Via AP: Lights out in Astoria
The power provider, Con Edison, is under fire for their incompetent handling and botched public relations of the debacle. Con Ed just ‘fessed up that the outage was 10 times larger than originally thought. The NYPost calls the company an Electric Pinnochio:
Who is running Con Edison – Fred Flintstone? In partnership, maybe, with Pinocchio?
Bad enough that the company can’t seem to supply power to the city with any semblance of reliability.
Or fix its transmission grid when it breaks down – as happened in Queens this week – even after nearly a week of working on the problem.
Worse, Con Ed can’t seem to tell the truth.
Yesterday, it upped its estimate – estimate! – of how many customers were hit in this latest nightmare: 25,000 – up from 1,800. Which, itself, was up from a few hundred earlier in the week.
Mayor Bloomberg characterized the figure as more like 100,000, because each “customer” – as City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. notes on the opposite page – may represent many people.
(And even that, as Vallone also notes, includes only people who lost all their power, not just partial power.)
Vallone has been right in calling for heads to roll at the utility.
People are sweltering.
Lives are at stake.
Jails, airports, subways, traffic lights got hit. Businesses are bleeding.
And Con Ed couldn’t even provide honest information – which could have let residents, business owners and the city take measures to ease matters early on.
This is a monopoly that has run amok.
This is a local story with some serious, nationwide homeland security implications. Con Ed still has no clue about what caused the blackout. The state Public Service Commission, which oversees utilities across New York, says a probe will be launched after power is restored. And more to be concerned about from NYT:
Utility officials and others said this power failure was perplexing, unlike previous blackouts that darkened large swaths of the city and were corrected in a day or two. This time, new problems have cropped up day after day: dozens of manhole fires, transformer fires and, most seriously, electrical cables’ burning out and needing replacement.
“This is a very strange phenomenon,” said Joe Flaherty, a consultant to Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America.
Chris Olert, a Con Edison spokesman, said, “We’ll take those cables that were damaged and analyze them, but until then, we won’t know what happened.”
The blackout has exposed an apparently serious weakness at the utility: its inability to measure the size of a problem.
I hope DHS is paying attention.blog comments powered by Disqus
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