NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Consolidated Edison says over 7,000 homes and businesses on Staten Island have lost power as the electric network grapples with the summer’s hottest day.
The outages were affecting parts of the Fox Hills and Fresh Kills areas Monday afternoon.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, traffic lights were out at many intersections, forcing NYPD officers to direct traffic. Some businesses also posted signs in their windows saying they were closed for the rest of the day, and many people resorted to sitting outside of their homes.
A Con Edison spokesman told Castro overheating equipment caused the failures.
“Heat from the sun and the temperatures can actually cause equipment to burn out, and so we just respond to it as quickly as we can,” the spokesman said.
PSEG Long Island said 1,699 customers were without power, mostly in Nassau County.
As of 10:30 p.m. there were 7,033 Con Ed outages on Staten Island, and 611 outages in Brooklyn where the hardest hit neighborhood was Crown Heights with 448, 1010 WINS reported.
There also were scattered outages elsewhere in the city as the temperature hit the 90s for a second straight day.
Earlier Monday, Con Ed reduced power to 138,000 homes and businesses in Queens and Brooklyn and asked residents to conserve electricity. The utility said it reduced voltage in those areas by 8 percent to protect equipment while repairs were being made.
The utility was asking customers in Midtown West, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Kew Gardens, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and Lindenwood not to use appliances such as washers, dryers and air conditioners until problems are fixed.
Con Ed is also asking customers to turn off lights and televisions when not in use.
The outages left residents upset and frustrated.
“Eighty-three degrees in the house! It’s horrible, it’s awful, look I’m sweating like a pig. I just took a shower and I have to take another one. This is awful, this is disgusting,” Sarah told CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco.
One homeowner managed to find a way to beat the stifling heat inside of her home.
“Using a generator which we got after Sandy,” Dolores Bongiorno said.
Businesses like the Railroad Quick Stop Deli were forced to shut down for the day and said perishable foods like eggs will have to be thrown out.
A heat advisory had been in effect for New York City until 6 p.m. In New Jersey, a heat advisory was in effect until 8 p.m. for eastern Passaic, Hudson, Bergen, Essex and Union counties.
An air quality health advisory due to ground-level ozone was in effect for New York City and Long Island until 10 p.m. An air quality hotline has been set up at 800-535-1345.
An excessive heat warning was also in effect until 8 p.m. for New Jersey’s Mercer, Gloucester, Camden and northwest Burlington counties.
The high temperature Monday in the city was 94, making it the hottest day of the year so for, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported. With the humidity, it felt like 100.
“It’s a scorcher,” said Bronx resident Robert Perez. “I’m melting.”
“Of course I hate the heat. Everybody hates the heat,” another man told 1010 WINS’ Rebecca Granet.
Speaking at a news conference Monday, city officials urged people to stay safe in the heat.
“This kind of heat can be dangerous,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “People have to make smart decisions. People, of course, have to stay hydrated. Don’t stay out in the sun any longer than you have to. Be aware of the challenge of this circumstance.”
The elderly and those with health problems are at the highest risk.
Officials said people should drink plenty of water, stay in air-conditioned places, wear light clothing and avoid strenuous activity outside when temperatures are at their highest.
People who exercise or work outdoors are urged to limit physical activity. Symptoms to watch out for can include shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing.
If you don’t have access to air conditioning, cooling centers are open across the five boroughs. To find a cooling center near you, call 311 or click here.
Office of Emergency Management commissioner Joseph Esposito said the bottom line is to use common sense.
“It’s not the day to go out there working on your tan,” Esposito said.
It was like a triple-digit sauna outside, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported. Cold drinks and cold treats were plentiful.
People in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza Park sat in the shade to beat the heat.
Curtis Iiams also kept a watchful eye on his 9-year-old son at soccer camp after a little extra prep.
“My wife and I are conscious about sending him with enough to drink, so today he has two bottles, instead of one, and the constant reminders to him that he should stop before he’s thirsty and get something to drink,” said liams, of Brooklyn Heights.
Counselors also made sure campers took a break every 15 minutes to rest in the shade, rehydrate and reapply sunblock when necessary.
One couple said they prepared for the day with the right clothing and plenty of sunscreen.
“On my face, it’s a 60 (SPF),” the woman said.
“Because of the heat, I’d rather be wearing something very light,” Gaetan Bourret said.
Finch found a crew that started Monday resurfacing an outdoor basketball court on Manhattan’s West Side — a three-day job.
“Take things easy, go slow, drink plenty of fluids and take breaks,” Jeff Giquinto, one of the workers, said of how he’s coping.
At the Jackie Robinson Swimming Pool in Harlem, one woman who has no AC at home said a visit there with the kids was a must.
“The kids are safe. They can swim. They can stand up in there, so that’s good,” she told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones. “And there’s also security here. The police are here. I mean, I feel safe here. It’s nice.”
In response to the heat, city pools are staying open until 8 p.m. Monday.
“I don’t even have an AC, which is why I’m here,” said Emily Carpio, of the Lower East Side, who was spending time in the pool. “Why would I want to be indoors when I can be in this beautiful place? So I’m thankful that it’s open till 8.”
So far this year, the area has had two days when the temperature reached at least 90 degrees — one was Sunday. If it reaches 90 degrees again Tuesday, that will officially constitute a heat wave, something New York City hasn’t had in quite a while, the last one coming in July 2013.
Officials are urging residents to take these energy-saving and pollution-reducing steps:
• Use mass transit or carpool instead of driving
• Conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining necessary motor vehicle trips
• Turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas
• Use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees
• Close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and to preserve cooled air
• Limit use of household appliances. If necessary, run the appliances at off-peak (after 7 p.m.) hours. These would include dishwashers, dryers, pool pumps and water heaters
• Set refrigerators and freezers at more efficient temperatures
• Purchase and install energy-efficient lighting and appliances with the Energy Star label
• Reduce or eliminate outdoor burning and attempt to minimize indoor smoking.
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