New York City Mayor de Blasio urges residents to reduce electric use during heat emergency

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Thursday, July 1, 2021
Mayor urges New Yorkers to reduce electric use during heat emergency
Scattered power outages were reported in several parts of New York City Wednesday amid another day of excessive heat, with Con Edison reducing voltage in parts of Queens.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday afternoon that the city was experiencing a heat emergency and "urgently, urgently" called for New Yorkers to cut down electric use.

"Our electric system is dealing with real strain right now because of the severity of heat we are experiencing today, after four days in a roll of intense heat," de Blasio said. "LaGuardia temp 98 degrees has set a record, we have a real challenge on our hands, immediately, immediately reduce the use of electricity in your home or business, this is very serious stuff, we need to assure our electric supply is protected and avoid any disruption."

Scattered power outages were reported in several parts of New York City Wednesday amid another day of excessive heat.

An outage left traffic lights dark and residents without air conditioning in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in the area underneath the BQE around Vandervoort Street.

Con Edison distributed dry ice to residents that were left in the dark Wednesday night.

Hundreds remain without power in Greenpoint, where power is expected to be restored between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday.

As for the rest of the five boroughs, there were 206 outages reported as of Wednesday night, and 2,223 customers without power, according to Con Ed.

Aerial video from NewsCopter 7 showed a power line on fire in Bushwick, which left nearly 400 customers in the dark.

NewsCopter 7 was over Bushwick, Brooklyn as a power line burned. More then 300 customers were without power.

According to Con Edison, peak demand for power was expected to reach 12,300 megawatts on Wednesday, exceeding last year's peak of more than 11,700 megawatts.

Con Edison reduced voltage by 8% to certain neighborhoods in Queens while crews worked to repair equipment. The utility was asking customers throughout New York City and Westchester County to conserve energy during the heat wave.

The voltage reduction covers an area bounded by the Grand Central Parkway on the north, Jamaica Bay on south, the Nassau County line on the east, and Queen Boulevard and the Van Wyck Expressway on the west.

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It includes the neighborhoods of Glen Oaks, Floral Park, Bellerose, Queens Village, Bellaire, Holliswood, Hollis, St. Albans, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, Jamaica, South Jamaica and Jamaica Hills.

The voltage reduction affects about 64,000 customers.

Con Edison has asked customers not to use energy-intensive appliances such as washers, dryers, and microwaves during the heat wave. The company also asks customers to limit unnecessary use of air conditioning. If you have two air conditioners, use only one and set it to the highest comfortable temperature.

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status at, or with our mobile app for iOS or Android devices, or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When calling, customers should report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

ALSO READ | Con Ed explains how they battle heat amid call for energy conservation in Manhattan

Watch Jeff Smith's video for an in-depth look at how the system works and what Con Edison has to do to keep the juice flowing, and what you can do to keep your bills down.   

Still, Con Ed representatives say overall they are prepared.

"We have a lot of redundancy built into the system," said Con Ed's Allan Drury. "So that if a cable fails, another cable picks up the load.... With heat and humidity this intense, that puts pressure on the electric delivery equipment. We can't compete with science, but we'll manage to restore those customers as quickly as possible. And we've done that so far."

There was no timeline when the lights - and air conditioning - would come back on.

De Blasio assured New Yorkers that things should return to normal on Thursday morning, but said people must take steps now to protect against any outages.


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