Earlier today QNS reported that thousands of Rochdale Village residents were left without electricity throughout their 20-building housing complex from about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
The south Queens apartment complex was filled with police officers, firefighters and Rochdale Village management who succeeded in restoring power to the area about three hours later.
“There was an accidental trip or electrical shortage, which caused the turbines to go down,” said Chief John Skinner, director of public safety at the Rochdale Village Public Safety Department. “They went right back up immediately but we can’t turn the power back on because we have stuck elevators, gas lines and the lights, so everything has to be cleared before we can turn the power back on … The longest wait is getting the okay from the Fire Department to turn the power back on.”
Skinner said that the power was restored at about noon with no casualties or injuries reported, which the Fire Department confirmed. Wellness checks were also conducted in each apartment to ensure that all elderly residents were safe.
Nonetheless, some residents unable to walk the stairs found themselves stranded outside of their apartments after the power outage disrupted their elevator service. Furthermore, the elevators trapped an unknown number of passengers. Community members said that similar blackouts struck the neighborhood earlier this year and last year as well.
One elderly resident, who chose to remain anonymous, told QNS that she was waiting outside for two hours. “I can’t get upstairs, that’s what happened,” she said. “What can you do? This is the third time in two years … about six months ago we had the same thing but it was late afternoon.”
Another resident was inconveniently running late for work as a result of the blackout.
“They wouldn’t even let us drive down the block because they said the parking lots were closed, so I had to park way around the block and I have to go to work,” resident Katrice Arthurton explained. “I had to walk up nine flights of steps to get to my house … I had to go grab my clothes and now go to my family’s house to get dressed.”