NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Power outages have become a major concern this week, as Tuesday marks the first in a series of hot days.
A heat advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for New York City. An air quality alert is also in effect until 11 p.m. Tuesday for New York City, and for Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties.READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Announces Vaccine Mandate For All New York City Municipal Workers, Including First Responders
As early as mid-morning Tuesday, temperatures were already in the mid and upper 80s and feeling hotter with the humidity. By the late afternoon, the temperature at Central Park measured 92 degrees.
Residents of one block on the Lower East Side lost power during the hottest part of the day, shortly after noon.
“The air conditioner, fan — nothing’s working,” said resident Babu Chowdury.
Two manhole fires led to power outages on Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington streets.
“The lights slowly went out,” said Mark Powell, who works in the area. “Suddenly, there’s, like, yellow smoke that’s pouring out of the manhole cover.”
“I was just working from home today and the laptop died straightaway,” said resident Emma Staples. “No power — very annoying.”
But it’s not just annoying — it’s also bad for business. Alex Valencia owns a new restaurant on the block, and no power meant no customers and no place to refrigerate his food.
“Now I need to call all my reservations that I have already and tell them that we’re going to close,” Valencia said. “I tried to figure out with some colleagues from other restaurants. I just called them to see if they can keep some of the meat and fish.”
Con Edison confirmed that 13 buildings lost power – a total of roughly 200 customers. Spokesman Michael Clendenin said the utility tracks such problems in its control rooms – located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Westchester.
“What we do from here is dispatch crews and get them there to make their repairs as quick as possible,” Clendenin said. “Our goal during heat waves like this is to try to keep the outages small in number, short in duration, and get people back in service as quickly as we can.”
But residents were told it would be a while.
“I heard somebody say until 8 o’clock tonight, hopefully,” said resident Karen Lam.
Some residents were not sure that would be soon enough. And this outage had them worried about the rest of the week, since forecast is calling for six days where temps will be 90 degrees or higher.
“We’re relying on our air conditioning units, so we’re probably going to end up having to go to a hotel,” said resident Brian Clark.
A Con Ed representative said it was not clear what caused the manhole fires, but the situation is under review.
Meanwhile, even without any emergencies such as the one that caused the Lower East Side failure, the power grid still faces a test during extreme heat.READ MORE: 1 Dead, Another Injured After Police Pursuit Ends In Crash In Holtsville