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Monday night thunderstorm leaves more Brooklynites without power

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Workers install transformers in Flatlands, one of several southern Brooklyn neighborhoods affected by the blackout, Sunday night.
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Traffic signals also went dark during the blackout.
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Members of the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance and First Aid Corps set up a generator.

More than 2,500 Brooklynites are still without power Tuesday morning as a result of the weekend’s brutal heat wave and Monday night’s thunderstorm.

Con Edison shut off power in parts of southern Brooklyn — including Canarsie, Marine Park, Mill Basin and parts of Flatbush — around 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, and the energy company is still working to restore power more than a day later.

“ConEd has restored power to over 99 percent of the 33,000 customers affected by [Sunday’s] outage in southeast Brooklyn neighborho­ods,” the energy company said in a release Monday night.

However, there were nearly 11,000 new outages as a result of Monday night’s thunderstorm. According to ConEd’s outage map, 2,587 Brooklynites remain powerless as of 8:15 a.m. Tuesday morning. ConEd expects to fully restore power in the area by 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Crews continue to work around the clock addressing the outages as quickly as possible,” ConEd said.

One Georgetown resident who endured the Sunday night blackout described a near-apocalyptic scene of utter darkness, with the only the visible light emanating from car headlights and the lights of emergency vehicles in the distance, and the roads pocked by car accidents — including one at Avenue T near E. 65th Street, and another on Avenue N near Ralph Avenue — as traffic signals remained unpowered throughout the night.

“There were so many accidents,” said Jamie Kaplan, whose E. 73rd Street home between avenues L and M lost power Sunday evening. “All you saw were accidents and ambulances and glass on the floor. Everything was pitch black and we heard gunshots too. We constantly heard car alarms going off.”

Kaplan said she was up all night soothing her 19-month-old daughter, Ellie; the mother wearing her bathing suit, the daughters down to diapers — both drenched in sweat. The heat was so terrible, she said, that she preferred the pitch blackness over lighting candles.

“She was screaming until 3 a.m.,” Kaplan said of her daughter. “We were dripping, dripping sweat.”

Adding to the surreal misery of the night, Kaplan claims that two-inch-long water bugs filled the streets and invaded their homes amid the searing heat. Her discovery that one massive insect had crawled into her daughter’s crib was the low point of an already grim evening.

“I took my flashlight and phone to get her stuffed animal, and there was this huge mofo running around in her crib,” said Kaplan. “I can’t live like that.”

Many residents fled their homes to take refuge in their vehicles, basking in the gas-powered air conditioning, desperate for relief and a few hours sleep.

“It was a nightmare man, it was a nightmare all night,” said Ricky Zawacki, another E. 73rd Street resident. “I wasn’t able to sleep. It was atrocious. I had to stay in my mom’s car with the AC on.”

Zawacki, who said power to his block was restored at 11:26 a.m. Monday morning — an interminable 16 hours following the blackout’s 7 p.m. start — was furious to learn that a power outage in Manhattan had been corrected after only six hours.

“How does it take six hours to reapply electricity to half of Manhattan — which is huge — but where we live it takes another 16 hours?” Zawacki railed. “What kind of b------- is that?”

While each of the five boroughs were affected by the blackout, Brooklyn residents suffered the most, according to Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who represents Sheepshead Bay and other areas who were affected by the blackout.

“Although my district was fortunate to be minimally impacted by power outages these past few days, Brooklyn as a whole was hardest hit,” he said. “New Yorkers deserve reliable electrical service, and quick restoration when there is unavoidable equipment failure... It is unacceptable that right now, more than 12 hours after the heat wave broke, there are still thousands without power.”

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who represents areas where ConEd decided to shut off the power, blasted the energy company for their handling of the situation.

“Many residents, including seniors, have been put in an unsafe situation because the power company that they relied on failed. As a matter of public health and safety, it simply cannot be the norm that the grid malfunctions during the hottest months,” Gounardes said. “Con Edison has a responsibility to its customers to ensure no one has their electricity turned off for hours in extreme heat. This was not an unforeseeable circumstance. ConEd should have been more prepared and must restore power to the affected areas immediately. This cannot happen again.”

The outage affected traffic signals in southern Brooklyn as well, though Mayor Bill de Blasio said that most have been restored as of Monday morning.

“We’ve brought more than half of the traffic signals back online the Flatlands-Mill Basin-Canarsie area,” he said on Twitter early Monday. “NYPD has been bringing in additional personnel to support areas still without power to direct traffic.

De Blasio blasted ConEd at a press conference in Mill Basin Monday for its refusal to provide a substantial explanation of what caused the latest debacle.

“I’m calling for a full investigation and further that we examine whether we need a new entity to handle this situation going forward. Because at this point I do not have faith in ConEd... They’re not doing their job and they’re not giving real answers. Is it now time to do something different.”

Councliman Robert Cornegy similarly blasted ConEd Monday afternoon.

