You are reading

Queens Council Member Pushes for Con Edison Accountability Measures After Tropical Storm

Downed trees and power lines at 172 Street, between 33rd and 35th Avenues, in North Flushing on Aug. 10 (Courtesy of Council Member Paul Vallone’s office)

Sept. 15, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A Northeast Queens council member is pushing for accountability from Con Edison after the company took a week to restore power to several Queens neighborhoods in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias last month.

Council Member Paul Vallone introduced two resolutions at a City Council hearing on the company’s response to the storm Monday.

Vallone, in one resolution, is calling on Con Edison to have a dedicated team of employees and resources that focus on restoring the power on a borough by borough basis after a black out.

The company took significantly longer to restore power to households in Queens than the other boroughs after Tropical Storm Isaias, he said.

The Aug. 4 storm left 46,000 households in Queens without power by 10 a.m. the next day— the most of the five boroughs. In the first 48 hours after the storm, Con Edison had only restored 59 percent of outages in Queens versus 89 percent in Brooklyn and 81 percent on Staten Island..

The varied response and delay continued over the course of the week.

“After Storm Isaias and the ensuing slow outer-borough response, it’s more apparent than ever that we need accountability and reform,” Vallone said.

“Con Edison’s failure to quickly restore power to tens of thousands of Queens residents in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias meant that the borough hardest hit by COVID-19 also became the hardest hit by this weather event.”

He also introduced a resolution calling on the state legislature to pass a law requiring Con Edison to cover the costs of wires damaged by a storm that run from private homes to utility poles — which is currently the responsibility of homeowners.

The majority of the power lines in Queens are above-ground, making the borough’s power supply vulnerable when trees fall down. In Manhattan, there are no overhead lines

The president of Con Edison, Tim Cawley, testified at the City Council hearing.

He said the August storm caused the second-most outages in Con Edison’s history, only behind Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“This damage was so severe that we were required to entirely rebuild sections of our system rather than just repair them,” he said in explaining the outages.

Con Edison didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The City Council passes resolutions on state and federal issues that affect New York City. Resolutions express the recommendations and opinions of the city, which can influence state and federal legislation — but do not create new law.

A tree in Sunnyside destroyed by Tropical Storm Isaias (Photo: Queens Post)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.

Queens father, son charged with possessing cache of loaded ghost gun assault weapons in Fresh Meadows home: DA

A Fresh Meadows father and son are criminally charged with possessing an arsenal of loaded ghost gun assault weapons that were found after a court-authorized search was executed at their home on Wednesday.

Hyung-Suk Woo, 26, and his father, Jin-In Woo, 55, of 198th Street, were arraigned late Wednesday night on a 130-count indictment charging them with 97 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and a slew of other charges after the raid uncovered the assault weapons, as well as silencers made with a 3-D printer and other weapons-related paraphernalia, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday.