NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Brooklyn family is facing a very cold and unpleasant Thanksgiving with no heat in their Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone – thanks to National Grid.
The utility has until next week to come up with a plan to get more natural gas supplies or lose their monopoly.
Leslie and Adam Rashid had to keep their coats on as they took CBS2’s Marcia Kramer on a tour of their new home. It was freezing, no heat because of National Grid. The only company that can turn the natural gas spigot on flatly said no.
“It’s something that I would think happens in third world countries or dictatorships or something, but this is outrageous,” Leslie Rashid said.
Right now the couple is frantic. They sold their co-op and must move into their brownstone on Monday. Worried about the effect of what living with no heat will have on his 73-year-old mother, their two-year-old daughter Camila, and four-year-old son Quincy.
“What am I going to say when he says ‘daddy I can’t sleep because it’s too cold’ what am I going to do when he can’t go to school because he got sick?” Adam Rashid said.
To take some of the chill out of the air, the couple invested in some costly space heaters but they’re worried about safety.
“My kids they’re very active,” Leslie Rashid said. “We tried to choose a heater that was most safe not as hot to the touch but there will always be heat and always be an area where they can poke their finger… They’re going to be sleeping in rooms at night by themselves and that is a very dangerous situation”
The Rashids are among the thousands of homeowners and businesses in Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island left high and dry. Victims of a moratorium declared by National Grid as it fights the state over approval of a controversial new pipeline.
The couple says National Grid never told them they intended to impose a moratorium when they filed renovation plans last year.
Heating with natural gas as owners before them did.
“This house has been here for over a hundred years… All we want is for the gas to be turned back on,” Adam Rashid said. “That’s the other thing that makes me mad we’re being used as a political pawn.”
A spokesman for the state Public Service Commission says it is investigating National Grid’s refusal to hook up the Rashid’s heating system.
The company has a week to comply with Gov. Cuomo’s directive to come up with a plan to provide natural gas or lose its monopoly.
The PSC says their company has a “robust range” of non-pipeline options. A National Grid spokesperson told CBS2 “we can’t connect this particular customer at this time.”