Tens of thousands of Queens residents still without power

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Image source: RunningTractor on Flickr

As we’re all witnessing, power is slowly being returned in clusters to New  York City. On Friday afternoon it was widely reported that 84,936 customers in Queens were without power but by Friday night, 29,000 more were restored in this borough.

Con Edison has given itself a little leeway, promising that the majority of these accounts are expected to be returned to normal by November 10 or 11 – this seems to firmly apply to customers served by underground wires. The more complicated repairs, on connections provided by overhead wires, may take even longer. Con Ed is building its manpower force, taking on professionals from other zones, and also asserts that before restoring power to a location, they want to be certain that such a move will not ignite a fire.

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In order to communicate the functioning status of its grid, Con Edison has set up a Storm Center app where you can access a map that shows where customers are without power, how many in that location are without, what the problem is and when power will be restored. You see brown triangles with red circles indicating how many different kinds of outages are in an area (burning wires, down wires, partial power, etc.) and zooming in further allows you to see approximately what those locations are and what the problem is for each. Blue triangles indicate 1-50 customers are without power, this is mostly the case in Queens.

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For example, zooming in on a section of Astoria, between Ditmars Boulevard and 24th Avenue, and between 31st and 27th Streets, near the Astoria-Ditmars Station on the N and Q lines, there are roughly 105 accounts without power. These are mostly due to “Wires Down” and “Area Outage,” which may or may not be related. As of now, all are estimated to be repaired by November 9 at 11:59 pm.

Governor Cuomo has taken a strong stance, reminding Con Edison that their license to operate is granted by the State of New York, and contingent upon the utility company’s performance. He stressed that most of the problems occurring – obviously lack of power, but also rationing of gas, communications, closed schools – hinge on the restoration of power.

Queensians are finding ways to adapt – staying with friends, renting hotel rooms, and using community work-stations. The loss of power has also motivated many to get out and volunteer, choosing to be active an helpful rather than sitting around in the cold.