Power outages hit the borough during heat wave

By Sadef Ali Kully

An estimated 12 Queens neighborhoods have been affected by power outages and downed wires since the Monday evening heat wave according to the latest update on the Con Edison power outage map.

An estimated 143 homes lost power in Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Middle Village, St. Albans, Jamaica Hills, South Jamaica, Laurelton, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Woodhaven and Ozone Park, according to the map. which was updated Tuesday morning.

Power was expected to be restored between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., according to Con Edison.

Con Edison warned its customers to conserve energy Monday as the mercury climbed into the high 80s and reduced voltage by 8 percent in Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Kew Gardens, areas of East New York, Howard Beach and Broad Channel.

Staten Island felt the brunt of the heat advisory where almost 19,000 Con Edison customers were affected throughout 23 neighborhoods Monday.

Residents in these areas should not use appliances, such as washers, dryers, air conditioners and other energy-intensive equipment, and should turn off lights and televisions when not needed until repair problems are resolved, Con Edison said.

The warning came after the mayor’s office announced a major heat warning for all New Yorkers Monday morning.

“We’re hearing this from Con Ed as well – we have to be mindful in these very hot temperatures, energy usage goes up, which puts a strain on our electrical system. The last thing we want to see is any failures in our electrical system,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “So at the same time those people who do need to get to air conditioning should take advantage of it, for everyone there should also be mindfulness about not using any more energy than we have to. So if lights don’t need to be on, they shouldn’t be on.”

The city Emergency Management Department and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Monday cautioned hot weather could be dangerous to vulnerable populations. High heat and humidity were expected to continue Tuesday, with temperatures hitting the 90s.

EMS urged New Yorkers to take precautions to prevent serious illness that can result from the heat, especially among seniors and those with chronic health problems or mental health conditions.

New Yorkers who are vulnerable should use air conditioning to stay cool, go to a place that has air conditioning if it is not available at home, drink water at regular intervals, and limit strenuous activity, especially during the hottest parts of the day. New Yorkers are asked to check in on vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors to help them stay cool.

Cooling centers are air-conditioned facilities, such as libraries, community centers, and senior centers, that are open to the public during heat emergencies. To find the cooling center closest to you, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit NYC Emergency Management’s Cooling Center Finder at www.nyc.gov/oem.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.