Lights out on half a million New Yorkers

posted at 5:24 pm on June 27, 2007 by Allahpundit

It’s the first hot spell of the year here in NYC, which means it’s blackout time! 136,000+ customers = roughly 500,000 people. This sort of thing didn’t happen when I was growing up, but the power grid was 20 years younger then. And now?

Many will recall the 10-day power outage in Queens last summer. On Aug. 2, the day after the Queens incident was resolved, Con Ed pumped its all-time highest power send-out of 277,417 megawatts. According to the utility, it delivers 20 percent more power than it did 10 years ago and demand grows 1 percent to 1.5 percent each year. To keep up, Con Ed has invested $1.4 billion this year in reinforcing the electrical system in preparation for summer, says Con Ed spokesperson Chris Olert.

Still, the possibility of blackouts and brownouts this summer remains. “A summer power outage is enough of a possibility that Wall Street firms should make sure to be prepared,” warns Neil Katkov, research director at Celent.

“We are very concerned,” adds Tesh Durvasula, COO and EVP of NYC-Connect, a collocation facility in the Chelsea section of Manhattan that hosts servers for a dozen Wall Street firms. “It’s getting worse every year,” he says. “Now the grids are in such high use that we’re seeing surges in the grid on a weekly basis.” Durvasula explains that he tracks the surges with monitoring equipment in NYC-Connect’s facility…

Even Con Ed agrees that New York’s energy grid needs new sources of energy generation. But it’s politically unpopular to discuss putting a power plant in New York City, points out Con Ed’s Olert. “Someone at some point is going to have to make a political decision and say we’re putting it on the Crosman compound,” he says, jokingly equating this writer’s small Westchester apartment with one of the sprawling tracts of land the Rockefeller family donated to New York.

Yeah, “someone” is. How odd it is that America’s political savior, who’s going to heal the lepers and our partisan political divisions through the sheer might of his management skill and “vision,” hasn’t had the vision needed to address this glaring problem that’s been right under his nose during his five years in office.

As I write this, MSNBC is reporting that Con Edison, the local power company, is blaming the outage on a lightning strike — but then, Con Ed also initially said last year during the Queens nightmare that your humble correspondent was fortunate enough to participate in that only a few thousand customers were affected. Turns out it was more like 100,000. On and on it stretched, with no explanations. The local ice cream place, among other businesses, went belly up because of it and still hasn’t been replaced almost a year later. The City Council ended up holding public hearings, televised here locally, the centerpiece of which was the CEO of Con Ed being grilled to a golden brown to the great delight of Queens residents. Two months ago, the New York State Public Service Commission voted essentially to put Con Ed “on trial” for the outage. And what did the man appointed by the media as the new America’s Mayor have to say when this was all going down last July?

“It’ll be done when it’s done.”

And:

“From what I can see, what happened to Con Ed was not deliberate,’’ he said. “It is a company that has a national reputation as a very good utility that provides a very reliable service in the context of 8.1 million people in a very difficult underground environment.’’

And my favorite, of the CEO himself:

“I think Kevin Burke deserves a thanks from this city.”

We’ll see what kind of thanks he gets today from those people evacuated from their stalled, oven-like subway cars.

Why mention this very local issue that no one cares about, especially now that the power’s been restored? Partly because our moron media is in love with Bloomberg right now because he’s their ideal candidate: a Democrat with who pretends he’s too “maverick” and free-thinkin’ for our corrupt partisan mindset. But also partly because I want to take advantage of the news peg to make sure everyone realizes that the problem’s big, that it was foreseeable, and that not only hasn’t the Messiah done enough to address it, but when it happened he had plenty of sympathy for his CEO crony pal but not so much for Queens residents. Bryan, I encourage you to remind people of this post when you take over the blogging duties this summer after I’m knocked offline again. Which I will be.


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Just the typical report of ailing/old infrastructure in the cities that everyone talks about but no one wants to fix. Just talk and talk and hope the problem fixes itself.

Didn’t NY have a huge power outage a few years ago too? I thought that brought all the attention that was needed to the power grid. Guess not :/

lorien1973 on June 27, 2007 at 5:29 PM

Can we shut down DC power grid? Then the senators can go home and give us all a massive break!

On-my-soap-box on June 27, 2007 at 5:30 PM

Bryan, I encourage you to remind people of this post when you take over the blogging duties this summer after I’m knocked offline again. Which I will be.

Still trying for that iPhone??

I love how Con Ed won’t even come out and say, “Hey, we need a power plant!!”

StephC on June 27, 2007 at 5:30 PM

Giuliani is loved by the left for the same reasons Bloomberg is.

He is a maverick Republican who can stick the shiv in the back of the conservative base without remorse.

