Early morning storm sends Middle Village and Maspeth into the dark

Photo via Flickr/Con Edison

Around 3,000 Con Edison customers in Middle Village and Maspeth lost power for a little over two hours Friday morning.

An early morning rain storm on Friday, Aug. 7, blacked out homes and businesses between 54th Avenue to the north, 62nd Road to the south, 85th Street to the east and 60th Street to the west from 5:04 a.m., until 7:30 a.m., when power was restored to some customers in the area, according to the company.

Power remains unrestored for a separate group of outages along Juniper Valley Road that began at 5:43 a.m., Con Edison said. Power will be restored for the area around 5 p.m. on Friday, according to the company.

The outages coincided with a blackout in Manhattan Friday morning that left 180,000 customers in the Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Harlem without power. The Manhattan outages were caused by an issue with one of Con Edison’s transmission systems after equipment was struck by lightning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.

The outages in Middle Village were unrelated to the Manhattan outages, according to Con Edison.

The early morning power shut down was also unrelated to the outages that resulted from New York City’s beating from Tropical Storm Isaias on Tuesday, according to the company. Tuesday’s storm caused the second most outages in the company’s history – only Hurricane Sandy caused more outages.

Friday’s outages cap a week of frustration for customers and politicians, who said the power failures were avoidable. Con Edision announced this week that full power restoration from Isaias won’t be complete until Sunday, Aug. 9.

“Outrageous that ConEd can’t restore power to thousands of New Yorkers before Sunday,” City Councilman Antonio Reynoso said on Twitter.

In response to the outages caused by the storms, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an investigation into power companies across the state, hoping to shed light on how prepared the companies were for a storm like Isaias.

“We know that severe weather is our new reality and the reckless disregard by utility companies to adequately plan for Tropical Storm Isaias left tens of thousands of customers in the dark, literally and figuratively. Their performance was unacceptable,” Cuomo said on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

De Blasio said on Friday that the city will be “holding Con Edison’s feet to the fire and offering them whatever help they need” to get power restored.

The outages have renewed calls to make power a public utility, taking it out of the hands of privately-owned companies like Con Edison.

“It’s long past due for New York to have public utilities,” Reynoso said. “I’m working on a resolution in the NYC Council to make ConEd a publicly owned power company.”

As of Friday afternoon, 29,088 Con Edison customers were without power in Queens.

This story was updated at 1:10 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.

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