Brooklyn Paper: Full articles: Thousands of Brooklynites remain powerless as ConEd works to restore service

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By Chandler Kidd

Brooklyn Paper

Nearly 12,000 Brooklynites remain without power Monday morning as a result of the weekend’s brutal heat wave.

Con Edison shut off power in parts of southern Brooklyn — including Canarsie, Marine Park, Mill Basin and parts of Flatbush — around 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, and the energy company is working to restore power more than 12 hours later.

“We are completely focused on getting customers back in service, and we regret the distress they are under,” read a company statement released Monday morning. “The actions we took were necessary to prevent longer outages to the impacted customers that would have occurred as a result of additional equipment damage. Customer service representatives are in southeast Brooklyn providing assistance as crews work to restore the remaining customers in that area, as well as other parts of our service area.”

According to ConEd’s outage map, 11,958 Brooklynites remain powerless as of 11:30 a.m. ConEd expects to fully restore power in the area by 7 p.m. Monday night.

ConEd had already restored power to 13,000 customers in the southeast Brooklyn neighborhoods by 5:25 a.m. Monday morning.

While each of the five boroughs were affected by the blackout, Brooklyn was hit the hardest according to Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who represents Sheepshead Bay and other areas who were affected by the blackout.

“Although my district was fortunate to be minimally impacted by power outages these past few days, Brooklyn as a whole was hardest hit,” he said. “New Yorkers deserve reliable electrical service, and quick restoration when there is unavoidable equipment failure… It is unacceptable that right now, more than 12 hours after the heat wave broke, there are still thousands without power.”

With temperatures exceeding 90 degrees — and reaching a city high of 94 degrees that felt like more than 100 — some city residents sought relief from the heat in their cars, with some choosing to sleep in their vehicles rather than inside their powerless homes.

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who represents areas where ConEd decided to shut off the power, blasted the energy company for their handling of the situation.

“Many residents, including seniors, have been put in an unsafe situation because the power company that they relied on failed. As a matter of public health and safety, it simply cannot be the norm that the grid malfunctions during the hottest months,” Gounardes said. “Con Edison has a responsibility to its customers to ensure no one has their electricity turned off for hours in extreme heat. This was not an unforeseeable circumstance. ConEd should have been more prepared and must restore power to the affected areas immediately. This cannot happen again.”

The outage affected traffic signals in southern Brooklyn as well, though Mayor Bill de Blasio said that most have been restored as of Monday morning.

“We’ve brought more than half of the traffic signals back online the Flatlands-Mill Basin-Canarsie area,” he said on Twitter early Monday. “NYPD has been bringing in additional personnel to support areas still without power to direct traffic.

ConEd announced that Customer Outreach advocates will be available to assist customers at Jacob Joffe Field at Avenue K and East 58th Street, near Ralph Avenue.

The energy company is asking customers in the affected communities to continue to conserve electricity even after their power is restored.

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status at www.conEd.com/reportoutage, on ConEd’s mobile app, or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When calling, customers should report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

Customers who report outages will receive updates with their estimated restoration times as they become available.

If your power has been out for more than 12 hours, you are eligible to file a claim online with ConEd for reimbursement.

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at ckidd@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at twitter.com/ChanAnnKidd.

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