Well, there's nothing like having a barely-one-hour blackout on a sultry weekday to make you consider stocking up on flashlights, batteries, water, and maybe a Go Bag. Con Ed is still investigating the cause of yesterday's brief power failure to parts of the Bronx and Manhattan; Newsday reported "the blackout was caused when breakers opened at an Astoria substation and cut off power to stations servicing Yorkville and parts of the Bronx." It's unclear why the breakers were opened in the first place.
The outage started at 3:42PM and ended by 4:30PM, affecting at least 130,000 customers (or 385,000 people), not to mention pedestrians, drivers, commuters and others who were left stuck without train service and traffic lights. An 8-months pregnant woman was stuck in an elevator - and she was too big to fit through the hatch!
Con Ed CEO Kevin Burke said, "We view this as a significant event," but insisted this was nothing like last year's Queens blackout.The Daily News' Michael Daly questions Burke's commitment, given he doesn't seem very concerned with his healthy tan - and people are content to blame the utility. One woman who had to take a cab instead of the subway told the NY Times Con Ed could deduct her $16 cab ride from her bill. And the NY Sun reported how some officials reacted, especially given that on Tuesday, Con Ed testified about fare hikes and replacing old equipment. City Councilman Eric Gioia of Queens said, "I've been expecting this. How much more do we have to take before City Hall demands a change in leadership in Con Edison?"
Here are blackout-related links, which you should print out because you won't be able to access them in case of a blackout: The CDC's Blackout tips, the Red Cross' tips, and the city's Office of Emergency Management on power outages. Mayor Michael "So Not Emotional" Bloomberg said of the blackout, 'It's fair to say that resetting your clock was probably the worst thing that happened," which makes WNBC's Gabe Pressman wonder if Mayor Mike even gets it.
Photograph of a nice man directing traffic during the momentary blackout by NYCViaRachel on Filckr