

"This was not a natural disaster; there is no excuse for what has happened in Brooklyn."

Mr 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 on July 13 that affected a 40-block stretch of Manhattan, including Times Square and the Rockefeller Centre.

Mr de Blasio tweeted that additional light towers were being installed, including at two L train stations, while the Red Cross opened a temporary shelter at Marine Park.

While the weekend's heatwave which saw temperatures climb above 30C has cooled somewhat, city emergency management officials have 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," Mr de Blasio tweeted.

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