2001-06-30 / Front Page

Thousands In Far Rockaway Left

Thousands In Far Rockaway Left

In the Dark as LIPA Goes Down

For more than an hour last Wednesday, more than 9000 Far Rockaway residents, including all of the residents at the sprawliong Redfern Houses complex were left in the dark by a Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) that might or might not have been due to the surging heat we have been experiencing for the past week.

Burt Cunningham, a LIPA spokesperson, told reporters that the company was uncertain whether the heat wave was the reason for the outage.

He said that the outage, which started at about 3:30 p.m., was triggered by a transmission line failure in a manhole at Mott Avenue and Beach 21 Street.

Shortly after the outage, police officials called a Level I mobilization, bringing dozens of officers from the Queens South Task Force to the area. The police were concerned with those in the area who needed mechanical breathing devices to maintain life and with traffic control due to the fact that all of the traffic signals in the area were out of service because of the power outage.

Some area residents expressed concern about a heat-related blackout so early in the summer.

"If the power company is having trouble keeping the lights on now, when the heat has not been that high, I hate to think what will happen when we really get a heat wave," Jamal Johnson told The Wave. "They were on the radio saying that they had everything under control and had plenty of power, and then this happens."

According to LIPA sources, power in the area was restored about 4:45, although crews were still working in the manhole on Thursday.

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