“The recent power outages across Brooklyn represent a shocking display of indifference from Con Edison. Intentionally cutting the power to 30,000 Brooklyn residents in their attempts to resolve an issue they should not have had in the first place, is yet another major misstep on the part of Con Ed. Even now, the work has still not been resolved,” he said. “ConEd just last week claimed to be preparing for this heat wave, and admitted that other outages may occur. This is simply unacceptable... If this is the best service we have from ConEd, we must find a far more reliable and accountable solution, and I will work with my colleagues and appropriate agencies in our city to see that we find it.”

The energy company is asking customers in the affected communities to continue to conserve electricity even after their power is restored.

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status at www.conEd.com/reportoutage, on ConEd’s mobile app, or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). When calling, customers should report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

Customers who report outages will receive updates with their estimated restoration times as they become available.

If your power has been out for more than 12 hours, you are eligible to file a claim online with ConEd for reimbursement.

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at ckidd@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at twitter.com/ChanAnnKidd.
Updated 10:41 am, July 23, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Law and Disorder from Formally of Brooklyn Now N C says:
Keep taking down single family homes and 2 family homes to build 20 and more family structures. You can not put 10 pounds in a 5 Pound bag.
July 22, 12:14 pm
Chad from Ft Greene says:
The power was on where I live and I had the ac blasting. What is the outrage about?
July 22, 12:52 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
Perhaps,these power-outages occurred,because the local politicians told all NYC'ers,to all to indoors? Obviously,a lot more electrical-power was used,if we stay in our air-conditioned abodes. Such advise used to be,only for the very old,the very young;and for those-in dangerously poor health. For the sake of my own health,I went out both days? I supposed these politicians,will next tell us,that great civilizations;are created by just-remaining safely at home,when conditions,less than optimal?
July 22, 1:59 pm
Mark from Bed Stuy says:
Through my Nest thermostat I gave ConEd the authority to shut down my AC when they are overloaded. Normally it’s just 4 hours during the weekdays but this weekend they had an ‘emergency’ so they shut me down from 6 to midnight both days. Even though I am allowed to override it, I dealt with it to do my part in helping out. I have a ceiling fan, so it wasn’t so bad.
July 22, 3:11 pm
Sprinkles from Brooklyn says:
I blame Cuomo because he isn’t allowing the power plants to expand. He is so stuck on Offshore Wind that he refuses to realize we need power now. Approve the natural gas pipeline and keep open the nuclear plant. If Cuomo doesn’t bend, these blackouts we soon be routine.
July 22, 4:21 pm
Elizabeth from Cherokee Nation says:
People are going to have to relearn how to do without cars, air conditioning, heat, lights and electricity if we are going to slow climate change. We only have 12 years folks, last night has to be the new normal.
July 22, 5:11 pm
Ann Chilada from El Torito says:
The money we save on our electric bills we could use to house and feed all the millions of illegals that we want here! Refugees welcome! The US should stop going to Honduras and snatching babies from their mothers hands! You are allowed to snatch the baby from the womb though.
July 22, 9:46 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
Assuming"Elizabeth",isn't being facetious,she damn better let mainland China's,and India' more than a total of 2.7 billion,know about their inevitable demise. As they are nowhere near finished buying automobiles,air-conditioners,and all other heavy appilances;most of us,have long taking for granted. I even read they are buying,the worst CO2 contributing A/C units,because they prefer that;to the inevitable heat-wave deaths,of India's,past. Should they die,instead,just to placate,what are overwhelmingly;upper middle-class,to wealthy North Americans,and western Europeans?
July 22, 11:54 pm
Mohammed al-Fatwa says:
SCR, The answer is Yes!
July 23, 6:49 am
Penelope from Park Slope says:
Maybe this is a good thing - these people could learn to be more green! Maybe instead of sucking out power to charge their precious iPhones , they could stop the ice caps from melting! It’s called C O 2 people!!!! So selfish!
July 23, 8:12 am
Young Mom says:
Law and Disorder - yes, yes and yes! Thank you for saying this. Our politicians say nothing as behemoths are built on every block, on top of infrastructure that was designed and built for much lower density. Then, when disaster strikes they start pointing fingers at everyone else.
July 23, 8:12 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
I'm confused as to the timeline here. Monday night's storms? If the storms were on Monday night causing people to lose power, than how was power restored Monday morning? Last night, Monday night, was horrible - huge thunderstorms, 100% humidity and about 91 degrees until 8:00 pm when it slowly cooled down. There were a few storms on Sunday night but nothing like Monday, last night, July 22nd.
July 23, 8:22 am
Ms. Me from Bayh Ridge says:
Waterbugs come up through the pipes when it is hot and sticky. Keep your drains closed or covered at night.
July 23, 8:33 am
t from bath beach says:
The new normal: con ed not doing proper infrastructure improvements, population growth in the city that is overwhelming (1.5 million since 1990 not including illegals), politicians taking untenable positions like wind power is enough and blocking (clean) natural gas pipelines to take the stress off current plants and closing Indian Point with not enough power to replace it, Deblasio and Cuomo grandstanding and blaming strictly Con ED for everything. You reap what you sow NYC by putting these people in office who are making your life worse in so many ways.
July 23, 8:41 am
Some old white guy from Marine park says:
Con-Ed has New York by the bulbs
July 23, 5:55 pm

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