From Brownout to Blackout

Our power problems in Brooklyn culminated Friday afternoon and evening with five separate transformer explosions and fires along Vanderbilt Avenue, the first around 4.30 in the afternoon and the last about 11.30 at night. Voltage went from just under 100 in the afternoon down to about 75, then 60, and then with the final blast, went out entirely. Repeated phone calls to Con(n)Ed elicited responses ranging from “There are crews on the scene” (not true) to “There are crews on the way” (not true either) which was an improvement over the responses during the week which amounted to “What problem?”

Finally on Saturday morning a bunch of trucks showed up. The blackened Mercedes parked over one of the transformer covers was towed away and they got to work. The foreman was friendly but exasperated, saying that if they’d just assigned repair crews earlier in the week he wouldn’t have this enormous job to do now. By the time I got back home around 5 on Saturday, we had full power for the first time in almost a week.

I’m going to file a claim for all the food that I had to throw out, and we’ll see how that goes. The manager of the Met Food market on Vanderbilt Avenue said he didn’t receive anything at all in compensation for the thousands of dollars of food he lost last summer.

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