Generators running after power outage at Queens apartment complex

WOODSIDE, Queens (WABC) -- Generators are running after a power outage left thousands in the dark at an apartment complex in Queens.

The lights were back on early Wednesday morning after power was knocked out to seven giant apartment buildings at the Big Six Towers on 60-10 47th Avenue in Woodside.

"It just, like, clicked, and it just went off at 5:17," tenant Janet Kregler said.

Five hours later, even the emergency lighting that relies on battery power was slowly fading to black at the Mitchell-Lama co-op complex.

"My kids they don't have their dinner," tenant Kazi Hussain said. "They can't do their homework, of course."

The complex is unique for its independent and self-sufficient power plant, which takes it off the Con Ed grid.

"I've been here 20 years, we've never had a power blackout last more than two, three hours," tenant Barb Daly said.

Tuesday night, city workers carted in portable light towers for the outside. Firefighters had to cut people out of three stuck elevators.

The MTA sent a bus to provide heat to people who wanted to climb down to experience it. But it was up to the co-op's management to fix the power to more than 1,000 apartments.

"I mean, it's scary," Kregler said. "Not just us, the older people, we're worried about them."

Everybody else trudged up flights of stairs to dark, cold apartments with no working plumbing.

The city is blaming a malfunctioning switchboard for the outage.

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