Power failure leaves 1,100 Williamsburgers boiling mad

More than 1,100 Williamsburg residents were without power on Tuesday after ConEdison cut electricity to the area to make emergency repairs to its overloaded distribution system on one of the hottest days of the year.

Dozens of Con Ed trucks lined the streets of Williamsburg as utility workers toiled feverishly to restore power to an eight-block stretch bordered by Frost Street, Maujer Street, Graham Avenue and Leonard Street.

“We are doing work in Williamsburg to prevents the problem from spreading,” said Sara Banda, a spokeswoman with ConEd. “These are problems with equipment. We are out there fixing and replacing the equipment at this time.”

Banda said that the outages were caused by customers’ electrical usage during the scorching 90-degree temperatures on Monday afternoon, when 12,680 megawatts were used, by far the highest electrical output consumed for the year.

By comparison the company’s all-time peak record for wattage was 13,141 megawatts on Aug. 2, 2006. That was a hot day.

The spokeswoman said that the company would have service restored by Tuesday evening, though an information sheet distributed by ConEd representatives said it could be later.

“We realize this is a hardship and an inconvenience, and we apologize,” said the advisory. “We urge you to turn off your electrical appliances to avoid any damage to the appliances when power is restored.”

Residents of the area were boiling, literally and figuratively, at the news.

“It’s outrageous. It’s the fault of the presidents and CEOs,” said one Powers Street resident who declined to give her name. “They knew the [electrical] grids have been broken and this is how they choose to fix it. The CEO needs to make better decisions.”

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