This time, the lights were out for only a short time.
But residents of Bath Beach and Gravesend are still demanding answers from Con Edison after enduring another power outage on Aug. 10, three weeks after a previous outage left thousands of people in southern Brooklyn in the dark for more than five hours.
Approximately 3,800 Con Ed customers in the Bath Beach-Gravesend area lost electricity for 90 minutes on Saturday. The lights went out at around 5:30 p.m.
“This was a short one, about an hour and a half,” Bath Beach resident Marie Sabatino told the Home Reporter. “The last time, it was five and a half hours. But it shouldn’t be happening at all. It’s very frustrating that our electricity keeps going out.”
Sabatino had some anxious moments. Her elderly mother, who lives in a senior citizen apartment complex, requires an electric-powered oxygen tank to breathe. “They have a generator in the building, but it’s really just to make sure the lights are on in the hallway so nobody falls,” Sabatino said.
Even though Saturday’s outage was of short duration, it was still a terrible event, said Councilmember Mark Treyger, a Democrat who represents the affected area.
“Small businesses were affected,” he said, adding that the Parkview Diner at 2939 Cropsey Ave. was among the businesses in the dark.
Treyger plans to introduce a resolution in the City Council to call on Con Ed to change the window of time in which customers can apply for reimbursements for rotten foods and other damages caused by power outages. Under the current rules, customers whose electricity was out for 12 hours or more in a 24-hour period can apply for reimbursement. Treyger wants to lower that threshold to two hours.
“If you’re running a business, even losing electricity for two hours is a hardship,” he said.
Saturday’s power outage took place three weeks after a larger problem hit Brooklyn.
Bath Beach and Gravesend were two of several neighborhoods across the borough to suffer a power outage on July 21 as Con Ed grappled with increased demands for electricity during a heat wave. Temperatures that day soared above 90 degrees.
More than 31,000 Brooklyn households were without electricity during the power outage that also hit places like Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Canarsie, Flatlands and Georgetown.
Con Ed spokesperson Alfonso Quiroz said the day after the outage that the utility cut the power off in sections of Brooklyn to prevent a larger blackout. “The wires were really cooking,” he said.
Quiroz added that when Con Ed turns off the power, it can restore the electricity faster than in cases where the power goes out due to other factors.
Anne Marie Corbalis, corporate affairs manager for Con Ed, said the Aug. 10 problem was caused by an unexpected equipment issue. “Crews responded immediately and restored power to all customers in about an hour and a half. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused,” she told the Home Reporter in an email.
Treyger said he’s not satisfied with Con Ed’s answers, particularly after the latest service interruption.
“There have been repeated outages in our area. Why does this keep happening? Con Ed’s answers have been inadequate,”Treyger said.