Queens council member speaks out against repeated power outages in Middle Village, calls on Con Edison for solutions

Council member Robert F. Holden and Con Ed employees
Photo courtesy of the office of Robert F. Holden

A local Queens Council member is seeking answers from Con Edison in the wake of repeated power outages in Middle Village.

Council member Robert F. Holden, representing District 30, said the utility company needs to improve its service, noting how approximately 2,318 customers in Middle Village were without power on Jan. 26 from 6-8 a.m.

Daniel Kurzyna, a staff member from Holden’s office, says that this is the fifth power outage in the same area in less than a year.

“There was no extreme weather this morning, just a bit of rain so it’s just ridiculous that we’re getting power outages here just because it rained. We have reached out to Con Edison about the issue because we demand answers,” he said. 

The area that is continuing to get hit with these power outages is bound by the Long Island Expressway to the north, Metropolitan Avenue in the south, Dry Harbor Road in the east and 76th Street in the west, also known as the Juniper Valley Loop. 

Kurzyna added that the reasons Con Edison have given for past power outages were due to wind and a squirrel, which he says is not good enough.

Holden is calling on Con Edison to put the electric wires underground in the area as a solution to this constant problem.

“The repeated power outages plaguing over 2,000 households in Middle Village, particularly in the Juniper Valley Loop, are unacceptable, especially as this occurs almost once a month,” Holden said. “Given the high rates we pay to Con Edison, we must see substantial infrastructure improvements, including burying the wires underground; I demand decisive action from Con Edison to address this once and for all.”

The cause of the power outage Friday morning is still unknown.

The utility company said that it is working on rectifying the issue and understands Holden’s frustration.

“Con Edison agrees with the Council Member. That’s why we are working on phase two of our undergrounding project to improve reliability for residents in Middle Village,” a spokeswoman for Con Edison said.  “We are installing new circuits, and undergrounding cables that are more resilient to weather conditions. Phase two of this project is scheduled to be completed in the spring.”