Locked out Con Edison workers have been picketing in Manhattan all day, warning that the company was "playing games with people's lives." And now, NYC is finally feeling the first effects of that: Con Ed announced it had reduced the power voltage around most of Brooklyn last night and this afternoon. "This is what we have been saying all along, that the company would run into these problems when the weather heats up. They needed to reduce voltage because they could not keep the system up," John Melia, a union spokesman, told Reuters.

"This is an extremely dangerous situation for the people of New York," Melia added, noting that replacement workers were getting hurt every day due to a lack of experience. In a statement, the company said it reduced power by 5 percent as a precaution to protect the system and maintain service as crews fix equipment problems. The areas affected by the brownout include:

  • Crown Heights, East Flatbush, East New York, Ocean Hill, Brownsville, Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and Greenpoint were browned out late last night. Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Prospect Heights, Canarsie, Flatlands, Mill Basin, Old Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Georgetown, Coney Island, Seagate, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Sheepshead Bay were hit today.

Con Ed reiterated that the brownout was just a precaution, and not an indication that they were having problems running the system without 8,500 union workers. They added that they were in the midst of replacing equipment, and customers in the affected areas do not need to take any special measures at this time.

Oh, and there won't be any let up to this heat in the next few days: we're gonna be in the mid-90s tomorrow, and somewhere around 99/100 on Saturday!