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July 01, 2021

NYC Issues Demand to Stop Using Air Conditioning as Power Grid Begins Failing

Blackouts may come.

On Wednesday afternoon, New Yorkers' phones started shrieking as an emergency alert warned them to conserve power or face the prospect of widespread blackouts. The city along with large parts of the East Coast are blanketed under an oppressive heat wave that is taxing the electricity grid, much as the record-setting West Coast heat wave did earlier this week.

Amid sweltering temperatures, several neighborhoods in New York City have seen electricity outages, leaving more than 3,000 residents without power, data from New York utility company Con Edison shows. The majority of the outages occurred in Brooklyn, including the largest one that affected 1,700 Con Edison customers in the neighborhood of Williamsburg.

In some areas, Con Edison has been taking extreme measures in its attempt to keep the grid running as demand skyrockets. On Wednesday afternoon, the utility reduced power voltage by 8% to some neighborhoods in the borough of Queens while crews worked to repair power equipment, affecting some 64,000 customers in more than a dozen neighborhoods. To help residents manage the heat, the firm also began distributing dry ice at one location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Dry ice can be hazardous to use in poorly-ventilated small spaces, because as it melts, it turns into carbon dioxide gas, which is highly dangerous to breathe.

By late afternoon, a city emergency alert went out, stating, "NYC is urging all households and businesses to immediately limit energy usage to prevent power outages as the intense heat continues. Please avoid the use of energy-intensive appliances such as washers, dryers, and microwaves. Limit the unnecessary use of air conditioning."

At a press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to "urgently, urgently" conserve power to help prevent more blackouts from occurring. He said Con Edison's president informed him that widespread power failures could take place Wednesday evening--usually a time of peak demand--if New Yorkers did not seriously conserve.

During a heat wave, a blackout can result in deaths.

New York City might have gotten a reprieve, if the rainstorms cool down the city for a few days.

Meanwhile, during this emergency, Time Square is still all lit up with gigantic TV screens playing ads:

I'm not saying this will happen, but I'm not saying it won't happen: Flashback to the New York City Blackout of 1977.

The city plunged into looting and mayhem.

But that wouldn't happen now, would it?

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:32 PM

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