Valiant on June 27, 2007 at 5:30 PM

No, dude, keep it up. It’s probably not too big a deal since Bloomberg will probably go nowhere once he starts running in reality and not just in the fantasies of the Manhattan-D.C. media. But no sense it taking chances. And it’s always important to kick around the insular elitist fantasies of the press that pretend to want an “independent” when what they really mean is a slippier liberal who doesn’t seem like he’ll wreck the economy. Even the presidential race aside, the love affair with him has been aggravating since day one.

Anyway, if I’d been in Queens last summer I’d have been furious. I was pretty angry as it was just on account of people I knew up there.

Plus it just took me an hour and a half to get from the upper east side to the east village cause the subway was out.

Alex K on June 27, 2007 at 5:32 PM

As a Florida resident who has gone through extended power outages from hurricanes you have my very sincere sympathy.

bj1126 on June 27, 2007 at 5:34 PM

This is also the same reason that conservatives from Massachusetts aren’t exactly lining up to defend Mitt’s credentials either.

Tman on June 27, 2007 at 5:35 PM

power outage? and this matters to …who/m? NY and ?????

Tanc sends lettuce head to chertoff, now thats news.

shooter on June 27, 2007 at 5:36 PM

BJ, Florida boy here from Vero! Man, do I know what you mean by outage. We were ground zero for Francis and Jeanne!

On-my-soap-box on June 27, 2007 at 5:38 PM

Bryan, I encourage you to remind people of this post when you take over the blogging duties this summer after I’m knocked offline again. Which I will be.

Righteeo. My ordinarily reclusive cat remembers last summer’s blackout as the last time he had a friend around.

Bryan on June 27, 2007 at 5:42 PM

Wasn’t Pantsuit down there to fix the problem?

amerpundit on June 27, 2007 at 5:43 PM

It’s a secret, but the movie “Live Free or Die Hard” is real. This is just the first step….

rbb on June 27, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Heckuva job, Burkey.

Anwyn on June 27, 2007 at 5:48 PM

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the power went out right when you were about to snipe an eBay bid on a generator?

Let’s see you top that one Alanis!

Rain on your wedding day, my eye.

Mephistefales on June 27, 2007 at 5:49 PM

This is also the same reason that conservatives from Massachusetts aren’t exactly lining up to defend Mitt’s credentials either.

I’m a conservative from Mass,and although I’m not in love with Mitt,I understand that all power here is in the legislature. In order for him to get anything done at all,he had to compromise to the point of giving away his principles.

Would you please explain just why you equate Romney with Bloomberg in this case?

BTW(NSFCDSEVEN) I’m a FRED!!head

Blitz on June 27, 2007 at 5:50 PM

I lived on 111th and Bway the summer of the 1977 blackout. Was there any looting today?

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 27, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Didn’t NY have a huge power outage a few years ago too? I thought that brought all the attention that was needed to the power grid. Guess not :/

lorien1973 on June 27, 2007 at 5:29 PM

No, it is more important to legislate what kind of ingredients restaurants may use.

Wade on June 27, 2007 at 5:57 PM

How many illegals suffered?

profitsbeard on June 27, 2007 at 5:58 PM

This is a clear danger sign for America. When our largest city can not keep the lights on, this is a problem. When we as a country can not build the power plants needed to grow our country, this is a problem. When the warnings have been ignored over years due to PC and hard political decsions, this is a problem.

Our government is failing at every level, THIS IS A PROBLEM

unseen on June 27, 2007 at 6:05 PM

Household standby generators are around $3Gs. Might be a good investment.

Iblis on June 27, 2007 at 6:05 PM

I think Allah needs an iPhone.

Blake on June 27, 2007 at 6:08 PM

Would they every think of allowing something obvious like oh, say, building a new nuclear reactor? Nah, too easy.

amnistitio delenda est.

apostle26 on June 27, 2007 at 6:19 PM

Lightning strike..Call Al Gore, another case of global warming. There was never any lightning before 2000.

Wade on June 27, 2007 at 6:22 PM

All of us have problems due to the wacky environmentalists and the nimby people. We can’t drill for oil off our coasts, we can’t build nuclear energy plants, oil refineries or even wind energy farms because the environmentalists are more worried about snails, owls and other furry creatures than they are about human beings. The nimby people say you can’t build that here in my backyard because it is (fill in some silly reason). Ted “the swimmer” Kennedy didn’t want wind energy on the coast where he lives and thus becomes not only an environmentalist wacko, but a nimby as well. We need to understand what these people are doing to all of us with their CRAZY ideas. If you don’t like high gasoline prices, get rid of some of the absurd environmental laws and free up the inventive nature of American entrepreneurs. It won’t be long and we will have lower gas prices as soon as we build new refineries and drill for our own oil. An added bonus will be that we won’t have to finance the terrorists by buying their oil.

