NEW YORK (WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Rep. Anthony Weiner called on Con Edison Monday to move power lines in Queens underground.
Both officials cited damage in the Middle Village section following the tornadoes and macroburst that struck the area in September as reason for relocating the power lines.
Crowley said the tornadoes “highlighted the vulnerability that we have with our overhead power lines.”
“Many of them came down with fallen trees and countless fires were sparked because the live power lines were brought down,” Crowley told WCBS 880.
Customers in areas with overhead wires were left without power for days while those being served by underground lines were largely unaffected by the outages.
“What we’re asking is for them to get moving into the 21st century in the communities of Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale and put the overhead power lines underground,” Crowley said.
However, responding Monday evening, Con Edison said that changes would cost around $6 million per mile. That figure would total about $715 million just for Middle Village.
Con Ed spokesman Chris Olert said if the neighborhood had underground electrical service, it would cost residential customers $7,500 each to connect to the service. That cost would be $20,000 for commercial customers.