Who likes dinner cooked on a hot plate? That's what residents of the George Washington houses are going to be eating for the next two months, as crews working on the 2nd Avenue subway mistakenly shut off the gas instead of water. MTA Chairman Jay Walder apologized, telling NY1, This is a mistake of a contractor, and the impact of that is the burden falls on over 100 people who are affected by that and lose their service." But wait, it's going to take two months to get the gas back?
Now that's it's been shut off, folks at the George Washington houses say it could take that long because pipes may need to be replaced, asbestos may need to be removed and permits could be required for every step. And though tenants were given hot plates to accommodate their cooking needs, it's not making anyone happier with the MTA. Resident Adah Carrion told ABC 7, "How do you cook a meal on this? You're going to have to make one meal and put it aside, make another, because this is what we have to deal with." Another tenant complained, "What you going to do with hotplates and the holidays coming up? People wanted to cook a Thanksgiving dinner and they say it's going to be two months without a stove." Manhattan BP Scott Stringer had this statement:
I am appalled that tenants at George Washington Houses will lose natural gas service for at least eight days, as a result of yesterday’s subsurface utility accident in connection with work on the Second Avenue subway. And I call on Mayor Bloomberg and MTA Chairman Jay Walder to provide immediate assistance to residents who have been so badly inconvenienced. The MTA and its contractor must take full responsibility for this blunder. I’m also asking that the city immediately convene a task force to develop a plan for mapping subsurface utilities in New York. Our unreliable knowledge of utility locations in all five boroughs creates a host of safety concerns—and we must take action to ensure that this kind of mishap won’t happen again.
Tenant association president Marietta Palmer agreed, saying, "It's transit's fault and transit should provide something better for them." Somehow, we don't think E-Z Bake Ovens are going to go over too well either.