As temperatures rise, New Yorkers are bracing for the possibility of power outages.
The temperature reached 91 in Central Park yesterday, according to the National Weather Service, and highs in the 90s are expected for the next two days. The Con Edison Co. of New York said it would have extra crews ready to respond to any outages that may occur and is also offering customers energy conservation tips.
A Con Ed spokesman, Alfonso Quiroz, noted that the utility has invested$1.4billionininfrastructure improvements since January.
"We've learned a lot of lessons from last year," Mr. Quiroz said, referring to the July 2006 blackout that left parts of Queens without power for more than a week. More recently, a June 27 outage affected more than 300,000 people in the Bronx and the Upper East Side. Power was restored in under an hour.
"It's impossible to be confident when the same people who were responsible for the lies and the gross negligence of last summer are still there," Council Member Peter Vallone of Astoria said. "I think New Yorkers should be very worried."
"The system is, ‘Wait for a blackout and then make repairs,'" he said.
Another council member of Queens, Eric Gioia, is recommending that constituents stock up on bottled water and flashlights.
"The fact that there's such uncertainty in New York City in the 21st century is appalling," he said. "No one's worried the trains won't run tomorrow. No one's worried the water won't come on tomorrow. But we're all worried the power won't be on."
The chairman of Community Board 8 on the Upper East Side, David Liston, was more optimistic. "We want to know that the power grid will be there for us and we continue to be assured that it will be," he said. "I haven't been given any reason to doubt them."