Con Edison asks southern Brooklynites to reduce power usage to avoid outage

Con Edison said southern Brooklynites must reduce their power usage on July 30 as the company completes repairs.

Con Edison is asking Brooklynites from Gowanus to Bensonhurst to limit their power usage while the company completes repairs on July 30.

More than 96,000 residents living in Gowanus, Park Slope, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Borough Park, and Bensonhurst are urged to turn off energy-intensive appliances such as washers, dryers, microwaves and even some air conditioners to prevent a power outage during the repairs, the company said. 

“If you have two air conditioners, use only one and set it to the highest comfortable temperature,” Con Edison said in a statement.

The affected area is bound by Third Street and Fourth Avenue in Gowanus, the Narrows and Gravesend Bay past Fort Hamilton, Gowanus Bay and the Narrows passed Bay Ridge, and Fort Hamilton Parkway and Fifth Avenue in Kensington, the company said. 

As of 12:30 pm on Thursday, only about five customers in Bay Ridge were affected by the outage, local councilman Justin Brannan tweeted.

Workers began repairs on broken feeder cables cables in the district on Wednesday, and will continue repairs throughout the Thursday, said spokesman Allan Drury, who did not say when Con Edison expects to complete the fixes.  

To minimize the chances of a power outage, the company reduced voltage eight percent throughout the area. Staffers will contact affected residents directly as repairs continue and will post updates on ConEd’s Twitter account, according to the company’s statement. 

The power reduction comes on the heels of a two-week heatwave, with temperatures remaining in the mid-90s. Thursday afternoon will reach a high of 92 degrees with 50 percent humidity before dipping down into the 80s at about 7 pm, according to weather.com

The affected district also includes some neighborhoods — including Kensington and Flatbush — where ConEd intentionally cut power last summer in an effort to prevent a damage to the grid. 

At the time, the outage infuriated locals, who accused ConEd of stripping energy from communities of color in order to keep white customers cool.

“It is only in communities that look like ours that this is acceptable,” state Sen. Zelnor Myrie said. “We want the problem fixed now.”

A ConEd spokesman said that the 2019 outages were inevitable.

“The residents where we had to cut service during the heat wave were going to lose power regardless of whether we took action or not,” Robert McGee told Brooklyn Paper. 

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.