TruthToBeTold on June 27, 2007 at 6:30 PM

No reports of looting today, and the service was restored about an hour ago. A power substation got hammered during a passing t-storm, and the outage hit the subways pretty hard too, with disruptions up and down the line.

This all comes just a few days after Con Ed claimed that it spent $1+ billion on infrastructure upgrades and a report saying that certain neighborhoods around the City (7 IIRC, including Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn) were in line to be this blackout season‘s Queens.

lawhawk on June 27, 2007 at 6:30 PM

So NYC was carbon neutral for a short time ?

Damn that prophetic Gorical !

William Amos on June 27, 2007 at 7:04 PM

So NYC was carbon neutral for a short time ?

Damn that prophetic Gorical !

William Amos on June 27, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Just got back from the city….should have seen the traffic on I95 (the trains came back, but the backlog…) If anything, the tri-state area’s carbon footprint is “sasquatch-esque” today! Nebraska is looking better every day…

JetBoy on June 27, 2007 at 7:08 PM

This could be the hook you need to get an iPhone from the Boss.

Number 2 on June 27, 2007 at 7:16 PM

This could be the hook you need to get an iPhone from the Boss.

BTW, we in southeast Queens have had fewer power problems now than we did in the 80s/90s

Number 2 on June 27, 2007 at 7:18 PM

If Allah had an iPhone he could report looters during a black out.

Blake on June 27, 2007 at 7:20 PM

Bloomberg is terrible. He could be on the European Commission with his obsessive regualtion of everything and everyone.

aengus on June 27, 2007 at 7:40 PM

Just have everyone in NYC change their incandescent bulbs to CFL and that should solve the problem, shouldn’t it? That seems to be the thinking out here in California. Noise about outlawing the sale of incandescent bulbs in order to help with global warming and saving energy (since you can’t get a new power plant built here either).

Snidely Whiplash on June 27, 2007 at 7:46 PM

This is a clear danger sign for America. When our largest city can not keep the lights on, this is a problem. When we as a country can not build the power plants needed to grow our country, this is a problem. When the warnings have been ignored over years due to PC and hard political decsions, this is a problem.
Our government is failing at every level, THIS IS A PROBLEM

unseen on June 27, 2007 at 6:05 PM

New York and California are developing Third World patterns of coping – every man an island of self-sufficiency – with household generators, water storage, etc. because the city/state/country can’t deliver reliable utilities.
Notice where the problems have appeared first? Democrat-run states. Hard to believe that New York is in danger of being confused with Lagos, Nigeria on a hot sultry night, but it’s going that way. Nigeria has the oil money, to make her cities liveable, but it’s “eaten” as they say. Are Califonia or New York any different with how they’ve managed the immense quantities of money these states demand from their taxpayers?

naliaka on June 27, 2007 at 9:37 PM

How many illegals suffered?

profitsbeard on June 27, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Heh. A good play on the old World Ends, Poor and Minorities Hit Hardest – NYT.

“Power out, illegal undocumented Americans suffer most.

major john on June 27, 2007 at 10:07 PM

ah, I love NYC power outages. i work in Times Square, and the lights are ALWAYS on 24/7.

/?

flipflopper on June 28, 2007 at 9:32 AM

How many illegals suffered?

profitsbeard on June 27, 2007 at 5:58 PM

That’s the #1. Coming in at a close 2nd:

Heckuva job, Burkey.

Anwyn on June 27, 2007 at 5:48 PM

Hilarious!

kcluva on June 28, 2007 at 9:33 AM

BLOOMBERG priorities. from Jihadwatch
“Here,” says Paul, “one learns that Mohammedi received his law degree at Algeria’s Tiemcen University in 1985, pursued further legal education at Cambridge and Warwick universities in the U.K. and at Fordham Law School in New York, and was appointed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ‘to become the first Muslim and Arab New York City Commissioner on Human Rights.’

“Under the ‘Articles’ rubric are two pieces of testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, complaining of a ‘Backlash Against Muslim and Arab Communities’ and the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System, which he considers a ‘governmental episode of Muslim and Arab profiling.’”

Also, in the speaker biographies for a 2006 conference of the National Association of Muslim Lawyers (here’s a pdf), Paul discovered that Flying Imam attorney Omar Mohammedi is president of CAIR’s New York chapter.

read it, threats and all.

shooter on June 28, 2007 at 2:19 PM

Since I live in Bushwick, I hope that July 13, 2007 is not going to be a reenactment of July 13, 1977. Bushwick has changed, of course, in those thirty years, but you never know…

mboprey on June 28, 2007 at 4:22 PM