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Queens Chronicle

Con Ed reduces power in parts of central, western and SW Queens

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Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011 11:07 am | Updated: 2:32 am, Thu Oct 11, 2012.

Con Edison has reduced voltage in much of central, western and southwestern Queens due to problems with overheating cables and equipment.

There are approximately 107,000 customers in the affected area, which is bordered by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the north, the Brooklyn Borough line to the west, the Jackie Robinson Parkway to the south and Queens Boulovard to the east.

The affected areas include Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Rego Park, Middle Village, Elmhurst and Woodside.

Utility spokesman Bob McGee said only one customer was without power as of 9 a.m. Friday, and that the voltage reduction is heat-related. The agency is asking customers to reduce all non-essential electrical use.

“Cables can overheat and burn up,” McGee said. “Even though we have extra crews out maintaining equipment, we need to address this by reducing stress on the system.”

Middle Village resident  Stela Barbu said her family noticed a problem at about 11:30 p.m. on Thursday.

“The power wend out for a second,” said Barbu, a Chronicle employee. “It came back on but it was very low. You could hear the refrigerator struggling. The air conditioners were out. The ceiling fans came on but even on high it was very, very low. It was horrible.”

McGee said they are asking residents and businesses to reduce non-essential electrical use. He also said the reduction will extend into the weekend, where the utility is anticipating record consumption and peak usage as the heat wave hits its third day.

“If we are able to stay on it and  get remedies it may not spring up and affect someplace else,” he said.

McGee said the weekend will help as many businesses are closed and others may shut down early today.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the region, advising that the combination of temperature and humidity could make it feel like 105 to 115 degrees today.

** UPDATE **

On Friday afternoon, Con Ed announced that it was reducing voltage to about 121,000 customers in Richmond Hill and four neighborhoods in Brooklyn: East New York, Cypress Hills, Highland Park and City Line.

The utility said problems on electrical equipment were to blame and that the reduction was done as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service as crews addressed the issues. It asked that customers refrain from using energy-intensive appliances such as washers and dryers, and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed, until the problems are resolved.

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