Heat wave power outages and subway disruptions plague Queens, prompting public backlash against Con Ed

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Con Edison suffered its second widespread power outage on Sunday night in the course of a week. At the tail end of the heat wave rippling through the city this weekend, 19,000 residents were left without power citywide, including some in Far Rockaway, where the power outages caused subway disruptions. 

Nearly 1,400 customers in southeastern Queens reportedly experienced power outages Saturday evening. As a result of the outages, the MTA reported that A train and Rockaway Park shuttle service lost power Saturday evening, causing service to be disrupted until after 10 p.m.

The utility reportedly restored all power to Queens customers around 6:15 p.m., but the company’s concerns in the borough didn’t end there. 

It also issued a note to residents in Woodside and Sunnyside on Sunday urging them to conserve energy reducing the usage of non-essential electronic devices and appliances, such as clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and unneeded lighting.

At a Monday morning press conference in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, where the majority of the outages this weekend took place, Mayor de Blasio blasted the company’s refusal to provide a substantial explanation of what caused both of its latest debacles.

“I’m calling for a full investigation and further that we examine whether we need a new entity to handle this situation going forward. Because at this point I do not have faith in Con Ed,” he said.

He continued to vent his frustration, suggesting that a public agency would be more effective at providing energy to the city than the private company, which has been in service since 1823.

“I think we have to look at this from scratch now. They’re not doing their job and they’re not giving real answers. Is it now time to do something different,” de Blasio said.

Mayor de Blasio is not the only one considering alternatives to the energy provider. Councilman Costa Constantinides will join the New York City Democratic Socialists of America tonight to host a town hall on Con Edison’s current request to raise electricity and gas prices.

The forum, which will collect public testimony on the rate hike, will begin at 7 p.m. at P.S. 22 in Astoria.

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