Yesterday was the third day of the August heat wave, but the sprinkling of rain in the early evening and cooler weather today and the weekend should hopefully bring relief to us all. And it looks like Con Ed managed to avoid a bigger blackout when feeder cables on the East Side failed and manholes exploded in the area as well; of course, Con Ed sending its own non-essential employees home certainly freaked everyone out! Bigger institutions, from hospitals to universities and performing venues - even the Bronx Zoo - switched to generators for power in order to conserve energy. However, some areas, such as in the Bronx, have been without power for days. Mayor Bloomberg is asking us to continue to conserve energy.
And for some reason, Con Ed's idea of reimbursing customers for last month's Queens power outage is a $3-6 refund on their next bill ($3 for residents, $6 for business). City Councilman Eric Gioia had suggested three free months of electricity of residents, now it's clear even a free week of electricity would be unthinkable. Even the Public Service Commission, which oversees utilities, feels Con Ed has been "unresponsive and useless" over the Queens blackout. But the bigger problem might be this: NY1 says that Con Ed's spending on the electrical grid has gone down 45% since 1993.
The temperature was different all over the city - 96 degrees in Central Park, 100 at LaGuardia - but people were walking like zombies everywhere. And look at this photo of a thermometer on the field at Yankee Stadium- it's over the 120 degree mark!
Photograph of man and his best friend in Queens by Mary Altaffer/AP