NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Con Ed is getting ready for the extreme heat and high electricity demand by bringing in thousands of extra crew members – ready for any possible power outages.
The utility monopoly has been coping with a wave of sporadic problems since Saturday night’s blackout on Manhattan’s west side.
Power outages in Astoria, Staten Island, and other locales have left 15,000 homes in the dark in just the past 24 hours.
Following last weekend’s blackout, Con Ed officials were forced to up their game for the upcoming heat wave – or face the wrath of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“This is kind of like the World Series for us. This is the big Super Bowl and we’re just going to try our best to get people through it,” Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin said.
Con Ed plans to bring in an additional 4,000 people dedicated to responding to problems caused by what is expected to be record high heat. Saturday could break 100 degrees.
“That’s just restoring power and focused on doing nothing but getting people through this heat wave safely,” the spokesman added.
The Saturday blackout in Manhattan – a five-hour outage that left over 72,000 customers in the dark – infuriated Cuomo, who threatened to yank the company’s license over the failure.
“There is no god given right that says Con Ed must be the utility company… They can be replaced,” Cuomo claimed.
Workers are already monitoring power outages at Con Ed’s Manhattan control center. The agency is asking New Yorkers to conserve as much power as possible.
There’s also an economic benefit, your electric bill will be a whole lot smaller if you don’t set the thermostat really low.
“For every degree you turn down your thermostat, you’re raising your energy costs about six percent. If you raise the thermostat a little bit you’ll save some money,” Clendenin said.
After the Manhattan blackout however, some New Yorkers remain skeptical Con Ed is up to the task.
“Pretty worried after the last one. I think we were outside for four or five hours, couldn’t get up the elevator so I’m just hoping nothing happens this weekend,” Matt Lasky of the Upper West Side said.
“Con Edison, they mess up often, but I’m not too worried,” Janessa Jones, Canarsie added.
“I believe there’s going to be another blackout,” Gregory Sofio declared.
After taking heat for being missing in action for the blackout, Mayor de Blasio has scrapped plans to be in Iowa this weekend.
His aides tell CBS2’s Marcia Kramer they’re trying to see if he can participate in a forum remotely via live stream.