U.S. NEWS
07/15/2019 17:48 EDT

New York City Could Be Headed For Another Blackout As Heat Wave Looms

Temperatures could creep up to nearly 100 degrees, threatening to overload the electrical grid.

New York has recovered from its Saturday blackout that plunged part of the city that never sleeps into darkened disarray ― but a sequel may be in the offing.

Thanks to a heat wave threatening to bake the streets in temperatures inching past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) staring at the end of this week, the lights could go out again.

Mike Clendenin, a spokesperson for energy company Con Edison, told local Pix11 News on Monday it’s anticipating a potential repeat.

“We expect that there could be service outages,” he said. “Those things happen during heat waves. Our crews are ready to respond. We are going to be prepared for this. It’s going to be intense.”

He also emphasized that, although Con Ed has yet to pinpoint the cause of the weekend blackout, heat was not the culprit.

According to an AccuWeather forecast, a four-day stretch of 90-degree-plus temperatures will begin on Friday, with the likely high of 97 degrees (36.1 degrees Celsius) occurring on Saturday.

By the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s definition, a heat wave is typically two or more consecutive days of unusually hot weather for a particular region. For New York, Pix11 notes, it’s three or more days of temperatures reaching or exceeding 90 degrees. 

Saturday’s outage left about 72,000 people without power on the west side of Manhattan, according to Con Ed. Though the outage stopped elevators, sent some subway lines to a screeching halt and canceled a slew of Broadway shows, performers swapped stages for sidewalks where they belted out songs.

In a statement released Sunday on the blackout, the company said “engineers and planners will carefully examine the data and equipment performance relating to this event, and will share our findings with regulators and the public.”