As another heat wave descends upon New York on Monday, thousands of people still don't have power across the region a week after Tropical Storm Isaias downed power lines and trees with 70 mile-per-hour winds.
Con Edison announced Monday that 19,000 customers were still powerless—15,000 in Westchester, 2,800 in Queens, 650 in the Bronx, and 400 in Brooklyn. As of 9:45 p.m. Sunday, another 25,000 on Long Island didn't have power, according to an update from electricity company PSEG.
The prospect of suffering through a heat wave without air conditioning has some residents scrambling to find temporary alternative housing. Shavana Wong, a South Ozone Park, Queens resident, relocated to her brother's home for work late last week, and remains without power about a week later.
"We lost power around midday last Tuesday," Wong, who works in advertising technology and needs to stay connected for her job, told Gothamist. "We didn't see ConEd show up to the area until the next day."
"We've had to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of groceries and we have a Siberian Husky who's been freaking out because of the heat," Wong said.
Wong said they blocked off the street from cars due to downed power lines, which are still hanging in front of her home. She struggled to even file an outage report in the beginning via text, website, and the phone, and has since gotten four updates telling her power would be restored.
The latest text update says she'll see the lights back on by 11 p.m. Monday.
Company spokesperson Robert McGee said 99 percent of NYC customers had power restored. Con Ed President Tim Cawley said on NY1 restorations would be complete Monday morning.
In Westchester, most customers are expected to see power restored by 11 p.m. Monday.
Dilip Mohabir, a 69-year-old South Ozone Park resident, said he had to throw out $275 worth of meat purchased for a gathering with family they had scheduled before the storm knocked out power.
"The sun's so hot—in the night sometimes, it's so hot, you have to try and let the windows open," Mohabir told Gothamist. "They're not sharing nothing much, so we don't understand what's going on. If we get back the power, yes, we will be nice and happy, but then again, look [at] the losses [that] everybody carried."
His two grandkids are continuously asking him about the power.
"I gotta tell them, 'listen kids, I can't tell you now,'" Mohabir said.
Cooling centers across NYC will open at noon amid a heat advisory and temperatures expected to feel up to 97 degrees until 8 p.m. Wednesday.
"Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur," the advisory warns. "Seniors and those with chronic health problems or mental health conditions are at an increased risk. Homes without air conditioning can be much hotter than outdoor temperatures."
"The hot weather is back," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a news conference on Monday. "Take these advisories seriously."
During a press call on Monday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo singled out ConEd and PSEG for doing a "lousy job" at restoring power to their customers, and once again threatened the possibility of revoking their licenses to do business in New York State.
"I want the utilities to know that we do not abide by the concept in New York that anything is too big to fail. Your franchise can be revoked. I am not bluffing. I don't bluff. Your franchise can be revoked. Con Edison, your franchise can be revoked," Cuomo said.
Last week, the governor ordered the state Department of Public Service to investigate how the utility services responded to the tropical storm. Those investigations usually end in the utilities paying nominal fines and continuing to do business, as revoking a company's franchise would almost certainly launch a complex and protracted legal battle.
"I don't want to prejudge the PSD investigation...But this is not our first rodeo," Cuomo said. "We'll get those facts, we'll get that report. But this was entirely unacceptable in my opinion."
Another 150 workers are joining the 3,800-member team removing trees and repairing equipment on Monday.
Con Edison customers whose food or medication spoiled during the outages can also file a claims form for a reimbursement here.
Here's a map of the cooling centers.
This story has been updated to reflect comments made by Cuomo after publication, as well as an interview with a South Ozone park resident.