Rep. Maloney on the 1-Year Anniversary of the Queens Blackout
New York, NY – The following is a statement from Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan) on tomorrow’s one-year anniversary of the blackout that left more than 170,000 Queens residents without electricity for up to nine days:
“The Queens blackout ruined businesses and put thousands of New Yorkers through hell for more than a week. One year later, it’s clear that Con Ed needs to repair the public’s trust just as much as they need to repair the power grid.
“The recent outages on the Upper East Side were a bad sign for the many weeks of hot weather ahead of us. I and other Queens elected officials will be keeping a close watch on Con Ed to see if the $1 billion in upgrades they say they’ve made to the power grid are enough to prevent another catastrophe.
“During the height of the blackout, Con Ed’s leaders appeared to be even more in the dark than my constituents were. I hope that Con Ed executives -most of whom still have their jobs- are working overtime to ensure that blackouts don’t become another rite of summer.”
Maloney represents the neighborhoods of Astoria, Long Island City, and Sunnyside, Queens in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A power grid failure that began on July 17, 2006 left more than 170,000 Queens residents without power during one of the hottest weeks of the year. Shockingly, it took Con Edison days to assess the problem and give an accurate estimate of how many customers were affected. Queens residents were left in the dark and without air conditioning or refrigeration for more than a week, impacting the elderly and the sick and costing Queens businesses thousands of dollars.
In January 2007, a Public Service Commission report attributed the blackout to Con Ed’s poor maintenance of the western Queens power grid. The report also strongly criticized Con Ed’s handling of the crisis, in particular the utility’s inability to correctly estimate and report the number of customers without power.
Following the blackout, Maloney released a report that offered one of the first glimpses of the large-scale devastation caused by the Queens blackout. Most businesses Maloney surveyed lost more than the $7,000 in aid offered by Con Ed. In fact, for the hardest-hit businesses, $7,000 was only a drop in the bucket. Click here for a copy of Maloney’s report.