In the Big Apple, there are about 594 outages with 12,024 customers still without service as of 4:00 p.m. ET. The majority of the remaining outages are concentrated in Brooklyn and Queens.
A large storm knocked out power lines Sunday and initially left 600,000 customers without access to electricity, DTE said. “We expect to have 90% of all customers restored by end of day Tuesday, and the remainder by end of day Wednesday,” the utility company said.
In New York City, the power outages affected traffic lights but resulted in “no arrests, no summonses, no reports of any problems at all,” NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio said at a Monday morning news conference. Speaking from an emergency management command post set up in Brooklyn, the mayor said that little more than a week ago, a power outage “that came out of nowhere” occurred in Manhattan and now following the heat wave — “obviously a predictable situation and therefore preventable” — another outage.
“We don’t have any good answers yet why this was not prevented,” said de Blasio, who added that Con Ed has not responded to his request for answers about why the outage happened, though it appeared to result from a malfunctioning piece of equipment.
“We were informed as it was happening,” said de Blasio. “Con Ed made this decision unilaterally. They made a conscious decision to pull out electricity from this area.”
The mayor thanked the NYPD, New York State Police, which supplied a couple hundred officers to be deployed in the city; first responders and the FDNY, which proactively went to the homes of people who needed assistance.
While the total economic impact remains unknown, the harm done to customers, some elderly and vulnerable to the heat, is obvious, said de Blasio.
Dr. Peter Shearer, chief medical officer for Mount Sinai Hospital’s Brooklyn campus in the Flatlands, told CNN in an email that the hospital had “twice as many patients as usual” during the outage.
Symptoms were “typical” for a blackout, mostly respiratory issues, said Shearer, who added that, as of Monday morning, some patients were still hanging around the emergency room waiting to hear whether power had returned to their homes.
The American Red Cross opened two shelters at the request of NYC Emergency Management, according to Michael de Vulpillieres, a spokesman for the Red Cross. “Shelter population for these incidents was minimal.”
Steven Hilly, a 28-year-old resident of the Flatlands who lost power Sunday evening, described the heat as “unbearable.”
“A lot of the older residents in the area couldn’t take it and ambulances were called,” Hilly told CNN in a text conversation. “Power didn’t come back until about 3 a.m. In the meantime we had to sleep in rooms with no circulation.”
Hilly, who lives alone with Nala, his Boston terrier who is frightened by the dark, added, “The whole neighborhood was out. Pitch black, besides a few cars on the street with people charging phones and trying to get air conditioning.”
De Blasio said he wants “to see people appropriately compensated.”
“Bottom line: this should not have happened and we’re going to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Southeast Michigan and Motor City
“In this particular storm, there was a lot of tree damage, not surprising due to the high winds,” said Rivard. This means utility crews must first clear the trees before repairing lines and equipment.
Overall, in southeast Michigan, DTE has already repaired nearly half of the more than 2,000 wires downed by the severe weather that whipped through the region over the weekend, and its crews have been working 16-hour shifts around the clock to restore power, according to the company.
“More than 1,100 employees and contractors are in the field and nearly 750 workers from as far as Georgia and New York have joined our restoration efforts with additional crews arriving throughout the day today,” the company said in a statement.
Rivard said communication of the company’s restoration plan faltered over the weekend.
“Yesterday we experienced significant issues with our technology, making it more difficult for customers to see their estimated restoration times on our website as well as on our mobile app,” said Rivard. The company has fixed those communication channels as of Monday and will be monitoring them to avoid future problems, she added.
Other improvements planned include more extensive tree-trimming along power lines and investments in the distribution grid itself, including infrastructure, Rivard said.
DTE also urged the public to be careful of any downed wires. Pedestrians should assume that any fallen line is energized and stay at least 20 feet away, while motorists should never drive across downed power lines. If a line falls on a vehicle, passengers should remain inside until help arrives.
CNN’s Carma Hassan, Julia Jones, Rebekah Riess, Emily Bass and Taylor Romine contributed to this report.